In the same area as the volcano there is a trail which leads back to a secluded lagoon. The trail wove through a dense tropical cloud forest. Along the way the sun's rays cut through the thick foliage resembling gauze curtains. The trail was quite steep and coupled with the high elevation our breathing became heavy. My husband described it as "football breath". Orchids and bromeliads clung to the trees.
The path was somewhat crowded that day. Not only several people from our tour but a loud group of young adults speaking a mixture of English and Spanish shared the trail with us. Our efforts were rewarded by the sight of the beautiful lagoon surrounded buy the thick forest laid out below us. Birds could be heard but not seen. An occasional butterfly flitted by as we hiked along.
Returning to the bus we continued on to that day's lunch. The restaurant clung to a ridge, it's open air dining room sporting an expansive view of what seemed to be half the country. It was accessed by a drive requiring a tight turn off the main road. Our bus drivers expertise was evidenced by his managing to make the turn without striking the handsome, hunky, tattooed, barechested boy standing along the edge of the drive texting. Roosters crowed and more butterflies fluttered from bush to bush in the garden below us.
Our last stop of the day was a miniature coffee plantation. We were first given an adequate amount of time to sample several coffees before deciding which of the tasty brews to purchase. This was followed by a wildly humorous description of the process of coffee production from seedling to cup. Two men, one of whom redefined the term silly, provided us with more information than I ever thought existed about my morning beverage of choice.
Enroute to the plantation we met with a fierce storm. Lightening flashed in the afternoon sky followed by the boom of thunder. The deluge made all of us grateful that we were in the dry confines of the bus. Water spewed from drainspouts and poured down the gutters of the streets. It was the first of many storms we were to encounter on this trip. Costa Rica receives over 100, in some areas 200, inches of rain a year. Excellent for coffee growing, inconvenient for tourists. A large tree was blown over by the storm necessitating a snaking crawl through small side streets by our rather large bus.
The first of several early morning luggage pickup and departure times meant my repacking us prior to dinner. I was a model of efficiency making a detailed list of what I had packed where. The only challenge was remembering where I had packed the list. We dined as soon as the restaurant opened then retired to our room falling asleep to the sounds of college football, dreaming of our 5:30 wake up call the next morning.