Eke and Brian are Costa Rica Dreamin' - April 2008 travel blog

Boat across Lake Arenal.

Disembarking.

Horse assignment.

Eke and Gasparine.

The posse.

After 3 hours on horseback

View of Lake Arenal along the trail.

Fording a stream.

Brian and ¨horsey¨.

Broken bus forced some to walk a bit.

We drove along the edge of beautiful rolling hills.

The roads eventually wear trucks down to this.

Lunch stop.

Our final destination in Santa Elena. Rustic Lodge.


Hi All,

Ready at 8.30am to board the bus! A reasonable departure time!

Nice weather - a bit overcast but warm.

We left La Fortuna for a 20 min. bus ride to Lake Arenal.

This lake is man made to produce hydro electricity. The lake was dug in the 1970s. For that reason a dam was built. All electricity that Costa Rica uses is produced in the country itself. Approximately 90% is hydro electricity, 5% is wind and 5% is geo thermal.

There is lots of heat below the surface of the earth from the volcanic activity.

We carried our bags from the bus to the boat and went across the lake. It was sunny by then and we could see the volcano right behind us.

After 40 min. we disembarked. Our luggage continued on and we were each paired up with a horse!

We were told how to handle the reins which I forgot promptly because of my anxiety!

I was scared shitless to use some blunt language!. It does express though how I felt.

To Brianna - Beppe and Brian really do admire you for doing the horseback riding every week and enjoying it!

We were with 17 people on horses plus three men guiding us.

I felt very uncomfortable and out of control. These horses know exactly where to go on the path and most of them don't like to follow another horse's behind, so they compete for a clear spot.

Brian was okay and felt quite comfortable and in control.

I panicked for the first hour every time the horses decided to go into a cantor (or just a little jog!). Holding them back was really difficult because they follow the crowd!

My horse's name was Gasperine and was 10 years old. Brian was introduced to his horse but forgot his name!

I did learn how to control the horse better and also found out that when he started to jog I stood up more in the stirrups and did not bounce so much. I also experienced that I was not going to fall off the horse that easily!

I really did feel my sitbones though!

Brian had more trouble with his knees because his stirrups were too short for him.

Apart from all of that we had some beautiful views of the lake and the volcano. It was hot and we got dusty, hot and sweaty.

Halfway we rested under the trees. Again the horses knew where. We were treated to pineapple and water.

When we crossed little streams the horses would have a drink of course. It was a strange feeling when the horse bends down to drink and I had to try and keep my balance. One horse was hungry the whole time and he ate from every tree he saw!

We did this for 3.5 hours. Our behinds and legs were sore when we got off! The horses walked to their barn by themselves - they knew the way!

We had a bathroom and ice cream break! Did that ice cream ever taste good!

After that adventure we got into 2 vans and it was uphill from there on a rough gravel road. Our van could not make it up one of those hills and we had to disembark, get into the second van which had come back to rescue us after leaving its load up the hill.

The views were great! Green fields with trees, cattle and remote farms. We drove for an hour along the continental divide with lots of bumping up and down.

Lunch was in a town called Dos. Then another 45 minutes to Monteverde. The roads were all very rough gravel.

We arrived at our hotel The Rustic Lodge at 3.30pm and were very tired.

We rested a bit, took a shower and then I discovered that the skin on my sitbones was raw and I even have an open blister. Brian's knees have had a beating today!

We laughed at ourselves and say that now we walk like we are cowboys.

We did walk downhill to town - oh yes we are in Monteverde - and had a very good milkshake. Dinner with the group was good and after all of that we were ready for a good night's sleep.

Goodnight all.

Eke and Brian.

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