Hi,

We were driving again to the Arenal Volcano to actually get as close to the actual volcano as we could in the national park when we came across a pack of coati:

As you enter Arenal National Park, there are a number of signs warning you that you enter at your own risk:

A number of the signs give official evacuation routes, warnings to follow the instructions of the rangers and even if caught in an eruption, to wet an article of clothing and breath through it to keep the dust out of your lungs.  Arenal erupted something like three hundred years ago and then went dormant.  Then in 1968, it erupted spewing rock and lava all over.  It was again quiet until 1992 when it again erupted and this time just spewed rock (no lava).  Here are a couple of pictures of lava rock spewn around the highest elevation you are permitted:

Tucked away among all this lava rock are some pretty hardy plants like these orchids:

Here’s a picture of Arenal from in the park.  You can actually see steam escaping from inside the volcano along the slopes going up to its peak.  And as you are standing there, one vent stops spewing and another starts.  Some vents are kind of wispy, some are more intense.

Also, down at the lower elevations where there’s some halfway decent flora there’s this HUGE tree, the only one of its size we saw:

For scale, look at the guy in the blue in the picture above and Dave in the picture below:

There’s also one of the many trees with their roots above ground that pretty much looks like a giraffe:

And then at the parking lot, there was this flock of blue birds flying around:

Today, we went up to Monteverde, it may be the highlight of our trip.  The orchid garden was AMAZING (as was the tour guide), we went to a frog park and zip lined!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :)  Tomorrow’s post may be entirely pictures of the amazing orchids.

One of my blog followers (and past guest) told me New Jersey got eight inches of snow Sunday.  I’m really lovin this down here.  J

ed

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