Today´s post comes from a small hotel lobby outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. I just said goodbye to my wonderful travel partners, and now I embark on the next leg of my journey. Of course I don´t plan to stay at this nice hotel. I am using their shower and internet, and they are holding my bag for the next few days in exchange for five-thousand colones. This is ten dollars well spent.
On Monday, we traveled down the West Coast to Jaco, a beautiful tourist stop and surfer town with a nice beach. Casey and I dipped in the warm waters and then our tired family headed home to plan our next day. This may seem like a mundane task, but planning a trip is no small undertaking in Costa Rica, as destinations are poorly documented and roads are rarely marked. Still, two hours of planning gave us a full enough understanding of the Volcan Arenal and nearby La Fortuna to make the treck without getting lost. I drove, because as Casey and I made note of, driving seemed to stress Mr. Delgadillo out. We made our way along the Inter-American Highway to the beautiful and historic town of San Ramon, where we turned to make our way up the mountain through scenic countryside. The trip was jovial, as we made note of a “tipsy” cow, stuggling to maintain balance in the back of a pickup, observed a few more leaky cows, relieving themselves in the back of a truck, and discussed “dad jokes,” a routine topic for me.
We also visited a butterfly garden in the jungle on the way. Once at Arenal, we ascended the monster for a spectacular view. We were only allowed halfway up, as this active giant is under some restriction.
Thursday was all inclusive day which meant all the free food we wanted. And then a little more. We made gluttons of ourselves and met some friends from Georgia. One of them even goes to school in Pennsylvania and almost sublet her appartment this summer to a good high school friend of mine, Vivian Zhang. Small world!
As we left Mr. Delgadillo asked if we needed any money. Of course I said no, and of course I came to regret that decision later. When we came to the top of the mountain we learned the entrance fee to the park was about twenty dollars. I don´t think I´ve ever been so disappointed! The least helpful, least sympathetic woman in the whole world had been waiting all day at the gaurd booth to tell us that the nearest ATM was about an hour away. Discouraged, we retreated, only to find an ATM about ten minutes away! We went back to Poas where a wonderful view, and steaming crater awated.
When we came back we relived the week together through photos and video and played a quick game of cards.
Today, we returned to the airport where our trip started only a week ago. What awaits? Only time will tell. I ask for prayers as I enter a dangerous city. I also ask for prayers as I prepare spiritually for the next four weeks as a missionary in Kenya. And whether you enjoy my posts or not, I ask for prayers that I will live to post again. Until next time…