We arrived in Costa Rica on Sunday the 13th. We being 9 guys from North Louisianna and Texas united by a common love of the outdoors, good food and talking politics.
We were met at the airport by Christian, the husband of Judy the Lodge Owner (http://www.riop.com/). From there we checked into a hotel as we were not heading to the lodge until tuesday morning. This gave us a day to experince what the capital city of San Jose had to offer. After driving through the labyrinthian streets, dodging children and dogs, the smarter among us decided to book a guide to show us around tuesday.
Two of our troop, Kelly and Kevin, are trained and very successful geologists and, not to be too crude, had major wood for the surrounding area's volcanos. We made our way the next morning to Poas Volcano National Park. Though only a few kilometers away the drive took more than an hour due to traffic and the hilly nature of the terrain. We passed coffe plantations, banana farms, burnt out cars, and beautiful vistas overlooking the central valley. The higher you go into the mountains out side of San Jose the cooler it gets and the plants begin to change. In the lower elevations the flora is similar to central florida, but as you climb those plants begin to blend with evergreens and tree ferns, it gives the surrounding land scape an eerie primordial feel.
After arriving at the volcano and completeing the halfmile hike up to the cone, we were blessed with an amazing view.
The actual crater of the volcano, complete with sulferous fumes and a boiling acidic lake in the middle. It was truly amazing. You could hear the boiling and bubbling a mile away. After a few minutes of picture snapping and various incarnations of "Damn, look at that!" we decided to take a hike up to the old crater and look at the caldera lake that has formed there. As we climbed up the weather got even cooler and we were entertained by many different kinds of humming birds zipping through the gnarled trees.
The caldera was quite impressive.
After gazing at the natural world we found ourselves quite famished and asked to be taken someplace to eat, where catching a parasite would be less than a 50/50 chance. Our guide did not dissapoint. The food was good, clean, and very different from Mexican food. As I have been lucky enough to travel throughout Mexico and South America I have come to realize that only Tex Mex has the spiceyness that I am so accustomed to. Uruguayan, Chilean, Argentinian and Costa Rican foods are all very mild, making up for the lack of heat in other ways with textures and sometimes more earthy flavors or sweetness.
all right all right...I hear you...enough about the cultural stuff right? You came here for some fish......Well....stayed tune next time for some Tarpon and pictures of the lodge.
For now I will have to tide you over with a nice bass I caught the day after returning home:
Caught this fella at my spot in Mckinny, on a funky little bug.