Joined May 2016 Message
  • Day29

    Arenal volcano

    January 27, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    When we arrived in La Fortuna yesterday the volcano was shrouded in cloud and we were told people stay for days and never see it clear! True to form the top was completely obscured as we set off for our first activity of the day, the mystic bridges reserve.
    6 long hanging bridges later and a variety of wildlife we sat for a coffee with wonderful cloudless views of Arenal volcano. An awe inspiring site!
    A hearty comida del dia and then a stroll around downtown La Fortuna with coffee and cake ended with us catching a rehearsal of the district marching band - very colourful.
    The bird life at this lodge was stunning just a pity my camera does not do it justice!
    We ended the day with a swim, a glass of wine and a light meal. Can't be bad!
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  • Day28

    Chocolate to volcano in 2 hours!

    January 26, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    We were once again up early and 3 of us headed to the suspended bridge to cross over to the jungle footpaths. The gate was still locked we were so early but the man came a few minutes later and ushered us on to the bridge. 250m long and very unstable! Tricia had to turn back and Chris let me lead the way across because of all the spiders webs that festooned the bridge!
    It was quite eerie walking the jungle paths with no one around and the howler monkeys in full voice. We did meet one other couple on the way back over the bridge but that was it.
    After breakfast we were booked on the chocolate tour - back over the bridge! Tricia and Chris opted out and did the shortened version on the lodge side whilst Graham and I did the whole thing!
    Having had our fill of chocolate we set off for La Fortuna and the Arenal volcano arriving in ample time for our pre-booked 5pm slot at the thermal pools. This included dinner so we were not back at our Eco lodge till nearly 9 and retired early yet again!
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  • Day27

    Escape from the jungle

    January 25, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Up at dawn, breakfasted, packed, checked out and on the boat by 8.30! Ah hour and a half later we arrived at the boat terminal to find no bus waiting. It turned out one broke down so a second bigger bus picked up all the 'incoming' so was 30 min late getting to us. Not so bad though as it was a more comfortable ride and we made up time on the rough road. We stopped for lunch and there said goodbye to our guide before being dropped of at the car hire depot.
    We have a big 4 wheel drive Hyundai with an Internet 'hotspot' included which makes finding our way very easy!
    We reached our next stop 90min later and found tea making facilities in the rooms much to Chris's delight! After a drink and a snack we retired to the rooms and watched the first half of 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' before turning in early again as we wanted to be back in the jungle by 7 at the latest next morning.
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  • Day26

    Jungle or rain forest?

    January 24, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I suggested to our guide Manuel (it had to be! Que?) that the difference was just Hollywood but he explained that jungle was immature rain forest where the canopy still let in enough sunlight for undergrowth to thrive hence the need for machetes in a jungle but not in a rain forest where the undergrowth has disappeared as no light reaches the forest floor. So now you know and I'll bore you further with the day's activities.
    The morning boat tour was a 5.45 start! Back around 8.15 for breakfast. Very quiet and peaceful at that time and we spotted a good selection of wildlife. Several species of heron, egrets, vultures, waders, toucans, etc. We watched both spider monkeys and capuchin monkeys but have yet to spot a howler. Other wildlife spotted were Cayman , crocks and a water snake.
    After a leisurely breakfast we met our guide at 10 for a jungle walk. Here we saw the infamous poisonous red dart frog and several others, a viper, several species of bats, spiders and, of course, more spider monkeys!
    We had a lazy afternoon round the pool and once again retired quite early as it was another fairly early start in the morning.
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  • Day25

    Take the Rough with the Smooth

    January 23, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    An early start! We (all 4 of us now Tricia and Graham have joined us) were picked up at 6.30 and drove the busy road north towards Limon. This was smooth and a pretty modern highway so no problem. However shortly after the breakfast stop we turned off and stated the 20km journey to the boat landing stage. That 20km took over an hour of rocknroll potholed road so I was feeling very queezy by the time we reached the boats.
    It took nearly three hours to reach the lodge stopping to see wildlife regularly and at the last village called Tortuguera after which the national park is named. No roads lead to it, just the delta canal system so things are a bit more expensive but two bottles of Chillean red and a corkscrew only came to $12 and we enjoyed the first on our adjoining balconies before dinner that night.
    We had a swim in the turtle shaped pool and a short walk along the beach before dinner as well.
    Our guide told us to meet at 5.45am in the morning for another boat trip so we cut the evening short and retired around 9pm.
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  • Day24

    San Jose in a day

    January 22, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We had one day to see the sights so set off for our first stop, the National Museum of Costa Rica. The ticket was expensive but if you included all three of the cities main museums it worked out a bit cheaper. Did we really want to go to the Jade Museum? So we started at the National. 2.5 hours later we thought coffee was in order so walked the 100m to the Jade museum and sat in the coffee shop. Well while we are here we may as well take a quick look! 2 hours later we emerged back into daylight absolutely delighted with all that we had seen!
    The last of the trio was under the National Theatre so we walked there and took in the theatre tour which fortunately was only 45min. This gave us just time for an hour round the Gold Museum before the obligatory 4pm cup of tea!
    Well another 2 hours later we surfaced having seen a huge collection of priceless gold, bank notes and coins all beautifully displayed in this underground 'vault'.
    At last Chris had her cup of tea and we went back to our hotel to await the arrival of Chris's sister, Tricia and husband, Graham.
    They made it by 7pm and we all walked to a local restaurant for a bite before turning in for the night ready for an early start in the morning.
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  • Day23

    Ship to shore

    January 21, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

    A quick getaway from the ship. We were off by 8.20 and found our taxi waiting at the gate. An hour and a half later we were dropped at the Hotel Colonial and soon checked in by very friendly staff who printed out a map for us showing the route to the eye clinic where I had booked for my injection.
    We sat over a coffee and caught up with emails etc and then ambled through this busy, bustling city towards the clinic. We stopped for lunch ( our first Costa Rican 'Plato del Dia', a hearty meal with soft drink for about £3) and then went to the eye clinic.
    Doctor Rubinstein was very helpful, he did some of his training at Stoke Mandeville, and the injection was done, enough said!
    We wandered back through the shopping streets, stopped for tea in the National Theatre and then back to our room.
    We ended up in a very local restaurant that night for a small snack before an early night lulled to sleep by the constant din of car horns!!
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  • Day22

    Swan song

    January 20, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Ok the towel tonight was a swan! This footprint should have been 'Puntoarenas' as we were there all day and a lively beach resort place it is to! I was off the ship before 7.30 enjoying being able to run on a promenade and sandy beach instead of the machines on board. There were already plenty of people in the sea and families gathering for a Sunday on the beach.
    We wandered through the small town, looked at the cathedral and then headed for the beach ourselves for a swim. Boy was it crowded by then! The sea was lovely and we found a couple of seats in one of the many noisy beach bars. The locals were really partying and the atmosphere was great. I found my first decent sized beer of the trip, a 750ml bottle - that's more like it!- and after several of those and another swim staggered back to the ship for a very late lunch.
    We had an enjoyable evening with our table and finished off at the pool party on deck with free cocktails. Then back to the cabin to find the swan!!
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  • Day15

    First glimpses

    January 13, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Our first view of Costa Rica! We moored in the eastern town of Puerto Limon and after some delay set off to explore the town. A busy little place if a bit scruffy but it felt very safe and friendly. Really liked the modern cathedral and small peaceful park.Read more

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