The area of Arenal in Costa Rica is dotted with hot-springs because of the Arenal Volcano having been active in the past, and having heated up the waters from below.
Arenal Volcano is a massive Strauss Volcano that towers over the town of Fortuna, giving it a moody and impressive back drop. Fortuna means lucky, and indeed, in 1968, the town was lucky when it missed being hit by a minor eruption.
After our gorgeous evening in the hot springs last night, today we venture into the Fortuna National Park. In the park, we both walk the towering suspension bridges that hang high above the rainforest canopy and hike to the base of the volcano. While walking the suspension bridges we see thousands of leaf cutter ants blindly taking leaf bits through the forest, in lines that would make the strictest of teachers proud. We also see and hear chattering monkeys swinging in the tall trees, and then later see some beautiful humming birds zipping around. On our hike, our guia (guide) explains to us about types of Volcanoes and tells us the history of the Arenal Volcano, and about the Volcano situation in Costa Rica. Costa Rica apparently houses many volcanoes.
After our excursion we are back in the town of Fortuna - Chill time.
Back in town I head to my new favorite haunt. Its called the Rainforest cafe, and let me tell you, I think its the original. I sit down and order a plate of fried plantains (cooking bananas), and a fantastically delicious alcoholic shake called The Mariana. The Mariana is a beautifully trifle like layered shake of liqueur, espresso, coffee flavored ice cream, thick sticky chocolate drizzle, and topped off with whip, an rum soaked cherry, and a cookie. Yummmmmmmmm.....
So its Saturday night now, and I figure it could be fun to dress up, hit the town, and check out the local nightlife. Instead, my Irish roomie, Caroline, and I head back into the Rainforest Cafe, and down some wine cocktails and talk about random travel adventures, and then decide to call it a night. Back in the hotel room, I take a luxurious hot shower, and fall into bed and crash. Because I am on vacation, I actually have a proper lie in on Sunday morning, when I leisurely awake, with big hair (from the humidity), pull on a robe, and dash open the curtains, to be treated to a magnificent view of the volcano. I feel like Grace Kelly, though right now I could dance like Gene.