Isn’t that fun to say?
That’s what they call the transportation method I took to get to La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano. It’s actually more like Van-Boat-Van, but I really think they should call it Bus-Boat-Bus and have some alliteration fun. The road from Monteverde to Lake Arenal was probably the worst yet—bumpy and rocky the entire way. But the scenery was gorgeous—rolling green hills dotted with cows and a few small farmhouses. And in the background the perfectly conical Arenal Volcano arose from the hills into the clouds.
We reached the lake and boarded a boat for the other side. This quick one-hour ride across the calm waters provided a nice reprieve from the unpaved roads, plus it provided the most spectacular view of the Volcano itself.
Arenal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the world. It has eruptions every five to ten minutes. In 1968, it erupted violently after laying dormant for hundreds of years. A village was destroyed and 80 people were killed. Nowadays, Arenal erupts just about every five to ten minutes shooting red hot lava rocks out of its crater.
Proving once again, IT IS a ‘small word,’ I met a guy named Scott on the boat who had worked as a TV Producer for WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina. I was a Director at the same station for three years just out of Journalism School! He worked there about six years after I did, but we knew some of the same folks. I love random encounters like that.
We got to the other side of the lake and what to my wandering eyes did appear?? A double yellow line and actual pavement! We’ve reached civilization!! Land ho! I took the last leg of my “Jeep-Boat-Jeep” excursion and was dropped outside of “Gringo Pete’s,” the hostel Marcel and friends recommended.
Pete is a jolly (and I soon learned often condescending) ol’ expat from Washington State. I’ve done it—I’ve crossed over into dormitory living. I’m in a clean room with 4 bunks and my roommates — a Swiss guy, Martin, a Dutch gal, Sandra, and a cool Romanian (who speaks 5 languages and works for a bank in Geneva) — just walked in. We all end up hanging out, and now I have instant friends for the next few days. Oh—and the rate? Three dollars a night!