Arenal

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Early this morning, we piled out of bed and ate at the hostel, served by the kindest, non-English speaking host. Then, we darted out toward the volcano, hoping to get an early start on our hike. As we hoped, we were the first people to arrive in the park.

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We took the trail that the ranger suggested was best for seeing animals, and all but tiptoed through the forest. Within minutes we’d begun spotting what would be the most wildlife-rich hike of our entire trip. There were big turkey-like birds, birds with a crazy warbling song, agouti, clear wing butterflies, and marks of peccaries. In our effort not to disturb the many creatures, we moved along in silence, meditative in the early morning mist.

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After an hour two, we’d arrived at the volcano overlook, though the pinnacle of the thing was still enshrouded in cloud cover. It began to get a bit drizzly, so we packed up and ducked into the canopy cover on our return journey.

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The trail was more populated in by late morning and so we chatted and greeted the plethora of tourists passing our way. Near the bottom, we passed a section of forest that was overrun with a variety of birds and the next fifteen minutes found Ben in the middle of a clearing, camera pointed at the sky, frantically waving our 300mm lens around while he captured blurry shots of everything in his sight.

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Back at the car, we drove up the the second overlook, which really yeilded us nothing more than our original hike had, but while we sat under the gazebo at the top, a toucan appeared in the branches of a very popular tree.

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