Santa Claus in Costa Rica

Northpole 23rd December

Everything´s going well this year, i almost have all my presents packed and sorted onto the right sledges, the reindeers are ready to go. There´s just one slight problem with 3 children called Yannik, Fabio and Olivia. You see, the day before yesterday I had their presents packed on Donners sledge (he´s going to Honduras this year) but then yesterday one of my "santas helpers" who´s standing in a small store in Nicaragua spotted those 3 children there. So off I went and took the presents off to Dancers sledge as she´s going to Nicaragua.

Well todays the 23rd and now Yannik, Fabio and Olivia have been seen in Costa Rica!

I´ve put their presents onto Rudolfs sledge but I don´t even know if they´ll still be in Costa Rica by tomorrow evening, they seem to be travelling so fast.

Volcano Arenal

Somewhere over Costa Rica 24.December

Rudolf and I are starting to worry we´ve been to every village, town and city but we still haven´t found the three I told you about earlier. Costa Rica looks amazing thoug, even from up here in the dark sky. There´s a full moon which illuminates all the volcanoes and one is even pouring out lava!
Rudolf of course who´s favourite colour is Red (like his nose) really want´s to see all the fiery red lava. I´m not too keen as I´ve had some nasty experiences with fire whilst climbing down chimneys with my bag full of presents but anyway Rudolf persuaded me to fly the sledge closer so off we go.

Lava at the vulcano arenal

Wow this is really spectacular the whole earth seems to shake as the volcanos rumbles and groans (Rudolf says it sounds like my stomach when I´ve eaten to much!). Look now, lava is pouring out again and cascading down the sides, well I have to say this is really incredible. Wait a minute thought isn´t that a tiny little Christmas tree over there, lets go and look closer.
I was right. My old eyes can still spot a Christmas tree at 1000m.
Rudolf we´ve found our 3 children! Well they´ve certainly chosen a lovely place to celebrate their Christmas directly at the foot of this natural fireworks display. Let´s hope they enjoy their presents as much. Come on Rudolf time to fly back.

our christmas tree

We had a lovely Christmas at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Singing Christmas songs by candlelight with an erupting volcano behind us was certainly a new and spectacular experience. In the morning the children were really excited with their stockings. Yannik was amazed Santa had found us stuck in a small field of nowhere.
Staying on the subject of finding people in the middle of nowhere we had decided to go to the pacific coast for New Year to a small town called Dominical. On arriving there we met another small van filled with 5 (6 if you include the dog). The "Danis" from Starnberg (D) who are also travelling the Panamericana Route with Vincent (6) Valentin (4) and Valerie (1).

The Gang

We decided to spend New Year eve together and found ourselves along with 3 swiss kayakers a lovely deserted beach.

Our idyllic beach

After grilling dinner on the campfire we let off some early fireworks for the kids who then went to bed. We settled ourselves down for a quiet relaxing evening around the fire.
As we all sat there talking and telling stories of adventures had and adventures to come, no-one noticed for a while that the tide was slowly advancing. When we eventually saw at 10pm that water was only 15m away we began to have doubts about our super camping spot directly on the beach.
Rupert, always the practical one sprung in action and began hammering large sticks into the ground 5 meters apart. With stopwatch ready to began to time the tide. The race was on, would the new year be celebrated sitting around the fire or would we be underwater ? It took 15 minutes for the tide to reach the first stick and then 20 to reach the next. Full of confidence we assured ourselves the tide was slowing and would soon turn. For the next half hour nothing changed, the water stayed constantly about 2m´s from the campfire. The excitement was over we would stay dry. Then suddenly Tschisssch that familiar noise of water and fire, a sneaker wave had engulfed our campfire and our feeet!

a sneaker wave hits the fire

Unfourtunately it wasn´t just a sneaker wave and with renewed avengance the tide continued advancing. We celebrated New Year standing around a smoking pile of charcoaled logs whit the warm Pacific lapping around our ankles. Unique, I think so!
The new year had arrived but the suspence wasn´t over yet. The fire was now underwater and our vans were next in the line. As each wave crept a little bit closer we could only watch. Driving away was impossible as the way out was along the beach which was now underwate r. The swiss pick up was the first to get wet but it didn´t take long until a wave hit the Danis truck. With one grand final wave our tyres were also touched and then at last the tide retreated and so we did... into bed!

the next morning