A Trek across the Rope Bridges of Northern Costa Rica

We headed out to do some spelunking in the morning, but the bridge had collapsed. When we walked up to a bunch of workmen that were working on the bridge to find out how long it would be, they just looked at us like we were crazy for wanting to know something like that.

So we went back through Fortuna and to the other side of the Arenal dam to a natural preserve where they have all sorts of rope bridges, spiders, snakes, and other things that keep the couches of psychiatrists’ couches busy.

Here is a collection of pictures from the day. The first batch here is of a colony of ants we found. They were climbing up a tree on one side of the trail, cutting leaves, and taking them back across the trail, through branches and trees, and off to some destination we could not find. The third picture there is of the hundreds of leaves the ants dropped along the way. Strangely, the ants would not pick them back up, instead choosing to climb a 100 foot tree to go cut a new leaf. I do not understand this but I did not lose sleep over it.

Ants on Parade

Ants Carrying Leaves

Dropped Along the Way

Monty and Will

Alien Podules

Snakal Pose

Goonies

Walk of Phobias

Ropal Bridge

A Frog and Some Hills

Here is a frog that Will found while we were hiking. I asked him to pick it up but he ran away screaming like a little girl into the rainforest, where a boa promptly wrapped itself around his neck. Oh and another sunset picture too… what the heck.

Poison

Long Hills

Getting Tired of Sunsets?

No of course not… Well I am not and it is my blog so I guess you just have to see another one. The only thing better than seeing these sunsets is another T’Pol and Tucker scene (I think Tucker must work out).

Half Obscured Sun

Volcano Picture Makes Flickr Front Page

Daily Photo: The Arenal Volcanic Plume

I woke up this morning to find a deluge of comments on one of my volcano pictures on Flickr and I had to figure out what was going on. It turns out that one of the volcano pictures made it to the Flickr home page as one of the most “interesting” pictures for the day. They use some formula called “interestingness” that is a combination of views, favorites, and comments. If you click on the first picture below, you can see some of the comments…

I took this one from about 10 km from the west side of the dam that forms lake Arenal at the base of the volcano. I had the tripod set up for several hours trying to wait for the clouds to arrange themselves in the right way. The good thing was that it was so windy the whole scene changed every five minutes.

The Arenal Volcanic Plume

Flickr Front Page

The Lago in Morning and Evening

Here are two pictures of the lake in the morning and the evening. The lake was kind of eerie because it was huge and there was never anyone on it – no boats, no seaside towns… nothing. Also, sitting at the base of the volcano, I pictured all sorts of megalodons swimming around inside eating American tourists.

Lago Arenal

Sunset in Costa Rica

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

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

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

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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