Sunday, June 8, 2014

Costa Rica: Days 7-8

After my little Manzanilla scare, we went to church, and then went for a drive down the coast to Playa Dominical. It was a beautiful beach, but I don't have a single picture. The sand was black and super gloppy. The boys were covered from head to toe. There was a little freshwater river running into the ocean there, and we ended up wading in there to clean up. There were thousands of tadpoles in the river which was fun for L to see. He loved trying to catch them in his hands. After a picnic dinner, we headed back to the hotel for our last night in Manuel Antonio. 

The next morning we drove back to San Jose. We checked in at our hotel and then went exploring. We found the temple! It was a Monday, so the grounds were closed, but we took a few pictures outside the gate.

 




Here was the sunset view from our hotel room. Those white boxes are graves in a cemetery.



Random dinner in the hotel room.


The next day our flight didn't leave till 5 p.m., so we had some time. We decided to go see the Poas Volcano. We were so glad we did! These first photos have nothing to do with Poas, but they are kind of typical Costa Rican souvenirs. I don't know what the butterflies are made out of, but the macaws and toucans are old tires, and the frogs are recycled 2 liter bottles.





There was a little hike up to the rim of the volcano, and along the way we saw this amazing plant - "the poor man's umbrella". The leaves were huge! L is 42" tall, so you can see they're bigger than that!


L got a little tired... haha, no way I could have made it up there carrying both of them! J was my little passenger, and L just hopped up for the photo. Everything was so green and lush on the way up to the rim. 



And here's the volcano! Exciting, right? I think L was simultaneously relieved and disappointed that there was no lava. There was some gas escaping - poisonous gas, they told us, so that was cool to see! 


Far off in the distance, we could see the silhouette of the Arenal Volcano that we had been close to at the beginning of our trip.







After we finished looking at the volcano, we decided to take a path through the cloud forest. If you look closely at the picture below, L is looking at a little squirrel, and the squirrel is looking back at him!


This was the reward for our hike! Formerly and active volcano, this spot has become a pristine lake. Residual chemicals from the volcano keep it this gorgeous blue color. It was so beautiful!




After we gawked for a while, it was time to head off again, continuing through the could forest toward the car. L was a trooper on the longish hike.


We encountered all kinds of interesting plants and animals. It's much easier to take pictures of plants, so that's what we got!





J zonked out by the end :)


Our hike took longer than we expected, so when we got back to the car, we dashed back to the city, returned our car, took the shuttle to the airport, ran to our gate, heard our names being called over the loudspeaker, and boarded the plane! It was awesome!


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