Joined May 2016 Message
  • Day39

    Show me the Way to San Jose

    February 6, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    It all went smoothly, at least after the bumpy first 60k or so and the last 15k through the traffic of S. J. The whole journey took 8 hours door-to-door so we simply went out for a last local meal (rice, beans and chicken) before retiring at the respectable time of 10pm.
    Mind you on the way we did see some C. R. wildlife as in the pics!
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  • Day39

    Time and Tide

    February 6, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Another gentle start to the day! After a leisurely breakfast it was down to the beach again but this time we turned South and headed for some tide pools about 1k away. These turned out to be quite small but a very cooling dip after the long walk. As we sat there several long skeins of Pelicans passed overhead heading south. Graham was ic photos of both but failed to notice it wasn't taking so sorry no pics!
    We returned to the lodge in time for lunch and lazed the afternoon by the pool only stirring for what we thought was going to be a stroll along one of the forest paths.
    This turned out to be rather harder than we imagined and shortly after Graham muttered 'I hope we at least see something!' I very nearly stepped on a large snake. It was around 2m and wrist thick, a small boa constrictor we were later told. We then came close to a troop of howler monkeys whose noise considerably increased as we approached. We arrived back at the lodge with a slight sense of relief!
    Sundowners and dinner later we started packing for the long trip back to San Jose tomorrow.
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  • Day37

    Relaxing El Romanso style

    February 4, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    A lie in! Yes, today we had no programme to follow so we luxuriated with tea in bed before a swim in the pool followed by a late (by recent standards - 8.15!) breakfast.
    We then took the trail down to the beach and then along to a small fresh water lagoon for a refreshing dip. The climb back to the lodge was hot and sweaty but the pool awaited!
    After lunch and a siesta we took a trail over the swing bridges and into the forest where we caught a glimpse of a family of peccaries (a sort of wild pig). Difficult to photograph in the undergrowth.
    We had a late dinner and retired that bit later to the sounds of the jungle!
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  • Day36

    Gulfo Dulce

    February 3, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Yes, another early start! Back on the boat for another high speed ride back to Sierpe. We then crossed the river on an old ferry before taking the high road across to Puerto Jimenez to our final lodge in Costa Rica, El Romanso.
    This is set deep into the rain forest high above the Pacific and is our home for the next couple of days. On the short final stage to the lodge we finally saw howler monkeys and black fresh water turtles.
    We watched the sunset from the deck by the pool and planned our next two days.
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  • Day35

    Cano Island

    February 2, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    The inevitable early start found us on the beach by 7am waiting to wade onto the dive boat. We were only going snorkelling, no divers today, and we stopped twice to pick up more people. 50 min later we arrived at the first site and had a good 45min snorkel seeing, amongst others, several white tipped reef sharks.
    We then had a break ashore with drinks and biscuits before reboarding the boat and heading for a second site. The visibility became steadily worse but did see a turtle (hawksbill) and a huge shoal of black jack fish before heading back to the boat.
    Heading back to the mainland we caught sight of a fin and we were soon surrounded by a large school of spotted dolphins who played around the boat for several minutes. Always nice to see!
    We were pretty shattered by then so had a quiet afternoon around the pool and I managed a short run along the beach before sundowners and our evening meal.
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  • Day34

    Aha me Hearties!

    February 1, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Today started with our best view yet of a toucan and then an easy drive to the little town of Sierpe where we had to hand back the car. We were a bit early for the ferry to Drake's Bay but a coffee and wander around the little town passed the time.
    We were expecting a quiet boat ride along a river through the mangrove swamps but when a fast looking launch turned up with twin 200h. p. outboards we begun to wonder!
    It was about an hour along the river mostly at high speed with a short section through the mangroves and then we hit the open sea. Fortunately it was reasonably calm and 30 min of full on cruising found us reversing onto a beach. Instructed to take off our shoes we jumped off the stern and waded ashore for the short walk to our lodge 'Pirate Cove'.
    Lunch was awaiting us and then we strolled into the village and enjoyed an ice cream. Back at the lodge we swim, had a cocktail then dinner before retiring early again to be up for a 6.30 breakfast before our booked snorkelling trip.
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  • Day33

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    January 31, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    All sorts of scare stories about this park! From 'you won't get in after 8am' to 'the monkeys will pinch everything'. We were confident as we had dated tickets-wrong! I luckily checked the night before and found they were open tickets. Not good news so we were up early and off by 7.30 with the staff at the lodge warning we would have to queue just to get parking and then to get in.
    Well I found a nifty short cut and we joined the queue about 5k from the entrance. Well that turned out to be just a very slow cement lorry and once we passed it there was no problem right up to the entrance and we were in by 8.45!
    Ok so now onto the park itself. Very beautiful with well laid paths to the main sites. We saw monkeys, raccoons, sloths, frogs, crabs, iguanas and a variety of birds before relaxing on one of the beaches and enjoying a cooling swim.
    Back at the lodge we found there was live music that night with an extended happy hour and much cheaper snacks for sale. So we sat around the pool and had a few drinks whilst listening to a very cool Ohion singing many of his own compositions and being entertained by the antics of a two year old boy in his own little world!
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  • Day32

    The long drive day

    January 30, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We had to make a fairly early start as we had about 270k to drive today. Certainly the longest drive day of the trip. The first 30 l took well over an hour on unmade roads but then we reached the Pan American Highway and we thought the journey would improve! Uh uh heavy traffic and hold ups kept our average speed down and then our sat nav let us down and we had to revert to an old fashioned map! Anyway we sorted it out and bowled along for the final 150k of the trip.
    Our new lodge was wonderful! Great views over the Pacific, a warm pool, a well appointed two bed villa and friendly staff. Pity the drink and food prices were a bit steep!
    We had to be up early the next morning so after a nice meal and a quiet drink in our villa ( that we had bought at a supermarket!) it was off to bed for the now familiar early night!
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  • Day31

    Tuesday-but our day of rest!

    January 29, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Graham not too well this morning so we left him at the lodge and drove downtown to do the tourist thing of souvenir hunting and good coffee. We got back to find him somewhat improved so set off on the short trail around the lodge.
    Lunch consisted of yesterday's left overs and a beer. We then went to one of the cloud forest reserves for a walk. Saw lots of humming birds but not much else - we were far too late in the day!
    Enjoyed a sunset with cocktails at a local restaurant and returned there later for dinner.
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  • Day31

    Another day, another lodge

    January 29, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The day started with a scenic drive around lake Arenal. It was only 80k to our next lodge but it took nearly 4 hours as the black top ran out soon after the end of the lake. The drive was beautiful however and we arrived in Monteverde at 1300m by mid afternoon.
    The new lodge is lovely. Large balconies overlook lush gardens with a variety of birds to keep the guide book pages turning over!
    The evening saw us on a night tour in the forest. Not for wimps as snakes figured greatly as well as many sleeping birds and insects on small tracks deep in the foliage. Interesting stuff!
    Another hearty meal followed, a glass of wine and then bed. We do seem to be in a groove!
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