Yesterday two girls from my program and my host mom went to visit Volcan Irazú. Most of the students went to the beach this weekend, but I didn't want to forget all of my Spanish and get bored to death by just sitting on the beach for hours upon hours (I can't sit still that long). We left at 7 in the morning and made it to the top of the volcano about 3 1/2 hours later (Sounds far away, right? Only about 50 miles. Boy do I love public transportation in the mountains!)
The drive to the top was picturesque. Although in the dry season, this area still gets enough rain to keep everything green. It is a big area for the dairy industry, with dairy cows grazing the mountainside everywhere you look (yes, I thought I was in heaven, especially since you can see we were above the clouds!) There were also gobs of vegetable fields, including onions and potatoes. The yellow in this picture is some type of greens that has gone to seed.
This is a big flat area with volcanic rock sand with a desert appearance. The crater, which wasn't the most impressive I have seen, is just to the right. What a great place to play some football or soccer, right?
This is a photo when we were going up to the highest point (11,260 feet!) You can see how far we are above the clouds, and the other mountains across the valley.
This is another photo the other direction looking out over the clouds. You can also see the crater from here. From this point we ate lunch and relaxed for about 30 minutes. What a view for lunch!
Finally, this is a picture of Volcan Turrialba. Turrialba suddenly woke up in January when I arrived, and has been spewing gases and smoke for the last two months, killing most of the vegetation on the side of the mountain. If you enlarge this picture, you can see the smoke coming out of the crater.
Today, I had an awesome lunch that Rebekah, my host sister, made. We went to a festival that was the the center of our town, and now I am listening to the music drift this way thanks to the wind. What a great day to practice my Spanish. Another awesome weekend in Costa Rica!