Thursday, May 22, 2008

Farewell to La Fortuna

Our last day at La Fortuna! Sigh! Though we had Manuel Antonio to look forward to, we felt as if our vacation was coming to an end. We had enjoyed every moment of our time at La Fortuna.

After breakfast, we hiked to the Arenal waterfall. It was humid and the climb left us sweating profusely. At the entrance, we discovered we had to climb close to 600 steps to get to the waterfall. The water was very cold. We swam for a little while, then took a cab back to the hotel. Lunch at Hotel Casa Blanca accompanied by cold pineapple and mango juices. The heat and humidity curbed our appetites and though the club sandwiches we ordered very delicious, we had to pack more than half of it.

At 2:40 pm, we boarded Interbus, which was to transport us to Manuel Antonio. The mini-bus was already full. Our speed was regulated by 2 bridges packed with tourist vehicles and a very slowly ambulating cow, but otherwise, we made good time and 5 1/2 hours later, we were at our destination hotel - La Colina. We passed Jaco and Quepos and my heart sank - these were typical tourist destinations - urban, commercialized. Our quiet rustic vacation was over!

La Colina was a gaudy hotel, where we were shown to a musty little room by a cheerful and friendly receptionist. Internet access was available at the reception - our first contact with the world wide web in 5 days. And we encountered the first mosquitos of the trip. The village and public beach were nearby and a $10 entrance fee would get us access to 3 private beaches and the national park. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant (it was pricier than La Fortuna) and packed it in for the night.

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