Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Parque Nacional Volcán Poás

Jessica, Leonie, Amy and Thomas with the cloudy view of the crater!

The day before we headed off to the south of Costa Rica, we took a day trip to the active volcano Poas just 40km north of Heredia. We went along with Leonie, from Germany and Jessica, from Quebec, both from our classes at Inturcultura. We had to take a bus from Heredia, which unnecessarily took nearly an hour, to meet the two girls at the Volcan Poas bus in Alajuela. We were running so late and once we arrived, we were frantically rushing around town trying to find the correct departure point. Luckily, once we found it, the girls had a space right at the front of the long queue, so we cut in with them and thankfully had a seat on the ride, as some people had to stand it was so packed. The ride up the mountain was slow, the streets were narrow and reasonably steep and as it seems despite the short traveling distances all round, it still takes some good time to get about anywhere in Costa Rica. Amy was stoked to spot a farmer from the bus, with two oxen pulling a traditional, colourful, wooden carriage over the windy hill road.

We got to the national park and not to our surprise we were sitting in the middle of the clouds, with only a few meters of visibility. Not great for seeing into the 450-meter deep crater. This was however not unexpected. We were aware that after about 10am there was almost a certainty that we wouldn’t be able to see much, but using the public transportation we had virtually zero options for leaving any earlier than 9.15am. It was a 15-minute walk to the crater summit and we stood at the viewing area looking into the mist of the clouds. We then walked to Laguna Botos, a lake within an extinct crater and had a similar scenario pan out. It was interesting being in the thick forest with the clouds whisking around though.

Laguna Botos

Thankfully, when we were looking into the white abyss, the cloud started to clear and we caught sight of the lake edge followed by a lovely setting of the mountains, lake and forest. As quick as it cleared, the cloud returned. It was a remarkable sort of unveiling though and only added to the mood. We quickly rushed back to the crater hoping for a clear view there too. We were in luck! We stood in awe for about 10 minutes with a spectacular view into the crater and even out to the slopes of a large debris field from the 1994 eruption and off out to the valley and the towns below. Thomas clambered up some rocks for a cool photo angle and as expected, was told off!  The guy didn’t seem too worried though, he was probably just thinking, another damn gringo!

After the nice ride back on the bus, we took a walk in Heredia to find a coffee farm and café on the outskirts of town called Café Britt. We saw some coffee fields and as we had been told, it was definitely the most beautiful place in all of Heredia. Amy defiantly enjoyed a coffee every morning in Heredia and was blown away with the quality and taste.

After our week in Heredia, we still hadn’t figured out what we wanted to do with our time in Costa Rica, but we did decide not to stay in Heredia. Thomas sorted us out with a work for accommodation set up at a resort in the Gulf of Dulce. So off we went…

The crater of Volcán Poás

1 comment:

  1. There is something about being on the edge of a smoking volcano that's a bit scary. What an adventure though.
    Love Mum