exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Monday, July 30, 2007
Cartoons and Craters
I was invited by a former student to go with him and some friends to see The Simpsons Movie last Friday. Getting movie tickets is serious business in the rainy season. He'd already gotten his on Wednesday. I took a chance and went on Friday afternoon. Luckily, I was able to get two (roomie went with us).

Then, of course, we had to get in line early to make sure we got good seats. That meant getting to the theatre almost two hours early. It was an odd way to spend the evening considering I wasn't even that interested in the movie. Since it's a cartoon, it was dubbed in Spanish (instead of having subtitles). I understood... some of it. But I missed much of the subtle humor, I'm sure. Really, it was just an excuse to get out of the house.

Afterwards, we went to a bar in San Rafael de Heredia called "Reflections." It was a great neighborhood place with classic rock videos playing on the wall and plenty of cheap beer. My student and I drank big liter bottles of Pilsen. Encouraged by the alcohol, I practiced a bit of Spanish. It amused everyone.

Sunday, me and the roomies got up very early so we could catch the bus to the IrazĂș Volcano. There's only one bus on the weekend and it leaves at 8am. The volcano is close to the city of Cartago, which isn't too far from San Jose, but it still took over 2 hours because of traffic, many stops, and slow-going up the mountain. The bus driver's "assistant" played the pan flute for us along the way. It was painful. People begged him to stop.

We were blessed with a clear sky when we got to the park. We had an excellent view of the crater lake.

Vulcan Irazu, Crater

Although the craters at Poas might be prettier, Irazu is nice because you can actually walk around in one of the craters and feel the lava rocks. You can see the plants and flowers up-close. And you can even see some animals if you're lucky.

Vulcan Irazu Vulcan Irazu, Plants and Flowers Vulcan Irazu, Wildlife

Plus, it's the tallest volcano in Costa Rica. Climbing to the highest point provides an amazing view.

Vulcan Irazu, Highest Point

More pictures here.