We are Outta the Jungle Now

We are now at La Paz Waterfall Garden Lodge about an hour from San Jose (by car). This is our last stop before heading home in a few days. 

Yes, it is STILL raining. The area we were first, Puerto Jimenez received 185 inches (15 FEET 5 inches) of lluvia in 14 dias!  No wonder this place is soooo green. The temperature though has been quite pleasant- @ 75° F  (24° C for those of you in the metro zone).  We have saved $$ on sunscreen and moisturizer. 


Friday was a bit drier so we ventured out on another mangrove tour. We saw a few different creatures and had a good time. 

Saturday, our guide, José talked our way into the closed Corcovado National Park and we did a hike for a few hours with a picnic lunch thrown in. 


About an hour into the hike, the heavens opened up and we were all doing drowned sloth  impressions. The funny thing is, we kept on going. Nobody complained and we had fun. The 3 women all had rain jackets but us 2 macho dudes were only in tshirts. After about 75 minutes the rain stopped and the monkeys and Coatis came out to play. 

We forded a fast river to get to a waterfall. Nancy could not do that part of the hike due to her broken wrist. Other than that, she has done all the excursions. My wife is quite the trooper, I must say!  


On our way back to La Paloma we saw blue footed boobies which indicated dolphins in the area. Sure enough, there was Flipper. 

While sitting in the open air lounge, I watched a capuchin monkey drop down from the roof and take a tea light candle out of the glass holder, put it in his teeth and climb back up. He did not come back for a lighter so I figured he had matches. Sorry, no photo. 

We left this morning via a 1 hour water taxi ride back to Sierpe where we took a cab to the airstrip and waited for our 19 passenger plane to San Jose. It was unclear whether the plane would come for the 30 minute flight or we would need the taxi to take us to SJ – a 4 hour drive. Luckily the plane showed. 

La Paz Lodge is by a volcano in a wildlife refuge where all the critters are rescue animals. There are monkeys, cats, snakes and others. 


We have an amazing room with 2 showers and 2 jacuzzis!  Also a hummingbird feeder by the outside jacuzzi and hammock. 

I just had a call from the front desk apologizing that the waiter at lunch did not give us our welcome cocktails and to inform us that we are to receive 2  1 hour in room massages as part of a promo they are doing!  We love this place!

This is the waterfall in our bathroom. 

By the way, it is raining. 

Tomorrow we will explore the park a bit more and I will probably have a final posting of our trip. 

Now it is Monday afternoon. We were up early as habits are hard to break. Because of that, we had the park to ourselves. The pumas and jaguars were watching us as we passed by on the way to the cataratas (Español for fosses which is Icelandic for waterfalls – wow, the things I have learned). 


The waterfalls were quite powerful as I guess I would be after all that rain if I was ah, actually a waterfall.

(I tried a selfie – didn’t work too well) 


We spent some time watching hummingbirds and then having a wander around before Nancy’s massage. Mine is next! Nancy found a cooperative sloth 

Check out how these flowers have filled up with (rain)water. Did I mention the drought is almost over here?  


I even found a local craft cervesa! (Finally) 

Ok, it is Tuesday now and I better finish this tome. We leave here mañana and overnight in LA before flying home Thursday. Let’s start a pool on how long it takes Nancy to have the 1st load of laundry started. 

Oh,oh, oh, no rain today! (Yet). We had sun for our morning constitutional. Oh my, that’s what it is like. 

We visited with  colibries (hummingbirds), tucán (toucans) & rana (frogs). 


So that is all from sunny Costa Rica & that ain’t no bull. 


Adios, 

Cristobal y Nancy 

Oops, no pictures?

Sorry about that. Don’t know how the last post did not have any shots. Here they are: 

A Red Eyed Tree Frog

The gang for Thanksgiving dinner

Preparing dinner

Howler Monkey

Stuffing and more prep pics 

Foot bridge into town

Outside the dining room

Mangrove tour pics

Is that an ark I hear being built?

((This may be a wordy post as I have LOTS of time. You’ll see why))
While it is now Wednesday noon (11/23), I do not know when I will be sending this as we are in a no internet, period. I can’t get too far behind in my writing though as I may forget. I have forgotten what being dry is like! It is so humid (but not hot) that this place has a dry room for shoes etc. my journal is there now as the pages have become so limp I can’t write in it and my previous entries have smudged ink. Oh, the humanity!  

When last I wrote, it was Saturday afternoon and that was also the last time we had a connection via the www (look it up if you are under 25). 

We were still at Lapas Rios. It was still raining. Well, we are at La Paloma and it is still raining. 

We actually have had intermittent periods of unrain (in the PNW we have intermittent showers. Huh) Leaving LR was a hoot. Driven to La Tractor Rio, we and the family from CO were loaded onto a mesh bottom, tractor pulled trailer.  Several staff members and locals were on it as well. 

The river was so high our ankles were immersed. Then José picked us up and drove us on paved roads in the relatively dry conditions to Sierpe. It is ordinarily an hour but it took 3 as we had to go the long way since bridges were out on the shortcut. 

He brought us to the dock where we boarded a water taxi to LP. Down the river to the Pacific Ocean where the ride turned very exciting. The swollen river met incoming tide. Ay caramba!  That was quite a voyage. 

This is a lovely spot up the hill from the ocean. There is a forest path to the wide sandy beach and warm Pacific.  We walked down and were soaked on the way back. Since we did not have any rain gear (rookie mistake) on,  I had to give Nancy the shirt off my back to wrap her must-stay-dry cast. At least it is a warm rain. 

We met our fellow travelers here: a family from Colorado, a couple from Houston and others from pommieland and Belgium.  Fun folk all. 

We have a nice room with a hammock on the wide veranda. I can hang in it like a squirrel monkey and watch the mucho uvia. 

Tuesday saw us back in the boat for a mangrove tour with Randall, an amazing guide. Quite a place, the mangroves and river. The rain held off for most of the time – yay! 


That night was a 3 hour tour with the Bug Lady and her hubby. We probably traveled a total of 300 yards and learned all sorts of spider, insect and mammal info. 


Today was supposed to be a boat ride to and a hike around Cocovado National Park but alas, the rain has closed the park. Oh well, we have a comfy lounge to gather in and swap travel stories. 


We have learned the reason we are so wet is a hurricane named Otto in the Atlantic side. We are getting no wind but lots of water. Supposedly it will be around until late Thursday or Friday which means no diving for me. Bummer. 

We would really like to see this country one day. 

Now it is Thursday morning- Felice Graciasgiving!  We may have stuffed Turkeyvulture for dinner tonight. Hope so. Probably tastes better than stuffed toucan. 

How did Wednesday go for us you ask?  Well there was a short time in the avo where it was dry so we walked into town. A tiny village right on Drake Bay. Not much to it but they are happy as a supply boat made it in so everyone is ready for a few more days of this. 

We were told in the early evening we were in the yellow zone for the fringe of señior Otto’s effects. Then later it was downgraded to red zone today. Again, that is rain but no wind. Graciasfully. 

A couple groups were able to leave today but they were not flying. 

Looking at our situation realistically, we are well off. We have a warm, dry (well, humid) comfortable place to stay with water, electricity and food. We even have occasional unwet spells. 

The Caribbean side of this small country (12,000 square miles) has been evacuated. In the northeast area and parts of Nicaragua as well. They are getting the brunt of Otto. I could be writing this from a shelter instead of a hammock with a view of the rainforest and quite calm Pacific Ocean. 

So for dinner on thanksgiving the chefs and us have prepared a traditional turkey dinner. No toucans or turkey vultures were harmed for this meal. Of course we needed tortillas as well. Here are some before shots:


The pumpkin pie is in the oven. 

After lunch we saw some wildlife and made sushi for afternoon snacks. 

I think I have reached the max length so I shall send and continue in another post. 

Costa Rica, here we are

Hi everyone. As I sit here writing this first post from CR, the rain is absolutely torrential. But I am getting ahead of my story. I have time to splain, so I won’t sum up. 

After flying from Seattle to LA, we spent the night before our early departure for San Jose, CR. Dinner was at the hotel sports bar where coincidentally we watched CR playing USA in World Cup qualifying Futbol. CR won 4-0 and we were thrilled since we did not want any hard feelings directed toward us. 

The flight down was easy and smooth but I noticed something I must have seen 1,000 times before. In the restroom on the plane was this sign:


Is this the button to push if you want the pool boy to bring a drink?

We stayed at a lovely converted Victorian mansion called Grano de Oro, a 16 room hotel. A walk through downtown San Jose to a locals place for ceviche then a cab back. 



Thursday morning, our trip planner, Grettel Calderon from Seattle’s own Wildland Adventures took us for a guided walk around town. We even had a nice stop for CR cawfee. 


So ends SJ. Our flight to Puerto Jimenez was delayed due to the rain in PJ but we eventually took off in a 19 passenger turboprop. So far, so good. 

See the cart next to the plane? That was to transport us standing to the other side of the big puddle. 
In a LandCruiser we proceeded to our incredibly beautiful and comfy world renowned destination, Lapa Rios, a 5 leaf eco lodge. Remember the so far so good comment in the last paragraph? Remember the delayed flight due to rain? Well…
The 5 of us , without luggage had to be taken across the 2nd to last river in a farmer’s tractor due to the very swollen, over the road rio. Some of you may not know that my traveling companion, Nancy is winged. That is, she recently broke her left wrist and is wearing a cast which makes hanging on to something solid on a slowly moving big red tractor even more of a feat. She did it, by golly by gosh!  The only victim of the 3 attempts to cross the rio was my right shoe that did not stay outta the river. 


Did I mention Lapa Rios?  It is beautiful. Only 17 rooms built on a hillside overlooking the pacific. Each bungalow is secluded from the others which makes frolicking in the outdoor shower a bit boring but more acceptable. 

King size, mozzy netted bed, indoor shower as well, screens, no windows and a wide veranda with a killer view (it would be better if it stopped raining so we could see the ocean! 


Did I mention the rain? It is currently 6am Saturday and we arrived 4pm Thursday. Other then about 3hours yesterday avo, it has been either coming down in buckets, a fire hose or a gully washer. No seattle like pleasant shower or mist but some serious stuff. The roar of it is amazing and constant. No pitter patter here. Imagine standing next to a railroad crossing and the world’s longest freight train is roaring by 10 feet from your face – for 38 hours (with a small break). 
I want you to know I am not complaining. Just informing. We are making the most of our time here. This place is very eco. They use spring water, the electricity is generated from biogas. We watched it being made yesterday. All the food scraps are fed to pigs which then poop (of course). 

Their waste goes through a process to make methane gas which in turn is used to run the generator. Pretty darn cool. The water is solar heated (except now when the pigs do it with their poop). 

There are amazing birds, monkeys (including Howlers) and sloths as well as frogs that we can hear at night over the rain, crocs, caymans (caymen?) and all sorts of snakes and insects. We hope to see them soon. 

Below are 3 toed sloth, scarlet macaw, common black hawk and Golfo Dulce (where we be) poison dart frog. 


Staff deliver delish CR (of course) coffee to our door at 6am each day. Even I am drinking it.  
The food is pretty darn good 


and we have met some interesting fellow travelers. We  are here for 2 more days before heading to our next stop (I hope). 

Please ecuse any typos as this has been composed on my phone since we didn’t bring a laptop. 

That’s it for now, time for our bartending class (it is 10am Saturday and still pouring). 

Adios

Chris and Nancy