Costa Rica Journal for Aug 01 - August 04, 2001 14:40 Costa Rican Time (on the plane)

Today, we drove to the Arenal Volcano, along a very bumpy road that has been destroyed by the constant rain fall. Along the way, we saw a Grey Hawk and some coffee plants (2), as well as Lake Arenal (2). We stopped for a minute to get a shot of the Arenal Volcano from afar. Then, later on, we were fortunate to see the top of the Volcano without any cloud cover.

After getting settled into the Montana de Fuego hotel, we went into town and rented some ATV's: (Mom) (2) (Dad) (2) (Sister Kelly) (2). It was not the most ecofriendly (2) thing we did the entire trip and my Mom actually got into quite a bad accident. She lost control of the ATV coming up a steep, slippery hill and wound up 50 feet down in a ditch. All this, just to get to see a waterfall. Of course, along the journey, we had to stop to take several family photos, including one with our guide and another with the Volcano in the background. Oh, and we got extremely muddy. My dad even got a rare shot of me on the ATV. We also stopped for a minute by a local stream where we found what I think is a Bransford's Litter Frog hiding in the leaves. It was also a nice setting to get a shot of my Mom and sister.

After the ATV's, we went down to the Tabacon Hot Springs. I was expecting a small pool of hot water with two or three other people in it. Instead, it was a huge tourist attraction, with a hotel and restaraunt built around it. The Hot Springs were several man-made cement pools with a dozen people in each. The hot water seemed to be the only natural thing. Despite the warnings that the Hot Springs weren't safe (because the Volcano could erupt at any time or because the water could increase in temperature just a few degrees), we made it out OK.

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