Costa Rica Day 4

The rafting left us a bit achy the next morning so we decided to take it easy today. After a slow morning and breakfast at the hotel, we drove about 20 minutes to get around to the other side of the volcano to visit the Hanging Bridges.

Hanging Bridges is a private reserve of about 600 acres of protected rainforest.  There's a two mile trail through the rainforest including many suspension bridges to get back and forth across the valleys in the volcano's shadow. The bridges provided some great views of waterfalls and Lake Arenal. We didn't see a lot of wildlife but it was a nice, peaceful walk. 

After the hike, we headed back to our hotel and had a light lunch.  We then spent the afternoon reading and napping (we make sure we include that into all our vacations). For dinner, we headed to La Fortuna to find a steakhouse mentioned in our Lonely Planet guide. After driving back and forth a few times, we gave up and have to assume the place has closed since the book was published. Instead, we ate in town at the Lava Lounge. While the place was clearly a bit Americanized (Mike had a cheeseburger), it was nice in that it was a bit busier than anyplace else we've been--the downside of going off-season is that almost everyplace is deserted! Like all the restaurants we've seen, it's an open-air building.

There were several street dogs wandering in and out of the restaurant (we'd seen them on our walk through town a few days earlier and Kathie pet them for a bit), so once our food came Kat gave them some treats.  The dogs were very well-behaved; they come up to the tables but if you show no interest, they just walked away.  Even when they want food, they just lay down by your table and wait for scraps without begging.  One of the waiters noticed Kathie feeding the dogs and said that the owners of the Lounge would often give scraps to approximately 14 of the street dogs in that area during the day.  The waiter did offer (jokingly) one of the dogs for Kathie to take home but we're pretty sure our dogs wouldn't have been pleased with that vacation souvenir.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.