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On the Lava Fields

Proving that adventurous travel is still very much on the cards with kids in tow, Lonely Planet’s Managing Director of Publishing Piers Pickard shares a favourite tale from Costa Rica


WE TRAVELLED TO COSTA RICA with our two children, Patience and Edward, and went hiking through black lava fields on the side of Volcán Arenal (main picture). Our walk started in the rain – this being the rainforest – but the clouds cleared as we ascended in the sodden heat, and we got the perfect view of a cone with a wisp of smoke (OK, maybe cloud) at the top. I like the picture above because it reminds me that Costa Rica was full of unexpected rewards. Some ‘gentle encouragement’ was necessary at the start, but at the edge of a field we found some sugarcane off-cuts and a hand-crusher. Liquid sugar did wonders for morale and enthusiasm, and the kids bounced through the rest of the hike. They were even more excited about our next activity: a hot spring with a swim-up bar.

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