Page 5 of Tarfeathers Travel Blog Posts

A frantic start to the day. We were relaxing after breakfast when our bus arrived. It was a half hour early so it was a scramble to pay our tab and finish packing. We were the only ones going to the capital so lots of seat choices. We took the same road back to the city but it is always nice to see the same thing from another perspective. Though it was only noon, traffic from the outskirts to downtown was heavy. With all the one-way streets, a GPS is essential to get around. We finally stopped at our hotel, the Santo Tomas, . It looked ok from the outside but the surrounding buildings are somewhat dilapidated. Man, it is noisy on this street! Have to ring a bell to get through the barred gate. ... read more
Long View Across the Plateau
San Jose Building 1
San Jose Building 2

Zip-lining is on today’s menu. The last of our extreme (to us) adventures. We were supposed to leave at 9am but it was delayed a couple of hours. At first it looked like we would again be the only customers but at our arrival at base camp, around the other side of the volcano, we were joined by 3 young Russians. The mountainside is more green here and the ravines formed by the lava flow less visible. The man was huge, at least 6’5 and with a belly to rival my own. We both got fitted with a double harness. There was a short practice run to make sure we understood the four basic commands and then into the back of the truck for a bumpy ride up the base of the volcano. This part of ... read more
View Across the Park in Fortuna
Bird on a Fence Post

As has become my habit of late, the first thing I do upon awakening is look out my front door to gaze at the Arsenal volcano, but today with some trepidation. Today is the day we are going to climb it. It sure looks high, and steep. We have until this afternoon before the bus arrives so we spent the morning just lazing around. I even had a rare morning nap. After all, it is a vacation! Shortly after getting on the bus, I learn that we are to hike only as far as the end of the lava flow. The peak cannot be accessed from this side. I had misread the information during my research. I was half relieved, half disappointed. Nevertheless, we had a very informative hike. Our guide was very knowledgeable about botany, ... read more
Rain Catcher
Red Blossem 2
Mosaic Tiles

More water sports today. White water rafting with Wave Experiences is on the menu. I chose the class 2&3 rapids tour. Claudette decided to take the day off. She has had enough of getting her face wet after the rappelling adventure. Our destination was about an hour out of town. The guide, Fabio, gave an entertaining introduction and monologue to keep us amused along the way. After a brief pit stop, we turned off the main road to reach our starting point. There were 70 people signed up for today’s river descent. Each raft held six people. It was a mad scramble and lots of wasted time as people tried to decide who they wanted to go with. There were some over-sized groups. Easy for me. I just latched myself onto a group of five. ... read more

Woke up to a strange noise this morning. It sounded like me breathing 10 years ago when I was a heavy smoker. I think it was a sick donkey in the adjacent field or maybe a monkey We wandered up to the reception area for a full and hearty breakfast in preparation for our day of rappelling through waterfalls and river canyons. I have always thought it might be fun to try after watching it on “The Amazing Race”. It didn’t look too strenuous but might take a little bit of coordination. Right I was. We were picked up in a van by the guide from La Roca Tours and headed off through a rough trail through the jungle. After being strapped into our harness, we were led to the edge of a cliff for the ... read more
Leaf Bug

Early start today for a river nature cruise. The kind people at Eruptions prepared an early breakfast and we were on the bus at 7am. We were the first to embark so we got to see some of the other tourist lodgings, including high end spas and a five star backpackers resort (not quite as nice as our place). The river we were to explore is about 15 km. from Nicaragua, an hour drive from Fortuna. It is slow moving and the banks are held together by large drooping trees. We saw different kinds of monkeys, caimans and about 10 different kinds of birds. Couldn’t get pics of them all as the zoom on my camera is not powerful enough. After about 2 hours, we headed back to our starting point for a buffet lunch. A ... read more
Who Me?

Off to La Fortuna to brave fate that the volcano will not blow it’s top while we are there. I suppose living here is like living in L.A. or Vancouver. People just go through their lives knowing that they risk certain death waiting for “The Big One”, which will dump them into the Pacific Ocean. The road was much better than I had been led to believe. Paved all the way and only a 50 km section that wound its way up and down, round and round the mountain range. Not being sure of the local bus service or road conditions, we hired a tourist van for transport. Well satisfied with this so we will continue with this option for the rest of the trip. We arrived at our destination about noon and were warmly greeted ... read more
Arenal Volcano from our Room
Good Restaurant
El Novillo Steak House

Like many airports around the world, as soon as you clear customs, a swarm of hawkers offering lodging and transport surrounded us. Claudette got disorientated but was sound enough to choose the right coloured taxi. Thirty seven dollars Can. to downtown. Our hotel, the Fleur de Lys, is a converted old colonial mansion about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. The renovations are tastefully done with respect for the original fabric. Lots of fine wood wainscoting. Many grand open public spaces on each floor. Colourful artwork on the walls. Our room was large with high ceilings. We went for a walk to stretch our legs after our long flight. The city is quite clean. Very little litter. Not even many cigarette butts. We saw very few people smoking. No smoking in restaurants ... read more
Fleur de Lys Hotel
Terrace  Hotel Fleur de Lys

North America » Canada » Quebec March 18th 2015

Wow. Finally back on the road again after 7 years of short, infrequent trips back and forth to the Maritimes. Now off to Costa Rica on March 19 to see what is to be seen and to determine if we can still do adventurous things like river rafting, climb volcanoes, zip-line... I have a 5 hour flight during which I will try to figure out how to post and take pictures using my new tablet and Windows 8. I was perfectly happy with Windows XP. So much for new and improved! In retrospect, I did not hug a sloth. These creatures are elusive and if you do get close, it is not a good idea to hold one. Firstly, their fur is almost green with living organisms. Secondly, their skin is very sensitive to soaps, insect ... read more

North America » Canada » Prince Edward Island February 12th 2006

We made it home just before a major blizzard hit. Thank you, Belinda, for giving us a heads-up and meeting us half way with Tuck. It was so refreshing to feel the wind-blown snow on my face. I don't know how many times over the last month I had been dreaming of the sensation, given the dry 90+ heat of SE Asia. Last night was the Snow Moon. There was enough snow on the ground that the light reflecting from the sun on the full moon bouncing off the snow made interesting shadows of the bare branches. Almost enough light to read by. ... read more
Where's My Shovel
View from Home

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