Saturday, December 20, 2008

costa rican adventures: volcanoes and karaoke

we wake up at 6:30 am to the sound of a monsoon pouring down on our cabin, the wind whipping through trees. it is truly a cloudy rainy cloud forest. at breakfast we eat casados which is our new favorite thing, and i sample some costa rican coffee. tastes like regular coffee. then we accomplish 4 things (besides eating)

1. we re-schedule our canopy tour for the following day (thereby pushing back our arrival time at the beach)
2. we get the lovely staff at the hotel to dry our clothes from the night before, since laying them out to dry overnight did absolutely nothing
3. we "rent" ponchos from the front desk, but when i ask cuanto cuestan? i am told they cost nothing. the clerk says this as though it is obvious that renting ponchos would be a free service. i heart costa rica.
4. we decide that since it is raining, we should drive around the lake to the volcano in la fortuna so that we can go in the hot springs. we have been so cold and damp, we need a little hot springs.

now, on the map the volcano looks as though it's right around the corner. in actuality it is 3.5 hours drive. damned these crazy costa rican roads. but even though the driving is difficult, it is kind of fun, so we play our car games (turns out the bolshevik knows way more political leaders than i do) and we look at the scenery and have a fine old time.

then we see this crazy creature in the road. it kind of looks like a cross between a monkey and a raccoon. it is SO cute, so we get out of the car to take pictures. suddenly there are like 15 of them surrounding us, but luckily they are friendly enough not to attack us.

we eventually make it to la fortuna and we see the volcano, but alas due to fog we are unable to see the top of the volcano. but it was pretty obvious that it was a volcano. i swear.

then we try to find eco termales, which is the name of the hot springs place we found in our trusty guidebook. our handy navigation system tells us that we have arrived at our destination but there is no entrance or sign or anything except for two large wooden doors with a little call box. now, approaching a call box and big ominous doors is intimidating enough without the added pressure of having to speak in spanish. but i muddle through my spanish and they open the doors for us.

inside it's a tropical hot spring wonderland. there are pools filled with water heated by the volcano. there's a little bar and lounge chairs and waterfalls and rock formations. it's divine. so we get ourselves some cocktails and spend several hours splashing around in the warm water while we are gently misted with rain (it never quite stops raining in the cloud forest)

on our drive home we stop at a local bar on the side of the road, in hopes of getting some casados for dinner. the bar is an open air structure with a dirt floor and an assortment of farm equipment and logs and hay for decoration. i am a little worried for our safety when we approach. we had heard a lot of stories about robberies and violence towards tourists. but when we get inside we see there are about 5 guys there (including employees) and they are singing karaoke in spanish. after we order our food, they all come up to us and ask us where we're from and if we're going to sing and do we like to dance, etc etc. so friendly. so of course i ask if they have any musica en ingles, and i am given a short and random list of american songs. i decide to sing I Will Survive. who doesn't love donna summer? i ask you. the crowd (ie the 5 people in the bar) went wild. ok, actually they just applauded with a moderate amount of enthusiasm, but whatevs. it's good to see that cultural divides can be overcome through the power of karaoke.

when we arrive back to our hotel the lights are still on, so we are able to light our one candle, and i proceed yet again to make my pathetic attempts at building a fire. and thus ends another day of fabulous costa rican adventures.

... to be continued ...


*Bitch Cakes* said...

(note to Ms Dewey Decimal: That would be Gloria Gaynor, not Donna Summer)

I am guessing the Costa Rican coffee tasted like "regular" coffee because we get a lot of our coffee from Costa Rica.

Did you ever find out the name of that monkey/raccoon animal? I want one!

Hooray for karaoke and Costa Rican adventures!

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

you know, i was thinking "is it gloria gaynor or donna summer?" and i was too lazy to look it up.

my extensive reaseach leads me to believe it was a coatimundi, also known as a pezote. i think you can buy them in any pet store in yonkers.