Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'Boutique' Hostal Essence Arenal

We were told there was much to see & do locally including hikes, kyaking on the lake, horse riding and zip wiring. David was up with the lark the following morning and walked a 45 minute trail near the hostel

He returned for breakfast at about 7am and we decided to stay another night. Now something as to be said about food. Essence Arenal is quite a way from the shops so it has a restaurant where Mario the Chef and his staff churn out very delicious vegetarian food. Heaven! Our first morning we had enough pancakes with maple syrup, cream and banana to keep a small village satisfied for a week! Anyhow, the day was spent relaxing in the pool

reading, gazing at the view, watching the huge variety of bird life both handcrafted
and delicately gifted

and of course the activity of the volcano. Evening meal was at 7pm. It is described as a 'demo' restaurant which means all the guests (there were about 20 of us eager beavers!) get to help out at one of the courses. I say courses because we are served 3 courses for about $12 bargain! Here is Mario preparing for the first 5 guests to follow his lead

Here are some guests preparing their own appetizer following Mario's example...first the lettuce goes into the bottom of the tin...
then avocado
followed by red cabbage
then potato salad and cherry tomatoes. With a little help from the bottom end of a beer bottle pressed onto the top of the tin the small tower of babel is gently eased out of the bottom of the tin
voilà! Delicious I think David might have found a new vocation or is it vacation!

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