Volcanoes, Bridges, and Waterfalls: More from Costa Rica

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a quick research trip to Oklahoma for my dystopian storm book.  (No, I don’t know what I was thinking scheduling two research trip so close together. My hiking boots aren’t even dry yet.)  But thought I’d share a few more Costa Rica photos before I go.

Morning spider web at Selva Verde Lodge

A few people have asked where we stayed. In the Sarapiqui region, it was a place called Selva Verde Lodge.  The rooms are in buildings, raised up on stilts in the rain forest, and covered walkways lead all over the property so you don’t get drenched going to dinner during the afternoon rains.

And it rains a lot.

Here’s the  hanging bridge that leads from the main property of Selva Verde, over the Sarapiqui River to the primary rain forest. 

And here’s one of the less exotic birds we saw on our morning bird walk around the area.

Chicken with Chili Peppers!

While most of the week was spent in Sarapiqui, we also stayed a couple nights at the Arenal Observatory Lodge near La Fortuna. This was the view from the room.

Arenal is an active volcano, and it was quite active while we were there. We were lucky to have some great views of the cone, since it’s almost always shrouded in clouds.  Every few hours, we’d hear what sounded like very loud, sudden thunder, and then see this.

At night, we could actually see red-hot boulders glowing as they rolled down the side of the mountain – something I’ll never forget.

The property at Arenal Observatory Lodge was lovely, too, and there was a great hike to a waterfall.

My friend Loree Griffin Burns, who was in Costa Rica earlier this year, told me that I absolutely had to go zip-lining while I was there.  I like and respect Loree a lot, so I signed up for the zip-lining thing.  What Loree neglected to mention was that this would involve taking a tram up the side of a mountain…

…and then flying back and forth, down said mountain at 40+ miles per hour on cables that were up to half a mile long and 600 feet above the ground. 

But there is something about Costa Rica, the beauty of the land and the friendliness of the people, that somehow makes this seem like a perfectly good idea. So off I went!

Can you see me? I am that tiny, scared speck zooming along in the middle of the cable.

Tomorrow, I’m off on a different sort of adventure — a quick trip to interview an incredible storm scientist and tornado chaser and to tour the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.  No tornado chasing on this trip, though…at least it’s not in the plans!