Costa Rica :: Part 15

This story is being told as a series. Here’s a link to Part 1

Part 15

We continued west on our way to Fortuna. I had tentative expectations to see Eddie there the following night. He had left home with plans to travel west-to-east across Cost Rica, while I was touring roughly east-to-west, and we would both be in the Arenal region for a few days in the middle.

It was already dark as we pulled off the main road at the sign for our hotel, on the lee side of Arenal volcano. The volcano was active — the glow of lava at its rim visible in clear weather, the smoke ever-present even in the persistent clouds of rainy season — but had not exploded violently in over 40 years. Fortuna, on the “safe” side of the volcano, took its name from the fact that it had been spared in the last eruption.

As we turned off the road into the hotel and began to climb inexorably upward, I noted that the drive was long, slow, steep, and markedly dark. There were no lights along the way, save the bus headlights. In places the road seemed to split but no signs gave evidence to which direction led to the hotel. I noted all of this with Eddie’s visit in mind, wondering how he would ever find his way up here. If indeed he would even bother.

After multiple twists and turns, several kilometers up, we reached the cluster of buildings that was our lodging. I found my way in the semi-darkness to my assigned hut. The room was spacious and air-conditioned, but the most endearing quality was that the water here was potable — I could hardly wait to get a shower in clean water again. A moment later my bag was delivered. The porter left it on a wooden bench against the far wall. It might be less rustic than Tortuguero, but I had no trust that there wouldn’t be infestations; as soon as he left I moved the bag to the center of the extra bed. I went to take a shower in the enormous bathroom, and discovered that I’d been wise to be cautious; there were large cockroaches (would calling them palmetto bugs make it less gross?), and I had no desire to bring any home with me.

Out the back window, my room faced away from the hotel and down the mountain. I could see nothing out the window, and went to take a better look, about to press my face closer to the glass, only to jump backwards when I realized a 5-inch something was on the other side. Well, it was outside; it caused me a little jolt, but no harm.

I freshened up very quickly and then headed out to meet the group for dinner: an extravagant buffet by Costa Rican standards, prominently featuring rice and beans.

Copyright © 2010

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~ by lorakceel on May 12, 2010.

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