The Biodiversity had a special field trip on Friday, but everyone else was free. While they were gone, we decided we would go see some cool stuff without them too. We met our driver for the weekend, Ermenio, packed our stuff on the bus, and headed out to see Poas Volcano.
We stopped on the way at the Casa del Cafe, viewing the coffee fields, buying coffee for family and friends, and visiting “Juan Dollar”‘s ox cart. We learned that there are two coffee beans per cherry and it’s mostly the Nicaraguans that work the fields. Coffee has a 5 month harvest, so when that’s finished, they usually move on to work with sugar cane or then construction to stay employed. The sentiments between Nicaragua and Costa Rica are unfortunately very similar to those between the US and Mexico.
After the Coffee plantation, we went to Volcan Poas, one of the four volcanoes int he Central Volcanic Mountain Range. We all got off the bus and headed towards the crater. The sulfurous steam filled the air through the entire area (kinda like in Rotorua) but watching it billow out of the crater of the volcano was amazing. After watching the crater for a while, we took a short hike over to the small lake on the other side of it. At 2500 meters (about 7500 ft) elevation, some people found hiking a bit more challenging than they expected but it wasn’t that challenging of a hike and everyone that went enjoyed the gorgeous view before heading back down to the bus.
We met up with the rest of our group (those who had gone on the Biodiversity field trip) in Ciudad Colon, and everyone grabbed sweatshirts out of their bags. Yes, that’s right, people were actually cold. It was so nice to not be in stifling heat and humidity. I love the mountains.
We then drove several hours to Monteverde. We had to walk to our hotel in the dark because the bus couldn’t go down the road. When we got there, we found it looked quite nice but came with lots of extra company. I’m not talking about other people.
In the first 10 minutes of having been check in to our rooms, people had found spiders and roaches on their bed, giant spiders on the walls, strange bugs in the showers, and all sorts of other friendly critters. Gloria and I had a room together and thankfully we didn’t find any extra guests in our room but we were one of the only rooms that didn’t.
Everyone walked down the road to Johnny’s Place for dinner (with a few quips about our group-member Johnny’s food on the way) and I thoroughly enjoyed the cool mountain air. The lack of humidity was a literal breath of fresh air in comparison to most of our other weekend trips. Everyone else was cold but Alex and I reveled in it (she’s from Utah). As we walked back to the hotel, we all knew that whatever was in store for us this weekend would be different from any that came before it.