Costa Rica Day Eight: A Last Hike At The Arenal Volcano And On To San Jose

Costa Rica Day Eight: A Last Hike At The Arenal Volcano And On To San Jose

Costa Rica Day Eight Arenal Observatory Lodge farn hike (28 of 41)
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I was up early again, before the sunrise at 6 a.m. , on my last day at the Arenal Observatory Lodge in Costa Rica.  My ride to San Jose  was scheduled to leave at  noon.   I wanted to get in one more hike  before I left . There are  so many trails on the lodge’s property ,  each with a different variety of  flora and fauna, I wasn’t  sure where my last hike would take me. It was  mostly clear when I left  my room.  The  Arenal Volcano was visible, as  was

Arenal Lake  from the observation deck.

I left the deck and walked through one of the ,many beautiful gardens surrounding the lodge. Some clouds covered the cone but most of the  volcano was still visible.   Earlier during my stay rain and clouds obscured the volcano most of the time.

In the gardens I saw many of the same birds I saw, and shared photos of in my previous blogs,   including this crested guan perched on a post,

and this grey-capped flycatcher.

I walked past the Green Gate and  came to the Waterfall Trail. Here I saw this great curassow strutting on the trail.

I was still undecided where my hike would take me and, at first, I was going to walk through the rainforest on the Waterfall Trail. However, I decided to continue on and hike on the Red Farm Road . This was the paved  main access road to the farm houses and maintenance buildings.  I guessed that many of the workers at the lodge lived here since many motorcycles and trucks passed me as I walked along the road.  I assumed they were employees of the lodge. 

It was a tranquil and bucolic  scene as I  walked under the tall Caribbean pines and rainbow eucalyptus trees

with horses grazing in the fields.

I was hoping to see some more woodpeckers, parrots or raptors in the tall trees, as I did on my previous hikes, but I only saw  a few tropical kingbirds.

yellow faced grassquits and

an eastern great egret in the fields.

I continued on this main road until I came to a gate leading to the dirt covered Green Farm Road.

Here, high in the eucalyptus trees I heard the loud squawking of a flock parrots. I and watched as the flew off. and I believe there were both red-lored  parrots,

and southern mealy Amazon parrot but I am not sure.

I followed the trail to the Rosdada or Pink Farm Trail. It was near here I saw the long tailed tyrant on my hike the previous day.

And  I saw one again on this hike.

There was also a male summer tanager nearby.

I decided to follow the Los Congrejos Trail which took me into the lush rainforest.

As I was just entering the rainforest and the thick canopy of trees I saw this hawk flying onto a tree in the distance on the edge of the forest. I could not identify it from this photo.

On the trail I walked through the lush vegetation  and ,

I  saw a few wedge billed woodcreepers,

and this butterfly.

After about a 1/2 mile walk  left the rainforest and Los Congresjos Trail and followed the Blue Farm Trail between  the edge of the rainforest. and the cattle fields,

passing this sign with the motto of Costa Rica. It is the good life here,  I can attest to that.   

After about another 1/2 mile he trail took me back the open fields  where the beautiful Arenal Volcano came into view again.

Walking  under the tall Caribbean pine and rainbow eucalyptus  again I heard and saw a few red- lored parrots. I also heard the rapping of some woodpeckers high in the treetops

 

As I approached the farm buildings  I saw a  crested caracara fly off from one of the trees and land on another. It flew off as I approached to try and get better photos.  It would be the last bird I photographed at the lodge. Here is a link to a gallery  on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my five mile hike. Costa  Rica Day Eight: Arenal Observatory lodge birds January 12 2024.  

I did see some more wildlife, this white-nosed coati walking along the trail.

Usually I take my time on my hikes,  stopping  often to try and photograph birds and other critters. This morning I had to walk more quickly, I wanted to get back for breakfast since it would be my last chance to eat before I took the 3 hour drive to San Jose at noon.  I had already walked around 4 miles so I quickly walked  past the farm buildings.

And I followed the trail to the Dante River Bridge and  to the Waterfalls Trails,

Here I took  my last walk through the lush green rainforest of Costa Rica.

I will miss it and the exotic ferns,

mushrooms 

 air plants and other beautiful trees, flowers and plants the grow here. 

I returned to the gardens near the lodge and gazed at the Arenal volcano one last time. I made it back just in time for my last breakfast at the lodge restaurant. Here is a link to a gallery  on my blog website with some more photos from  my five mile hike. Costa  Rica Day Eight: Arenal Observatory lodge  morning hike January 12 2024

After breakfast, I showered, quickly packed, and then had some time to head over to the Visitor Center and Museum  to get some  gifts for my great nieces and nephews. I also explored the informative exhibits at the museum. 

On my way back to the lodge I took some photos of the beautiful tile art work,

displayed in the lounge,

and restaurant. I loved my stay at this wonderful place and hope to return again someday. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the lodge. Costa Rica Day Eight Arenal Observatory Lodge January 12 2024.

It was now near noon and I checked out of the hotel and met my driver, Walter for the three hour drive to my hotel in San Jose. Walter was a pleasant middle aged man but spoke not a word of English. I speak very little Spanish so it was a pleasant and quiet drive to San Jose. After a 20 minute road on some dirt backroads,

 we were on the main road passing the many resorts and spas that taking advantage of the spectacular views of the volcano and the hot waters it provides to the spas.

We drove through the busy tourist town of Fortuna,

and then through some ranch and farms lands,

and many small towns,

until we again climbed up into the cloud forest.

Here we drove the narrow, winding and steep roads for about an hour. .

We came down from the cloud forest again passing through the town of San Ramon and it’s beautiful church .

We continued trough some small towns. Traffic increased for the next hour  but it was still a pleasant drive, until we got near San Jose. We now hit some construction and heavy traffic.

We were delayed for almost an hour and I didn’t arrive at my hotel the Holiday Inn next to the Airport until almost 4 p.m.

After checking in at the front desk,  my first inquiry was where I could eat. There were not many choices. They told me there was  Denny’s, a fast food chicken restaurant and a casino.  I wanted to explore a little of the neighborhood around the hotel so after taking my luggage to my room, I was off with my camera.

The hotel was right next to the airport. However t he roar of the jet engines and the heavy rush hour traffic were drowned out by another sound, thousands of  Finsch’s parakeets squawking in the palm trees near the hotel.

It was an amazing experience. It was like the Alfred Hitchcock movie,  The Birds.

I watched and listened to the parakeets   for a while,

and then took a quick walk  in the neighborhood around the hotel. I saw on my iPhone map that there was a restaurant about a half mile from the hotel, so I followed a trolley track,

into the neighborhood. As I was walking  along the narrow street a gentleman stopped me. He spoke little  English but, after some effort, I realized hew was warning me this neighborhood wasn’t safe. I showed him the restaurant on my map and he said the food wasn’t good. He pointed me to the main road and said there were restaurants in that directions.

I walked on the main road for a few blocks. There was heavy traffic and a lot of folks walking on the sidewalk. I walked about a half mile and  didn’t see any restaurants. It was near sunset so I headed back to the hotel.

I watched and listened to the parakeets still squawking in the palm trees  again,

before I decided to  eat at the casino. I was the only customer and wasn’t expecting much. I was surprised when my Caesar’s salad with shrimp arrived. It was delicious and loaded with shrimp. The price was so reasonable too. $11 US dollars.

And my main course a pasta with vegetables was very good too and also reasonably priced at $11. I was full but wanted some dessert. Once again I was surprised with the large dish I ice cream they served me. I only ate half of it.  I was very satisfied, and full, from my meal.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of my drive to San Jose and my evening walk. Costa Rica:  Day Eight San Jose January 12 2024.

I left the casino and returned to my room to edit some photos and reflect on my long day of travel and my  wonderful week in Costa Rica. My flight back home was at 1 p.m. so I was hoping to get in one more hike before  I left this beautiful country.

 

I’M IN LOVE WITH CITIES I’VE NEVER BEEN TO AND PEOPLE I’VE NEVER MET. – MELODY TRUONG

 

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