Panama to Alaska 2008 travel blog

Charlotte on the terrace

A friendly iguana

Volcan Arenal

The volcano again

At our hotel in Fortuna

We have had a great day today. Since the distance to be covered was not huge we didn’t have to hurry unduly. I spent a while on the terrace of our room firstly watching the wildlife and secondly catching up on the official report. I saw several interesting birds – yellow breasted, brilliant red and black and pale blue as well as a passing heron – and saw fish move in the lake. Diana spotted an iguana outside her room. Last night I almost trod on a snake on the way to dinner! The frogs were active and we could hear howler monkeys in the night. The hotel was really embedded in the landscape. It made the 10 mile trek to our room worthwhile!

After some car maintenance had been carried out we retraced our steps over the two questionable bridges that we had crossed on the way into the hotel and set off with the rest of the Buckinghamshire contingent (the Careys and the Hampsons) plus the Patchetts. The road was quite winding and hilly and we met plenty of huge trucks so progress was not rapid. We reached a cafe where they kept iguanas in time for lunch - chicken not iguana. Today’s drive was good as we could see all the crops: bananas, coconuts and pineapple growing and trucks full of water melons. I like the fields full of spiky pineapple leaves. There were whole hedges of brilliant red hibiscus beside the road.

We stopped at the thermal baths in Fortuna where there are a series of open air pools at temperatures of 35C to 62C. We only put our toes in the latter. Funnily enough the experience was refreshing. After a bath at 48C the tropical air temperature seems envigorating.

Tonight’s hotel is just below Volcan Arenal which is active but the top is covered in cloud and the active bit is on the other side......

We have heard that the road between here and Monteverde is very bad so tomorrow we are going to proceed by bus and boat to get there. We may write about Monteverde and the cloud forests but our next travelling day will be Tuesday.

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