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Day 94 - Got up and had some breakfast and then got picked up for our tour. We headed to the nearby monteverde cloud forest which is pristine, very wet rainforest. The rainforest was pretty spectacular, very lush and massive trees and overgrown everywhere due to the warm and wet rainy season. We were going on a zip line canopy adventure. We were harnessed up with belts etc and then strapped onto zip lines and we held onto the metal line with our thick padded gloves and then flew from tree to tree before being unclipped by someone and then clipped onto the next zip line. We went through fifteen zip lines and some were as high as 1,500ft above the jungle floor. It was incredible flying through the canopy…very fast. Catherine got it for me as a belated birthday present and she did it as well and was a little nervous at first but ended up loving it. Then near the end of the zip line tour we did a jungle tarzan swing where we literally jumped off a step and swung through the air about 50m clipped into a harness again. Great fun. We then got back to the start and had lunch and a little sit down. And then we walked round the national park through a series of massive bridges which traversed across high above the jungle canopy giving great views…except that by now the rainy season afternoon rain had really set in. We had to wear full body bright orange waterproofs to keep dry or drier!! Then back to the hostel and out for a nice dinner where the restaurant was set on the second floor around a huge tree that has grown through the middle. It was massive and all the tabels were situated around it. Had a nice steak!
Day 95 - Had to be up at 7am for our transport to the next place called La Fortuna. Transport was firstly a jeep then a boat across a lake and then another jeep arriving into Fortuna at 10.30am in the end. La Fortuna is a small town situated 15km from a massive active volcanoe which was been erupting every day for 40 years…only at night mainly. Although there have been some massive eruptions at times in the past. We got ourselves a room and then headed out for lunch. In the afternoon we had a walk round the town and got a Jeep rental booked for the next day. Then in the evening, we cooked dinner in the communal kitchen at the hotel.
Day 96 - In the morning we went down to Alamo car hire to pick up our jeep and told the guy we wanted it for week as we now plan to drive up the Pacific coast of Costa Rica getting us towards the border with Nicaragua. The jeep is very nice, air con, four wheel drive for off road, and quite roomy! We had an action packed day planned to set off straight away. First port of call was Arenal Volcanoe and we did a walk through the jungle to a nice viewpoint and saw a few interesting birds along the way. Then drove to an amazing waterfall where we had to walk down quite a way through the jungle. But then you come out at an 80m waterfall dropping down a cliff into a huge plunge pool which we swam in and it was freezing!! Then the heavens opened and we set off back up! Then the final thing we did was drive to a very luxury spa resort called Baldi Springs where anyone can go and pay to use the facilities. It was awesome. They have 25 different pools or sproings ranging from 30 celcius to 67 celcius. They were carved out with waterfalls. Some were big like a swimming pool and others could only fit about 6 people in. It was so relaxing hopping from one pool to another and some had swim up bars where they had seats in the water for you to sit and have a drink at…rather nice!! And only cost nine pounds each! Stayed there about four hours and then we were absolutely starving and headed back to the hotel and got a take away pizza and then fell alseep about 8.30pm…shattered!
Day 97 - Not a great deal to report today…got packed up and then set off driving down the coast to Playa Tamarindo. Roads were pretty good most of the way and stopped off for lunch halfway and got there in about four hours! Playa Tamarindo is a nice back town on the Pacific coast good for surfing and very popular with Americans moving to live there. We found a little appartment which ahd a kitchen which meant we could cook to make things a bit cheaper. And had a nice pasta dinner in the evening. It was pouring with rain though when we got there!
Day 98 - Got up and had breakfast in the appartment as we had bought food in. Then had a walk down to the beach as the weather was alot better. Booked ourselves in for a two hour surf lesson at 11am which was great fun! Had an instructor who gave us some simple instructions on the beach before heading into the water. The key is speed, you need to jump uo quick as the wave comes behind you, while you are paddling along. We both managed to stand up and surf waves in towards the shore so were very pleased with ourselves. It was a good place to learn as the waves were not too big. Then went back for a well earned lunch. Cat had a little sun bathe by the swimming pool for a bit and then got too hot, while I watched the footy on TV. Then in the afternoon we had a drive up the coast to see some of the more remote beaches as the roads deteriorate, which means a lack of public transport. Found three nice beaches which we stopped at and had a walk along. Then back to base and cooked again!
Day 99 - Not much to report today as we drove down the coast to a nice little town called Playa Samara with a nice beach and found a nice place to stay run by a Canadian lady who had moved out here to live. Driving took about two and a half hours so not too bad, weather was pretty bad though. When it rains in Costa Rica, it really rains!! So we went for a crepe when we got here and had a look at the beach and hopefully weather will improve tomorrow for some beach time!!