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Volcanos of Central America

Volcan  Arenal, Costa Rica Dec. 2007

A. Heidl, Th, Boeckel

The tracing along the origin was performanced impressive during our stay at many places in Costa Rica. Starting with the primal reptiles, like the iguana as well as the primeval world looking crocodiles the still existing primary jungle at the fiery Arenal was offered, and a smoothly time slip into the past began.

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Beginning with the crocodiles the last survivor of the Archosaurier. Here they lie in the Rio Tarcoles spooning with old motor-car tires. Arranging a closer inspection you will displaced in a primeval worl mood. Imagine what will be if the knobby reptiles would be 20m bigger like there prehistoric time fellows in the dinosaur time. You can achieve a similar effect by sneaking up to a crocodile to 3 meters. After the locations at the river banks permitted this, such a reptile quite works impressing and the size of five meters is then more than enough. The mental time jump began.

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Like in a submarine port the always hungry companions lurks in the river. The long neck of the cattle points out the fact, that an attack from the calmly waters is at any time possible. Normally they are extremely shy obverse humans. Thus, some stalks failed far before we got into range for the cameras.

Except one crocodile, which wanted to jam Andreas ....

(click to the report, only in german)



It does not often happens that a crocodile  comes so close to humans. This, human not shy oldie was attracted by striking a half chicken on the water surface. Slowly it swum towards the experienced feeder by luring the giant animal out of the water. Amazingly he is missing in the next picture. Nevertheless applause!

El Volcan  Arenal

Maps & Infos     ©  by Smithonian Institute


From the Crocos and Saurian of the Rio Tarcoles we headed out for a further archaic point. Here our target was to ascending to the top of the volcano Arenal. Already from the coast you'll notice that the central mountain ranges were always covered with clouds caused by the cooling down damp of the carribian currency. Before some people explained to us, " The Arenal you can forget, this volcano you will never see". And so it happened at our arrival. Violent rainfalls, which adjusted themselves only far after midnight welcomed us. From the volcano not a little to see, somewhere in front of us, it  have to be?


Easily frustrated we drove on the next morning into the town Fortuna on the eastern side of the volcano. Here, an owner of a restaurant explained to us that it already rained here for nine days nonstop. Very nice, I think we can probably check off this mountain.



How the upper pictures demonstrate, it should become differently in the Geminide- night (strongest meteor shower in the year) on the 14th-15th of December. During the day a friendlier weather inclination announced itself, but couldn't reveal the Arenal up to 23:00. Now it became more exciting and with each minute to midnight  the nebula coat got thinner. Finally starting from 1.00 we could admire the free standing volcano with its fiery lava chutes in a full splendour. Together with the meteor shower (up to 200 Meteore per hour) all celestrial and terrestrial impressions met strengthened at once.

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Up to this point of time however no eruption noises could be heard from the summit range.


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The nearly cloudless weather continued, however a rainy mood in the afternoon was present. Nevertheless further photographies could be developed at the second night half starting from 2:00.


A coati-mundi attack at the northern side of the Arenal

After the return from the volcano Rincon de la Vieja (photos soon) to the Arenal, meanwhile renamed  from us in ' Urinal ', really bad weather was offered to us. After five nights drumming rain and achieving a swimming course outside of our tent we really understood that we should donate large candles for the first nights. On the western active side of the Arenal the weather-catastrope continued till the 19th of December. During this period however partially violent eruption noises could be noticed by us.

Volcan Rincon de la Vieja


1/100 sec of art. The muddy bubbles at the volcan Rincon de la Vieja

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However the tree world at the river banks of Arenals east plains (dry zone) hid an unbelievable fascinating secret. Here numerous iguanas of all kinds and couleur could be observed easily. These primeval worl looking reptiles were not particularly shy, and so you could creep up to a few meters to the tree occupier larger than 150 cm.

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 A further tree occupier, the Toucan


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 ©2008, Photos und Text by Thorsten Boeckel (tb), ©  2008, Photos Andreas Heidl (ah), Last modification 20.01.2008

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