Though we spent 10 days at our villa, I wasn’t ready to leave. However. I was really really excited about fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing a live volcano. In person.
The road promised to be a bit adventurous, as roads in Costa Rica tend to be. But I found it to be more lovely than any drive I have taken in a while.
We stopped at Cafe Europa south of Liberia for some absolutely AMAzing pastries and coffee in the shade.
The hilly farm country after we turned off the Pan American Highway was so lush and green and beautiful.
We had to drive around Lake Arenal from the West – around every corner I wondered if it was the volcano that was hiding in the clouds.
We stopped at the magical Toad Hollow for lunch. They serve organic foods when they can, and exude loveliness from the little things, like tying the silverware rolls with blades of grass. Le Sigh. I would live there.
It was pretty obvious when we finally turned a corner to a head-on view of the Arenal Volcano. And it was in the clouds.
A coati ran up to greet us… or so I thought, until I realized it probably wanted some food.
Then there was a 30-minute drive around the volcano on a horribly pot-hold unpaved road (surprise). But it was worth it to get close at the Arenal Observatory Lodge.
Our room was graced at its entrances with hand-painted tile murals of orchids, and the glass wall looked out at our patio and the rumbling volcano itself. No tv, no phone. No closet. Just beds and a bathroom and the most amazing view.
And so we embarked upon 2 days of quiet and nature.