After the Costa Rica conference some people stayed on for a day to journey to a volcano, the jungle and a river boat ride.
We met very early with a quick breakfast and the chance to say goo bye to Sheeri and Tim who were flying home and unable to do this trip, although both had done something similar in Ecuador which i had missed. Then it was back to the university to take the coach at 7am, except if course 7am LA time was nearer 7.30.
First stop was the church which although in ruins now had never actually been finished, there were simply too much seismic activity here. Then it was up to the Izuru volcano, and I never tire of seeing these geological phenomena. It as fascinating to see where one crater that had been 85 m deep was now full of ash from the last eruption of the next crater in 1963.
Then it was back down from 3000m to the rain forest but first a Costa Rican breakfast, which seems to be identical to lunch and dinner. Eggs, fried or scrambled, meat, some salsa, rice and beans and fried plantain (banana). This one however was excellent.
Our guide Mauricio was very knowledgeable and had great English except every sentence started with 'my friends'. After what seemed a very long drive through the rain forest with many traffic jams , e later discovered that this was the main highway to the port, we turned off towards the river.
We were met with welcome refreshments and fresh fruit and then it was off down the river with Mauricio pointing out many birds, turtles, iguanas, 3 large caiman and howler monkeys are we travelled to our next stop. Lunch.
Costa Rica is also known for it's smaller wildlife frogs and butterflies and not so small snakes. To ensure his guests always get to see these animals Mauricio has some captive and it was good to experience the full range.
Back on the boat to return to the bus and the journey back to town. One thing I learnt in all Latin America was that driving skills are very different from ours. Lights in the dark did not seem mandatory on our mini bus which was very scary. Overtaking large lorries is OK on either side and closed eyes for passengers is often a must. Also seeing armed guards in car arks for the lorries was disconcerting but in general I felt much safer than the guide books or travel warnings suggested.