Posted by: marykfurness | December 27, 2011

Volcanoes, Research, and the Great Pink Paper Clip Caper

I am on the Internet, now in La Fortuna, Costa Rica– at the foot of the Arenal volcano.  I must keep this relatively brief, as the only place to get a signal is in the dining room of our hotel, and I don’t want to be in the way. 

Suffice it to say–we spent an incredible morning at INBioParque, a biological research park near San Jose, touring areas set up as dry forests, rain forests, butterfly areas, and more, all for research and greater understanding of animals and plants.  This was marvelous, and beautifully done.  Then a hike to the Poas volcano–still belching smoke and  sulphuring fumes from a greenish pool that looks like positively evil and strangely beautiful at the same time.  The road trip from Poas here to La Fortuna was over one-lane, twisty-windy roads that gave several of our people cases of the tummy heebie-jeebies; I tried not to think about it.

But when we arrived here at our little cabins, I and my intrepid young roomies discovered something; our toilet was non-functioning.  We investigated the tank, and discovered the chain and the flapper valve had separated, and would not stay together.  What to do?  No Lowe’s, no Home Depot, no Ace Hardware!  BUT….I never leave home without paper clips, rubber bands, and duct tape; I dug out a lovely pink paper clip, and held a flashlight for roomie number 1, who worked the two parts together, and eh, voila!! (or the Spanish equivalent!) One toilet McGyver’d together and working in fine style!!

Now a shower, and sleep; tomorrow a hike in the rain forest, a visit to one of the great waterfalls, and a soak in the local hot springs at the end of the day. Oh, and coffee. Lots of coffee.  After all, this IS Costa Rica.

(Pictures will be downloaded soon–promise!)



  1. A McGyver repair without a Swiss Army knife — now that is impressive.

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