The Unicorn and the Volcano

After driving around and around and around the volcano on roads that barely qualify as roads and after hopping over barbed wire fence after barbed wire fence, I finally managed to find a nice shot of the volcano. It was not easy to get that horse to cooperate with me. I had to figure out how to say, “I am not a glue-man” in Spanish.

This is the most active volcano in Costa Rica and one of the most active in the world. Later days would take me up higher into the danger zone to get some rather suicidal shots. Those will be coming in a few days…

The Unicorn and the Volcano

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Afternoon and Dusk

Our little cabin sat high on the hill at the base of the volcano (those pics coming soon I promise). We constantly had very nice views in every direction, unless Will happened to be in that direction, in which case we would ask him to move so we could once again have the nice view.

The base of Volcan Arenal beside the lago

Sunset at the Lago

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Canopy Tour

On the recommendation of a local, we took the CR Arenal Canopy tour at the base of the volcano. This is my second zip line thing and it was more intense than the last.

There are 12 platforms and 10 ziplines. The platforms are way up in the trees about 150 feet of the ground and the longest cable zipline is just over a quarter of a mile.

It begins with a horse ride up the mountain – a horse ride that we later learned results in the death of many horses on the trail during the tour itself. I am not sure if this knowledge would have been handy before embarking on the tour, but I am pretty sure it would have. The best thing was that we could be fairly assured that if one of the horses were to die, it would have been Will’s.

Here is a collection of some of the pictures of the event:

Apres Zip

Treetop Zipline

Dad not thrilled on horseback

Dad and Will about to zip

Will zipping

Dad on the zip line

And here is the final picture. With that helmet and expression of distant disdain, it makes me think that Monty is preparing for an Arian Nation rally.

Monty preparing for an Arian rally

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Earthquake!

Well it was a tiny one… but it did knock over all the chairs on the balcony. I think Will slept through it, but he sleeps through a lot of cool things. It probably explains why he does not wake up when Lauren jumps on his bed.

It was a magnitude 4.4 earthquake off the coast of Nicaragua. Here is a link to the site with the details.

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Volcano Arenal

We spent the weekend up in the Arenal area of Costa Rica near the border of Nicaragua. We stayed in a quaint little hotel called the Linda Vista Del Norte. It was one of the only three hotels that had a view of the active side of the volcano; the lava flow seems to switch sides every year or so. We looked at another hotel in the area, but it was a little sketchy because it was only $20 a night. The last time I paid $20 for a night I woke up with Will in my bed covered in plastic. I don’t know what that means.

So here are a few pictures from our balcony. There was a view of the volcano and of Lake Arenal. This is the latter – I am still putting the finishing touches on the volcano pictures. The second picture below was of a flower on the property that I took right after an afternoon rainstorm.

Lake Arenal in Repose

Watershed Flower

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The Milanese Allegorical Muse of Dance

Inside the foyer of the Teatro Nacional were various marble statues that were created in various countries around the world. The three statues – Dance, Music, and Fame – in the foyer are real, and the ones on the roof are reproductions. They used to have the originals on the roof, but the birds’ poop was overly acidic so they moved them to a safer place.

This one is the Muse of Dance and was sculpted in Milan.

Milanese Muse of Dance

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A tour through the National Theater

Here is a collection of pictures from within the Teatro. We had a very spunky girl tour guide who was over-the-top happy to be showing us the theater. When we got down to the main stage, I thought it was inappropriate of Will to ask her if they really have donkey shows at midnight.

The first one is a famous painting on the ceiling by Arturo Fontana of Milan in 1897. It features coffee harvesting and export. The painting is actually fairly inaccurate because coffee beans don’t grow on the beach. They grow up in the mountains where migrant workers eat plantains in the evening and then sing tunes about old mehico.

Teatro Nacional

Teatro Nacional

Teatro Nacional

Teatro Nacional

Dad Will and Monty in the Teatro Nacional

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Teatro Nacional

We went into downtown San Jose to explore the Teatro Nacional, which is one of the finest examples of classical architecture here in the city. It was completed in 1897 and remained property of the Costa Rican military until 1948. Costa Rica then got rid of their military all together and decided to be friends with all other countries. They even like Canada.

Teatro Nacional

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In Costa Rica

After 18 hours in planes and airports, we made it to Costa Rica. We met my dad in Dallas and he flew down to San Jose with us. My internet access will be in and out down here, especially when we head up to the volcanic region this weekend. Since we have been here, I’ve done a bit of exploring and gotten some interesting photographs. The pictures in this post are not that great…this is just some of the miscellaneous stuff along the way.

Here are Will, Monty, and Dad outside of the Teatro Nacional, which I will detail in a later post.

Dad Will and Monty

Here is Will and I at lunch at a pretty sketchy looking place that turned out to be very good.

Trey and Will at Lunch

There was a store we found called “Carrion” that was covered with birds, which was strange in itself.

Carrion

And look! No international city is complete without a Church of Scientology.

Scientology Sign

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Medieval Map Playing Cards

Those aren’t my hands, by the way. They are a dummy’s hands. Well…try not to picture that Venn Diagram overlap.

Anyway, this is an interesting picture that I took inside the castle because it shows how enterprising cartographers tricked up regular playing cards by adding maps to help educate the bored, ignorant, and card-playing masses.

Map cards

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