Here's what we did at Rincón taken from Judy Tomlinson:
Still exhausted, we all got up on Wednesday morning to go to Rincón de la Vieja volcano area for a 4 hour round trip hike to another waterfall. On the drive there Courtney and I kept wondering when the black top road was going to end and turn into rocks and dusts. We didn't want to talk about it and bring it on sooner. Fortunately it only ran out only 3km before our destination at Hacienda Guachipelin. Earlier the previous week, Rob and I had walked an hour in 90 degree heat out of town to the post office to mail Geoff's B-day card and Chayton's postcard. That was between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. We nearly expired. It was after that that I decided that I could take a 4-hour hike but not in that temperature. I was hoping that Rincón would be at a high enough elevation that it would be cooler. Unfortunately it was blazing hot at 10:30 AM. Fortunately our guide, Cesar, noticing the young children, offered us another option. He took us through the cooler dry forest, pointing out the various features of volcanic activity like boiling mud pots, sulfuric steam and geysers and springs so hot that you would boil to death if you fell in. We also saw huge ficus trees that strangle their hosts, a small snake on a tree, an iguana and lots of ants. If the ants invade your house, you must evacuate. They will eat every living thing in the house in 25 minutes and are therefore called exterminator ants. The forest rangers sometimes have to leave their ranger station and come back when the ants are gone. We heard but did not see howler monkeys.
It was only very hot when we left the forest for the savannah for the last 15 minutes of the hike. We had lunch at an open air cafe and then went on a shorter hike to a closer waterfall. It was a steep 15 minute hike down into a canyon and across a stream. On the other side we went up a flight of stairs to get a glorious view of the waterfall and the pristine blue pool beneath. Nothing was going to stop us from going in this time. The water was cold but not frigid, though Chayton did get shivery in about 5 minutes. For the rest of us it took 15 or 20. No one else was there but for our guide who waited for us. Just as we were about to leave a few other people arrived. We got back to our car, changed into dry clothes, bought trinkets at the gift shop and drove the hour and a half home, stopping in Liberia for some errands.
I don't know how the Allens did this, but Melissa cooked dinner that evening while Courtney returned the van. Rob and I went out to dinner and I was in bed by 9:00.
|At the Welcome Center|
|Crossing the bridge|
|Hiking through the "Savannah"|
|Swimming in the waterfall pool|
|The after-the-waterfall group shot|