Today makes the trip more than worthwhile, as we delight in a jumble of jungle journeys.
It begins with a vague lead from a “Let’s Go” map: an arrow at the southernmost extreme of Fortuna with “to swimming hole (1 km)” written next to it. talks with locals get a more exact location, verify that we won’t be bathing with crocodiles, and divine the existence of a Tarzan swing. As my dad remarks, we’ve flown halfway around the world to get to our local swimming hole (Wilkes-Barreians: think 7 Tubs and Bluebottom combined). I don’t worry about piranhas when I’m the first to jump in 7 Tubs, but the water’s not as nice and the swing’s not as high as at our new natural pool. I’m impressed by Scott’s backflip off the rope, sore after my attempt at the same, and more than happy with our surrogate 7 Tubs.
Next is horseback riding to a canopy tour. Random fact learned today: when you make a horse gallop in hot weather, it sweats a lot. I don’t know if the view from platforms between ziplines was more impressive than my mom’s reaction after braking too hard and being stuck hundreds of feet in the air suspended by only a steel cable was hilarious, but both were extreme. Guides who let us spin and hand upside down round out a jungle tour that’s definitely not meant for those afraid of heights.
Siblings’ insistence on dinner before more exertion forces the cancellation of a hike on the volcano trails, as it gets dark here by 7:00 and we eat a lot. We’re lucky anyways: a cloud surrounding Volcan Arenal’s summit glows orange as we drive to a lookout point and we pull over to see streams of red glow grow down the side of the volcano not even 4 miles from where we stood. We witness the rumble, glow, flows of several more minor eruptions before heading to bed in the cabinas that constitute our hotel, content that we’ve experienced the best of Fortuna and ready to pile in the too-tiny rental car for parts unknown early tomorrow