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Unread 6 Jul 15, 09:59 PM  
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ali-s
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Pura Vida! Costa Rica Photos added

Arrived here 24 hours ago after a one night stopover in Amsterdam. So far we've seen a mist covered volcano crater,



poor mans umbrella nr volcano crater, doesn't really work with sunglasses!

done a tour of a coffee estate, spotted 3 hummingbirds ( who wouldn't stay in one place long enough for photos)

Coffee Cherries


and as we are staying at an animal sanctuary we have seen baby sloths and anteaters up close, plus loads of other animals. We left the heatwave in UK and Amsterdam and it's actually cooler here, though I'm sure that will change tomorrow when we move to the coast.

Our cabin at rescue ranch, complete with cat


baby sloths





Yesterday we moved from the animal sanctuary to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. It got warmer and wetter as we moved west. Our driver stopped on the way at a roadside fruit stall to show us various strange fruits - he obviously has some arrangement with the owners as they didn't react to him grabbing various fruits and cutting them up for us to try.The weirdest was something locally called ' monkey brains' which tasted nice but did look disconcertingly like brains I bought bags of lychees, mamoons ( sp?) pineapple and watermelon.



Next stop was the Tarcoles bridge to see the huge crocs that hang out underneath,



then onto a private rainforest reserve aptly named Rainmaker. As we arrived the heavens opened. We were wearing bathing suits under our quick dry clothes so we could swim in one of the many waterfalls, but we were sodden within minutes of starting our hike. The rain was warm and helped cool down the air temperature so it was actually quite comfortable,and we saw several little coloured frogs out to have a shower. We didn't bother swimming though, we were wet enough





We then continued on to Manuel Antonio where we have a villa rental for 3 nights. I sat by the pool watching hummingbirds and listening to all the insect sounds.

Today we did a segway tour, the only one in Costa Rica. DH was a bit anxious especially after watching the safety video showing all the ways you could fall off but we all caught on pretty quick and even the practice was fun, weaving in and out of cones and spinning on the spot. Then the tour started, our instructor took us along past the marina to a little boat that took us and the segways over to an island.We rode around dodging dogs, chickens and little kids who ran out to high five us, we were given sweets to hand to the kids so we invariably had a horde descend on us. Then we rode along the beach where our main obstacles were coconuts and one persistent dog who wanted to race DH. Brilliant fun, even DH was pleased he'd done it.




I'm now sitting on the porch typing this during a thunderstorm and the power has just gone out, so chances are I won't be able to post this and will have to start again but at least I got my photo of the hummingbird before the storm started, he was perching nearby sheltering from the rain, I'll go identify him in my wildlife card when I've finished this.
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Mexico 2010, Easter in Mexico Trip Index
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Costa Rica July 2015 Pura Vida! trip report
South Africa 2017 trip report

Edited at 12:23 PM. Reason: trying to add photos
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Unread 7 Jul 15, 10:04 PM  
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Jet
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It all sounds fab... really looking forward to the rest!
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Unread 8 Jul 15, 02:12 AM  
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ali-s
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Tuesday today and the Manuel Antonio national park is open ( it's closed on Mondays to give the wildlife a break fromvisitors.) I hired a guide to give us a private tour and it was so interesting, I want to do it again LOL
Before we'd even got through the gate we saw a huge stripy grasshopper and a hummingbird and then would you believe it, my camera battery died, I'd charged a new battery the night before, but forgot to swap them over. DH and DS had cameras so I will have to borrow their photos.
In the following 4 hours we saw a banana spider, golden orb spider, numerous lizards, two types of bats, crabs, frogs, 3 sloths, a troop of capuchin monkeys including mother and baby, a Toucan, 3 types of hummingbird various other birds and racoon's .














It was warm today but not unbearable, our guide left us at the beach inside the park and we swum in the lovely warm ocean for a while until our rumbling stomachs had us leave in search of lunch. There are no food facilities inside the park and I hadn't brought anything with us as I'd read so many stories of the racoon's and monkeys stealing food I didn't want to risk it.


We took a taxi to a cafe outside the park, satisfied our appetites and then returned to the villa to swim . It actually stayed dry until 5 pm today, it's tipping down again now so we are trying to summon the energy to call a taxi to go out for dinner, it's not the sort of rain you want to walk in unless you like the drowned rat look
We move on further down the coast tomorrow.
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Edited at 04:48 PM.
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Unread 9 Jul 15, 06:09 PM  
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Thursday now, we are sat at the dock in Sierpe waiting for our boat to Draske bay. The Wi Fi here is better than at home LOL
Yesterday we moved a little further south, stopping one night at a private nature reserve where we did a zipline tour. 8 zipline and a hike through the forest , on the way we saw capuchin monkeys, sloths, a hummingbird on her nest, a baby fer de lance snake, toucans , leaf cutter ants and soldier ants. The guide picked up a soldier ant and demonstrated the power of their jaws by having him hold an 18 inch twig in it's mouth.



















A swim in the sun warmed pool end
ed the day.

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Mexico 2010, Easter in Mexico Trip Index
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Edited at 05:38 PM.
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Unread 9 Jul 15, 08:23 PM  
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Melbatb
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It sounds like a fabulous trip. I can't wait to see some photos!
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Unread 10 Jul 15, 10:47 PM  
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Well, yesterday was interesting. Catching our boat from Sierpe was organised chaos.On arrrival some seemingly random guy asked us what hotel we were staying at ( in Drake Bay) and how many, gave us a time and wandered off. We later found out he was one of the captains, considering there were three boats leaving and about 50 people waiting, these guys remembered who was going where and when.

Sierpe




on the river on the way to Drake Bay






Our boat was a little late leaving, we started out at a sedate pace, the river looking much like how I imagine the Amazon, then we picked up speed until our hats were flying off and the boat was leaning far enough into the curves so we could touch water.Great fun until after 40 mins we came to an abrupt halt. Something wrong with the fuel pump by the smell of it. One boat turned back to offer helpful suggestions ( like how to turn the key) and to laugh at us LOL, and the third boat soon caught up and also hung around to ponder the problem. A pen knife was produced and the key turned in various ways but no joy. So in the middle of the river they transferred passengers and luggage over to the two boats and then towed the empty boat to a nearby jetty. We continued on and 10 mins later reached where the mouth of the river meets the ocean. I'd read this could be a bit hair raising but DH knew nothing about it and was going into panic mode, the woman behind us put her life jacket on and I must admit I made sure I was within grabbing distance of one. The waves were big, the boat was small but the captains do this trip twice a day so I trusted he knew what he was doing. He actually turned the boat so it was running parallel between the waves, then when he judged the time was right he'd cut diagonally over the wave, the boat lurching, the passengers exclaiming their surprise ( you can imagine in what way ) once out of the river mouth it was smooth sailing for another 15 mins or so across to the peninsula.

Approaching where the river meets the ocean




True to form the heavens opened as we arrived and by the time we'd unloaded our luggage and schelped it up the beach,we were soaked, again!
The b&b owner met us on the beach and walked us up the very steep hill where dry towels, cookies and hot chocolate ( made with real chocolate) was waiting. The sun came out and two pairs of scarlet macaws flew by to welcome us to Drake Bay.

View from the dining area at B&B






Travel is so tiring
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Crowne Plaza Universal, Pop Century Nov2004
Homewood suites,RPR,POFQ Oct06
California August 08California without a car trip index
Mexico 2010, Easter in Mexico Trip Index
ESD Pointe Orlando, Palm Pavilion Clearwater, RPR August 2012
Costa Rica July 2015 Pura Vida! trip report
South Africa 2017 trip report

Edited at 07:30 PM.
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Unread 11 Jul 15, 12:17 PM  
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Melbatb
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Wow! What a trip of a lifetime!
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Unread 12 Jul 15, 02:32 AM  
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I'm getting a bit left behind here, we have internet connection but the pages take ages to load. Back to Thursday. After we'd dried off and had a snack we walked back down the very steep hill to the village ( 2 roads and population of 500 ) to organise the tours I'd pre booked. We had lunch at a cafe owned by an American who'd left the 'rat race' to live in Drake Bay several years ago. He had a bird table set up that was visited by several colourful birds.

Beach


Bird table





Returning back up the very steep hill a little while later we encountered a troop of capuchin monkeys and they were not pleased to see us. Two had babies on their backs so were obviously protective ( but as DS said, what sort of mother takes her baby into battle, she should be sitting in a tree letting the others defend her) anyway, DS managed to get past and while he was followed/ chased up the hill we found an alternative route. Have since been told we should have chased the monkeys and they would probably have backed off, I don't like the sound of that ' probably'

No time to focus!




Night falls very fast here, dinner is eaten by candle light while looking over the bay and before long we are joined by a bat swooping in and out above our heads. With the jungle noises and the sound of waves crashing on the shore it's a beautiful setting.





That night was very hot and humid, I chose the room with the best view at top of the house but of course it's the hottest. I didn't get much sleep so was half awake at 4 am when there was a pounding on the window 18 inches above my head. I moved the curtain and was face to face with a capuchin. I don't know whether he could see his reflection or if he knew we were sleeping there and just fancied some mischief.

Monkeys outside the window
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Crowne Plaza Universal, Pop Century Nov2004
Homewood suites,RPR,POFQ Oct06
California August 08California without a car trip index
Mexico 2010, Easter in Mexico Trip Index
ESD Pointe Orlando, Palm Pavilion Clearwater, RPR August 2012
Costa Rica July 2015 Pura Vida! trip report
South Africa 2017 trip report

Edited at 08:03 PM.
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