Tuesday, March 31, 2009

True beauty lay not in people, but in nature.

Today, for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about Costa Rica. My sister in law and I spent nine days there three years ago, and it was one of the most amazing times of my life. It is such a gorgeous country, and I can't wait to go back!

On that trip, I saw something that the vast majority of of people will never see in their lifetime - an active volcano with active lava flow! Not only is it active, but the Arenal Volcano is one of the most active in the world, with several small eruptions of smoke, ash and lava daily. Although you can not see red lava during the day due to the reflection of the the light, it is there, slowly making its way down the mountain. The volcano often spits out boulders the size of cars (sometimes as big as a house!), which can be heard if one is close enough. Seeing this volcano was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!

Our second day in Costa Rica, we arrived at our hotel in La Fortuna, which sat at the base of the Arenal Volcano. This was the view from our hotel balcony!

A better look from the balcony. See all the ash tumbling down?
We took a guided hike through the Arenal Volcano National Park to get to the volcano. At this point, we were two kilometers away from the volcano. Our guide said that seven kilometers away is the distance that is considered "safe."
A pretty shot as we waited on the sun to go down so we could see...
...it's there at the tip of the cone on the left, but very difficult to see when it's not in full resolution...
...so we switched to night vision, and look at the glow near the cone and at the base- LAVA!!
We saw much more than what is in that particular shot, but it became increasingly hard to catch on camera. Plus, we were in awe of the sight, and we didn't want to watch through a lens!
The volcano cone is surrounded by clouds the majority of the time. This was the view outside our hotel balcony the next day. We were extremely fortunate to see it so clearly the day before.
As we left La Fortuna, we snapped another cloudy shot of the volcano from Lake Arenal.

Of course, these pictures are missing the thunderous sounds of ash and tumbling boulders, but I hope you got the gist of this awesome experience!


Lindsey said...

I love the new blog! Very cute! Congrats to your parents on their 30th. I am very excited about Canton!

Amber N. said...

wow its looks gorgeous, great pics :)

Ashley Smith said...

Hey there sister-in-law! That trip was fantastic. Let's go back!

Life at the White House said...

we spent a week in costa rica 2 years ago and i loved it! seriously our best vacation yet .....even better than our honeymoon! we stayed in the penthouse at issimo suites! amazing!!!!