Today we slept in again. Following breakfast, we met up with our guide, Eduardo, to travel to Cerro Chato.
At first, the trek from the hotel to the Cerro Chato trail was rather easy. Once we arrived at the start of the trail, it become more difficult.
On the way, we encountered a crab (una congrejo). Interestingly, there's a trail nearby named for them that we went on the other day, without seeing any. There were some small waterfalls, though.
The climb up Cerro Chato was steep and at times treacherous. Muddy, rocky, and wet. But not as bad as if it had rained earlier. We paused for breath and water occasionally, with a few pictures here and there.
About an hour and a half later, we got to the top. It was a foggy view of the lake inside the old volcano crater. We paused, then descended inside of the crater. The inner descent was much more treacherous, at times seeming impassable. No time or space for pics on the way down.
On the way down, Kyra slipped into the mud and got her side and inner leg all muddy. Way to go!
At the bottom, we looked about, took in the scene, and headed back up.
Hiking like this is a mix of hiking and rock climbing. Going up it may be so steep you have to use your hands, and look carefully where you place your feet. It takes more strength going up. Going down, you have to look ahead and plan out your descent. Up is pretty much just the challenge in front of you.
Up the crater and down the volcano were rather straight-forward. We met some people going up who were already tired. They left too late, really. It was getting much hotter.
We completed the 5-6 hour trip in only 3.5 hours! Perhaps we didn't linger as long as others, but it did seem we were rather quick.
We attempted to nap after lunch, but were a bit too sore and missing home for that. Kyra had a massage (I insisted).
The massage was located at a separate building. It was a small building with 3 rooms or so. There was a waiting room and two massage rooms. When we arrived, the door was open, and the massage therapist was waiting outside for us. I sat down on a couch to write this journal entry up to the prior paragraph.
Let's just say I got interrupted.
The door was still open when Kyra and the massage therapist went in the other room. I sat, writing, when suddenly I saw some rapid movement out of the corner of my eye. I saw a Costa Rican squirrel, which was brown and red, run through the doorway underneath a screen blocking off the waiting area from a nail salon area.
I pulled the screen back and set it on the floor, angling it to move the animal back outside. Once I found it and scared it out, instead of going out, it jumped over the barrier and under the couch. Great.
I tried everything to get that bugger out. I found some towels and tried to shoo it out. Then I found a bag and tried to scare it out. At one point, it ran straight at me instead of the door, and we had a little dance in the waiting area, with me shaking a towel at it to make it go away.
Eventually, Kyra and the massage therapist were done, and the therapist came out. I had too look up "squirrel" (una ardilla) so I could explain what was going on. At this point, the squirrel was behind a coffee counter, and wouldn't move. The therapist grabbed a trash can and tried shooing it out. It ran under the couch again, and then she somehow got it to leave through the front door.
The whole time neither Kyra nor the therapist heard any of the scuffling. I even moved the couch at one point! And the squirrel frantically tried to escape by going through the window. They didn't hear any of it.
After the excitement at the massage house, we had dinner and a short hike around the hotel grounds.
Tomorrow we return to San Jose.