After a fresh homemade breakfast of papaya, kiwi, banana, eggs, avocado, tomato and of course coffee, our hostess Marlene coordinated with the car rental company to have our vehicle delivered to her house. Her daughter Marisa was also visiting from Nicaragua and gave us a Chorreador (Costa Rican coffee “machine”) that she made and painted as a wedding gift. These two are what you imagine when you hear of friendly locals. Marlene grew up in the house next door and her parents now rent it out to the kindergarten. They gave us hugs and blessings and then we said our goodbyes.
We stopped at a supermarket in downtown Liberia to get coffee, a large container of bottled water, cooler and ice and a some snacks for the road. I’ve read about the soda stands and how fresh and affordable they are. So we looked up the closest one and stopped for an early lunch. Our goal is to avoid getting hangry so we eat often. The soda was located in a market that sold fresh produce, meats and cheeses. Probably where the sodas shop. The meals are simple, coffee, rice, beans, cheese, bread. The local hot sauce, labeled salsa, reminds me of medium Taco Bell sauce but better (I know, it doesn’t seem possible but it is). We will live off this simple meal as well as Casado, which translates to “married”!
The road to La Fortuna is winding, bumpy and full of single lane bridges. Last time I came to Costa Rica I had a stick shift and remember getting leg cramps from shifting so much so this time we splurged and got an automatic. We took our time navigating as the roads are narrow, walls of rain appear out of no where and retreat just as quickly. As you leave the city the landscape turns into mountain farm land with cattle, horses and sheep. Beautiful and quaint houses and even a wind farm. About half way along the drive we came to the start of Lake Arenal. It is about 33 square miles and the road winds high above the shore with tourist shops, sodas and tour companies. This area is extremely popular for the rivers, waterfalls and views of the volcano from the lake. We’ll stop here on our way to Tamarindo area later in the week. Today we stopped once for drinks and continued to our next Airbnb.