Before going to Costa Rica we had read that Arenal is one of the only ten active volcanoes in the world, sprinkling with lava and throwing stones resembling the sounds and spectacle of giant fireworks. We were in for a surprise.
Written by Mette / Photo by Martin
Translated from Danish
“Pull up them skirts!” I shouted in frustration and shrieked at the big gray cloud just outside our villa. It hung like a sky-high cloth between the Arenal volcano and us. Only the bottom was visible – what a tease. It’s all we have been looking at since we arrived in La Fortuna four days earlier. Occasionally the cloud banks lifted just enough to get us exited – but alas they kept dropping again. Imagine if we missed the nanosecond where all of the conical body appeared?
The view of the world-famous volcano was supposed to be a highlight at the end of our road trip in Costa Rica. Literally. We had read that Arenal is one of the only ten active volcanoes in the world, sprinkling with lava and throwing stones resembling the sounds and spectacle of giant fireworks. “A volcanic eruption guarantee” a Danish travel agency wrote on their website.
Therefore, we had planned to sit on the terrace in the outdoor Jacuzzi, in our luxury villa (with the world’s largest and most corny bathroom – the shower is a mini waterfall) and dwell on the sight of one of the most powerful and scary wonders of nature. In the company of a cold bottle of white wine. Obviously!
Instead, the view became one of our low points … And the low point was already low. Allow me to explain by just turning the time back to one of our very first days in Costa Rica, where we met a Canadian expat who asked for our Costa Rican travel plans.
We listed: San José, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Montezuma, Santa Teresa, Tamarindo, Monteverde, La Fortuna and – of course! – Arenal Volcano. And then the man said something that made us feel that he verbally pulled our pans down and slapped our rears.
“But – have no one told you
that the volcano died last year ?!”
Personally, I wish that he had taken a picture of our facial expressions as he broke us the old news. It would have been the reason for man good laughs for years to come. Another ‘funny’ fact: The cloud banks lifted the day after our departure. And yet another photo-op of us looking like fools. Argh!
At the former Volcanic Observatory, the Arenal Observatory Lodge – which is now converted into a popular hotel – we got the evidence of the death of the volcano: The seismographs in the scientists’ control tower did not move an inch. At least not for the five minutes we was starring angrily at it…