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Showing posts from 2008

Costa Rica: day 15 - San José & the Flight Back Home

Breakfast at 7:30 was nice. A big buffet with custom omelettes and homemade pastries and the usual and then some. We got showered and went back to the market to buy more stuff in time to come back late, check out, and take a taxi to the airport ($16). We were even more late because of traffic, an accident or something. We checked in slowly but made the flight because it was running late also. (Note that you'll have to pay an exit tax of $26 per person at the airport, and this will add on some time.) It was slow going through security because of the s l o w people in front of us. Once we made it through security, we decided to get lunch. Church's #1 didn't carry the chicken sandwich, so we had to go to Church's #2 - they did. Anyway, the plane took off 45-60 minutes late, so we arrived about an hour later than scheduled. * * * Many times, at the end of a vacation - no matter how good it was - you are ready to return home. We were not at all ready to return home

Costa Rica: day 14 - Back to San José

This last ride was pretty bumpy, like a rollercoaster. A bit scary. In the Pavas airport, we said goodbye to the family from Plano, then took a taxi to Hotel Aranjuez ($18). Later, we walked through el Parque Central and photographed the art cows. We then walked towards the National Museum - cool building (the one below may or may not be the building) - ... ...and found a place to have lunch called Nuestro Tierra . It was good, though I should've had what Nick had - and everyone else in the restaurant - which was the almuercito , basically a casado . But no, I had to order half a roasted chicken with mashed beans, corn on the cob, a and salad. Needless to say, it was way too much chicken! Good, but WAY too much. (I'm not sure why I thought that was a good idea.) Also, we should've had the coffee. It looked really cozy in the wooden stand with the cloth bag. And it was rainy - it would've been perfect. Next we went to the market to look for more gifts.

Costa Rica: day 14 - Lapa Rios Goodbye

I woke at 5 am to the now-familiar noises. Got out of bed after 6. Before getting out of bed, I took 40 seconds of video to capture the audio. I wanted to get a recording of the Howler Monkeys . You can hear them best about 30 seconds into it. Coffee, journal, get ready for breakfast. Nick had pancakes; I had the Tico especial . Out on the deck, we filled out the check-out form and gave tips. Bye little lizard! We had to have our luggage ready at 9:30, so we got ready. We spend the last hour (until 10:20) looking through books at the main lodge library. To my dismay, we weren't able to buy the Lapa Rios Story (which is a story/cookbook) because they didn't have any copies. They were supposedly printing a new edition that they said I could order online. [As of 11/11/09, I'm still waiting...] We were driven to Puerto Jiménez, along with a father and daughter (from Costa Rica and Dallas, respectively). They gave us some suggestions as to what to do in San José.

Costa Rica: day 13 - Lapa Rios Birding, Waterfalls, Rain, & Private Dinner

We were up at 5 am to get ready for the Early Bird Walk at 5:45. It's really not that difficult to wake up early here. (That's why I included our wake-up times, and we're not early risers.) In fact, if you don't, you miss out on so much! We had coffee and banana bread that was set out at the restaurant. The guide had a telescope set up on the main deck and had found a sloth . I think he said it was the more uncommon two-toed sloth. And we saw several monkeys quite close up on our way to the tour hut. They were cracking open the green coconuts and drinking from them - with gusto! The staff drove us to a place on the main road maybe a half mile before the Escuela Carbonera , then we made our way back toward Lapa Rios. We got to use binoculars - it was fun! (However, I would definitely recommend bringing your own pair of binoculars - they would've come in handy so many times!) We found out those birds we always saw from our deck that fly like buddies, always i

Costa Rica: day 12 - Lapa Rios Night Walk

The night walk was pretty cool. There are simply so many nocturnal creatures in the tropical rain forest that if you only search for them during the day, you are really missing out! We saw lots of bats, some of them quite large. We hiked to a man-made fish pond in which we found a snake on a leaf, a tadpole of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, a HUGE bullfrog, and some other frogs. A Masked Tree Frog . Another. My eagle eyes (Nick will love that!) spotted a bird sleeping in a tree, which, I must say, is a very neat thing to see, that I hadn't seen before. We hiked along a road. Here you can see the bats quickly fly by you. Then we hiked along part of the Carbonera River. We could faintly see the Greater Fishing Bats that swoop down and catch fish in the water. Their wingspan must have been at least a foot. (See excellent National Geographic video of a fishing bat in Belize.) We saw a huge gecko on the generator building (you can't really see how huge he is in the picture) an

Costa Rica: day 12 - Lapa Rios Flora & Fauna

I woke around dawn but went back to sleep. I got up after 6. We enjoyed our lovely morning coffee on our deck. Then for breakfast we had the famous panqueques Lapa Rios . Nick had his con frutas tropicales ; I had banano y granola . The Lapa Rios staff are so amazing also. When you go to breakfast they come in and clean the place. When you go out for dinner, they come in and prepare the place for night. They put the "day" pillows away for you and leave the goodnight note. The story of Lapa Rios is really neat and inspiring. They are a model in ecotourism and sustainability . Apparently no - or maybe one? - trees were cut down in the construction of the bungalows. On the observation deck by the restaurant. I also noticed some interesting epiphytes . Particularly one that had a pattern of embossed dots, running in two parallel lines. Termite mound. As always, the walk back provided us with plenty of critters to see. Lizards, a spider, a lone bat roosting in the hut