Laguna de Arenal, Costa RicaMarch 17, 2017 in Costa Rica
FindPenguins only lets me add six photos to each post so I'm feeling Costa Rica is going to have more posts than usual, partly just because of the amount of photos we're taking and the amount of different animals we are seeing, even just on the side of the road! Even the journeys between places are becoming part of the fun. The joys of having your own car and travelling on your own time.
The journey from La Fortuna to Monteverde took us essentially in a big loop on a road around Lago de Arenal and beyond. Although the two places aren't too far apart geographically, (say 26km) there's a national park between them that stops us from taking a direct route. Lucky for us, it was a stunning three hour drive with views of the lake and then views of farmlands in the hills. The winds were high and the lake was rough so there were numerous wind farms in the hills spinning away and kite surfers making use of the lake.
We'd only been driving about 15 minutes before we saw a load of cars stopped on the road. This has become the sign that there is wildlife around, this time it was realised at least 10 white nosed coatis just hanging out by the roadside. They're an animal I'd never heard of before, but supposedly they're from the same family as raccoons. Females and adolescents can travel in groups of up to 30, whilst males usually roam alone. They're slightly bizarre looking creatures with almost pig like wee snouts and long tails, but they've been a highlight to date.
Further into our journey Em somehow managed to spot a monkey in the trees off the side of the road as we passed by in the car. How, I don't know, but with a bit of backtracking we pulled up and realised there were a few mantled howler monkeys. Mike and I had seen and heard these in Mexico and Guatemala, they're noisy wee things. I can't even describe the sound, you might have to google it if you're interested. These ones weren't making any noises however, but they were quite tough to see, let alone get photos of as they move a lot and they were quite far away and hiding in amongst the trees. Hooray for the zoom lens, which also doubles as a set of binoculars. Em is almost swimming in choices of camera lenses to use so she's been kind enough to lend me one of her zoom lenses while we're here, which is proving very useful for all the wildlife.
Rough, unpaved roads on the last 40km stretch into Monteverde tested old Terry's 4WD skills. Thankfully he's passed with flying colours although we may as well have gone on a rollercoaster the way our heads were bobbing around! It's bizarre in some ways that these well-travelled roads are still unpaved. We've seen better roads in less well-off countries over here. Looks like all the money is going to looking after the national parks instead. Fair call.Read more