Already for years a visit to
Costa Rica was planned. Although no special activity was to be
expected at present, I made this trip during the 3rd of
March 2009 to the 23rd. During these two weeks not only
volcanism was the main subject, also the flora and fauna was an
interesting part in addition.
It’s known that also in the dry season
the Arenal volcanic summit is often covered in rainclouds. For this reason I
planned I the Arenal visit directly at the beginning. The constant wind
supplies inexhaustible humidity of the Caribbean Sea, which is condensing in
the higher mountain ridges. First, at the Poas volcano, rain and nebula was
dominating. The friendly lady at the National Park entrance recommended to
me, to return once again because the sight was by Zero. In order to make it
short: This speech I heard often during the whole journey…
Driving through the beautiful La
Paz area in direction to the Arenal would have been the most elegant
way, but the earthquake a few weeks ago was destroying too much
infrastructure. Meanwhile the Poas craters were spared out of damage,
the northern flanks were badly battered. A later start from the north
showed the substantial road damage and slope chute, La Paz exists any
From this point there was no
other choice to take the way back and detour to the Arenal area. Now
there was the big question, the volcano or I. At the beginning various
and rich contacts with the endemic animals living in the area was made
up. A rhythm got into practice: During the day long walks and animals
observation - at night waiting for hours for the clearing up at the
volcano. If someone wants to give up sleeping, the Arenal offers ideal
opportunity in addition.
A clearing up in the night time took place during my visit in
the proportion of 1: 10000 (1 minute per week) for instance. After some days
the impulse to discover different areas of this country became more
intensive. After several sleepless nebula-nights I decided heading out for
Rincon de la Vieja in the Monteverde rain forests. And just in the evening
the whole slat again back to the Arenal for the next rain night. This
volcano anyhow was after 6 (!) nights for few minutes completely visibly.
However it showed thereby only a few glowing rolling lava boulders. You
could hear the sporadic Strombolian activity only in twice times per night
through the clouds.
Although I was close to the
summit and nearly in indivisibility, I didn’t succeed top mounting.
The ideal way was a forest path and then over an old gauging station
through some erosion canyon. Ascending the summit slope is laborious,
but unproblematic. However the weather was not too bad the incident
fog in the summit region made the further ascend senseless and
dangerous. During the countless night-hours during one week the
following activity behaviour was showed up:
Roughly all 15min a small glow
avalanche loosens itself. A few times per night a considerably large
avalanche is crashing down to the vegetation border and both into the
southern and western direction. Two or three times you can hear the
noise of the summit during the night, accompanied possibly with a
sporadic strombolian activity. All glow avalanches separate from the
western situated small dome at the summit crater.
edition of Murphy’s Law
describes the happening excellently
outbreaks and larger glow avalanches take place principle only
during cloud coverage
mounting in a clearing up weather condition the summit tightens
a short time before arrival again
daily trip in a other national park you can see from the
distance the completely free Arenal
laboriously the entire distance under continuous sun heating,
the Arenal surely draws up again in rain clouds in the
break off the night monitoring due to tiredness and endless
insect bites, it begins to clear up
clearing up you break off the provisional night rest
night rest, the highest summit point nevertheless remains in a
clearing up again suddenly extreme
humidity is existing, which tarnish the optics
if you wipe
off the tarnish to take a picture of the summit flag it will
the weak accu induced by the
if it is
passably clear, the next glow avalanche
summit steps again into a dense cloudy appearance, an unusual
return the next night back again with the opinion, it can’t get
not more worse, it draws up finally to
Result: hopefully the
activity of this volcano does not increase sometimes again,
because then the drama begins again.
Beim Besuch des Rincon de la Vieja Vulkan lohnt sich eine Gipfelbesteigung
wegen des interessanten Kratersees und eine Wanderung durch das im Wald
gelegene Thermalgebiet an seinem Fuß. Auch ?hier schlug wieder die
Gipfelwolke zu. Schönstes Wetter weit und breit, jedoch Regen, Wind und
Nebel am Gipfelkrater. Fünf Stunden Warten wurden mit 2,5s nebeligem
Seeblick belohnt, siehe Bild.
Das gleiche Spiel wie
eingangs angedeutet am Poas Krater, nur eine kurze Aufklarung vor
Sonnenuntergang erlaubte einen freien Blick.
Bei den höheren Vulkanen Irazu und Turrialba bleibt die Wolke oft unterhalb,
daher herrschen hier morgens oft gute Bedingungen.
Im Gegensatz zum überlaufenen Irazu mit seinem Kratersee bietet der
Turrialba noch unberührten Nebelwald. Auch der Quetzal ist hier einfach zu
beobachten. Die dortige Lodge, Wanderungen und Allradfahrzeugerlebnisse in
diesem urigen Gebiet und ein Sonnenaufgang an den Gipfelfumarolen Fumarolen
ließen diesen Vulkan mit Abstand zum schönsten Landschaftserlebnis dieser
Als Kontrast bieten sich zwischendurch die nahe gelegenen Küsten an. Aus
zeitlichen Gründen (Arenalduell...) blieb nur Zeit für die Pazifikküste.
Aber schon hier beeindruckt die für Europäer fremdartige Tierwelt ungemein,
bei Rundgängen oder Bootsfahrten kommt man ständig neues hautnah zu sehen.
Abschließend kann man Costa Rica jedem Tier- und Pflanzenfreund wirklich
empfehlen. Die vulkanische Aktivität ist derzeit recht gering, alle
besuchten Vulkane haben aber eine bewegte Geschichte und sind jederzeit zu
starker Aktivität fähig.