So what do you do when you a) have some time to kill while waiting for parts to arrive, b) want to treat your spouse to a getaway for all his hard work and c) are craving the taste of a good, microbrewed beer? You take a trip to Costa Rica’s best (and only) microbrewery hotel, of course!
Volcano Brewing Company is located on a hill overlooking Lake Arenal (which sounds less like a kidney disorder if you pronounce it in Spanish as ah-ray-nahl), an easy two-hour drive from Marina Papagayo (no dirt roads!). It’s an all-inclusive joint, which means that for the price of a room (which is pretty cheap to begin with), you also get to eat all you want from their tasty restaurant AND drink all you want from the bar. You want to have four microbrews with lunch? Okay! You want to have five gin & tonics over dinner and then have two desserts? Do it! Although I don’t know anyone who’d do such a thing.Mila, the Volcano Brewing Company’s pup, shows her appreciation (Aaron is the best dog-petter I know)
The next morning after breakfast, we set out to explore the area with an eye toward hiking in the Tenorio Volcano National Park. It was windy, gray, cold and drizzly (very Seattle), but the scenery was stunning! Rolling, pastoral hills dotted with palm trees and cute cows fanned out in all directions. As we bumped and bounced down the red-dirt roads, we found ourselves mesmerized by the bucolic beauty. We even saw a pair of toucans!
As I mentioned, it was windy. Well, apparently that’s not a random occurrence, considering that in addition to farming cattle, they also farm the wind here. Dozens of giant wind turbines churned away on the hillsides.
While we made it to the beautiful national park with hopes of hiking to a blue waterfall, the mist that became drizzle finally became rain … and we wussed out. Yes, we’re from Seattle and know the joy that is Gore-Tex, but we figured having a few beers in the warm bar of the Volcano Brewery sounded a bit more enjoyable. So back over the rolling hills we went, keeping an eye out for anteaters.A break in the clouds
After lunch and a nap, we set out again (this time in the sunshine) for a “secret” waterfall. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the waterfall wasn’t really a secret, but it still made for a nice little hike. Besides, Aaron has a serious thing for waterfalls.
With our craving for delicious craft beers and gorgeous scenery satiated, we returned to Marina Papagayo refreshed and eager to get cracking. The very next day, more boxes arrived, and we got right back to work. Perfect timing, perfect getaway.