This morning we got into the van (which by this point was becoming like my second home) and continued on our way (after coffee, again of course) to drive down the mountains to Lake Arenal. At the shores of the Lake, we met up with the boat driver, Markes Anchia, who took me on a boat tour of the Lake. He shared with me some of the fascinating history of the Lake, how it was flooded intentionally to provide a way for transporting goods across the deep ravine. He told me too that at one point in the 80's the level of the lake was so low, that you could see the steeple of the church from the a flooded village sticking out of the water. We were able to spot some birds along the shores during our boat ride, as well as some monkeys in the trees (who seemed very irritated that we were interfering with their nap time). Upon reaching the other side, we got out of the boat and waited for Marco to arrive in the van. He had to drive all the way around the lake, and although he said he would drive fast, we still beat him. The day was very cloudy, and I was a little skeptical that a huge volcano even existed, as you could not see anything! We watched some howler monkeys in the trees on the side of the road for a time, until he arrived. Then we hopped in and went about inspecting hotels along the road as we made our way into town.
After a full afternoon of inspections, we arrived at Lomas del Volcan, where we were staying for the evening. At Arenal Kioro the owner invited us to dinner and we did not want to miss it. Their dining room has gorgeous views of the volcano on the lava flow side, so at night, when it is clear, you can see the glowing red lava flowing down the side of the volcano. We were met in the lobby by a young man who was waiting for us; a nice touch that I was not expecting. We proceeded with an absolutely fabulous dinner, and great conversation (about what, I cannot remember). Towards the end of dinner, we heard some other dinner guests ooing and awing, and Marco and I looked up to see that the clouds had cleared and red lava was flowing down the volcano. We were amazed at the sight and immediately all conversation stopped while we gawked. The waiter came up to us and said he was a little surprised, because it had been doing that for at least 10 minutes already, but we had not noticed because we were completely absorbed in our conversation. He had figured that it just didn't fascinate us like it did other guests. After finishing up with dinner, we returned to the lodge where we turned in for the evening at the feet of the volcano.
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