Published: July 9th 2010July 8th 2010
Just when I think I've just left a town that surely must hold the stray dog record high, I find myself in Fortuna, surrounded by throngs of them, all ribs and big black eyes, and how you could resist wanting to take every single one of them home with you, I don't know, because in spite of the shitty lots they've been dealt in life, they remain perky and endlessly affectionate (even if you don't have a single bite of food to pass their way), and never rude. They wait patiently to cross the street along with other pedestrians, trot along the sidewalk as if they actually had somewhere specific to head to, and sit patiently beside your park bench while you stuff your face with a sandwich, just on the off chance that you might feel inclined to share. If the animal airline (yes, they really have one!) wasn't so crazy expensive, you better believe I'd have a posse of them en route to Carrollton faster than you can say dog biscuit.
I also decided while in Fortuna that an ideal life plan for me might very well be to find my favorite places in the world, build cute
little cabin hostels in each, and hop back in forth between them, while living off the little bit of money I'd make from renting out rooms. Wouldn't that be the life!
Fortuna on a cloudy day looks like just another cute Costa Rican mini-city, with loads of Sodas and souvenir shops, a central park with a bright white church nestled in the middle, and enough adventure travel agencies to make you dizzy with confusion over which to pick. But arrive on a clear day and you realize that towering over this little town, acting as a postcard perfect backdrop to the park , there happens to be a volcano (which, when covered by a post-rain haze or heavy morning clouds, blends in with the grays of the surrounding mountains, and could easily go unnoticed. The Arenal Volcano is one of the most active in the world, and if you're lucky enough to get catch it in the early evening when the light is leaving the sky and the cloud seem to drift elsewhere, you can see it spew out red hot rock and crackling embers, which spark and tumble down its sides. We caught it on the fourth of
July (best fireworks ever!), when it was feeling particularly rowdy, because its thunderous displays of smoke were louder than usual, and the fizzing flow of red-orange (which is barely discernible in the dark of some evenings), came pouring down the its sides in such steady streams that we wondered if we ought to be concerned. They do say it is due for an eruption any day now....
There are more photos below