After gently simmering in the lowlands for a while we decided to drive up into the hills to find a cooler climate. The drive from Liberia starts off well but on nearing the lake the road becomes narrow, twisting and constantly changes elevation so becomes very slow.
When we reached the town of Nuevo Arenal – the original was flooded when the lake was formed by a dam – we found a community camping area where we could park right by the lake and camp for free. Brilliant! We are really enjoying the freedom of being able to free camp again. The elevation of 500m was also enough to take the edge off the coastal heat. The undulating hillsides here are more like Scotland or the Lake District (in unusually good weather) than Central America and it feels quite homely.