Sunset in Quepos, Costa Rica (December 2008)
After a long day of surfing... (December 2008)
Esther in her element. Playa Dominicalito, 45 km south of Quepos, Costa Rica. (December 2008)
We woke up early and hiked the city again. It got dark fast last night and we didn't see enough. We took lots of pictures.
We made it through customs and our connection. We're on our way home.
After we checked out, we ate breakfast at Cafe' Milagro. Adrienne, the owner, was in Coata Rica 16 years ago on a Summer break from college, decided to quit college, open a cafe, and has been here since. She said her family didn't think she was crazy and she gets back to the States often. We have heard several stories like this where people come here and don't leave.
The adventure continued to San Jose today. Driving here is really adventurous and fun. We really beat up that little truck we rented. After dropping it off, we took a taxi to the Hotel Aranjuez, then walked a bit before it got dark and dangerous. The picture on this post is of hand stitched embroidery from the indiginous Kuna tribe in Panama. Every one is unique and about €400,000. We saw them at an outdoor market before retreating to the safety of our room.
Tomorrow, walk more of the city, head to the aeropuerto.
Today we were tired. So we decided to drive south to Panama. Just kidding, we drove down the coast about an hour or so checking out beaches. We found some great ones. It was a slow relaxing beach day. We ate at a cool little place for dinner.
Tomorrow we head for San Jose, Costa Rica's biggest city. Our travel book says beware of pick-pockets. Esther's going around the Mono Azul asking people if they know the way to San Jose.
Lizards and monkeys and sloth, oh my. A monkey like the one in the picture walked up behind Esther and was looking for food in her backpack. She was crouching to take a picture, it looked right at her, walked by within six inches, and started exploring her pack.
Some of the pictures posted today have Sloth and Howler Monkeys in them, really. The camera phone is obviously lacking, but we got some great shots with the zoom on the good camera. We'll post them when we return.
We saw all this and more while hiking Costa Rica's first national park. It also has several beaches. We found a secluded one, and hung out for a couple hours with the monkey in the picture above, iguanas, fiddler crabs and people from France.
Who would think there would be good sushi in Latin America? We found it at Tropical Sushi. We figured any place with fresh fish could have good sushi. Quepos is a big fishing town. Just before that we had tasty churros. We know, dessert first.
Why is the USA the only one in the world not using the metric system? ...stupid Americans.
Oh, and why are the people from the USA called Americans? Everyone living in the western hemisphere is American. They should be United Staters.
After eating breakfast in a tree and drinking traditional Costa Rican coffee, we drove from 10 degrees above the equator to 9 degrees above the equator. We also came down a few thousand meters in altitude to the Pacific Ocean. We arrived in Quepos in time to swim, eat fish tacos, watch the sunset and walk around the town. Esther was all the rage. Oh, and I was stopped by the policia twice today.
Whoa, the road was even more Romancing the Stone-like in the rain. Crank the worst road comparison up to 2 pi. It was totally like the part when they were being chased by the Columbian drug cartel through the jungle with rain, huge pot holes, enormously steep hills, mud flying everywhere, but without the Columbian drug cartel...and an Armadillo jumped in front of our car; I don't think that happened in the movie.
The Santa Elena Cloud Forest was fantastic. Esther saw a Sloth. The Howler and Spider Monkeys were all hiding from the weather. Not only were we high enough to be in the clouds, the rain was vigorously falling. We were soaked, but having fun and taking in the beauty. It was too wet to take pictures so you'll have to come see it for yourself.
The cat that attacked us the other day and peed on my backpack was an Oncilla.
After warming up and drying off, we ventured to Salvatura Park to walk the hanging bridge trail. Eight hanging bridges, the longest around 180 meters, high above the rain forest floor. The trail that takes most an hour and a half took us about three because we were wandering, searching for monkeys and sloth. Pictures on the Flickr.
We're off to Quepos next.
For those who were concerned with our safety, last night we forgot to take the key out of our door. Luckily we locked our livers in the safe at the front desk.
We hiked to the waterfall near our place after a "tipical" Costa Rican breakfast. The falls were bella and delicioso at the same time. After, we drove around lake Arenal, stopping at a cute German cafe for coffee.
The Romancing the Stone road in La Fortuna had nothing on the road to Santa Elena. Imagine the worst dirt road you've ever been on. Now imagine it 3.1415 times worse for dos la hora and 60 kilometers (do the conversion gringos). Bella and delicioso mountain tops and valleys.
We are in Santa Elena at the "4 star hostel" La Pension Santa Elena; waking up early to hike the cloud forest canopy and hoping to see some monkeys.
Driving to the volcano is like driving through Columbia to Cartagena with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner and El Corazón. Then a rain forest jungle cat peed on my bag.
We bathed in volcanically heated hot springs...ahhhh. Then hiked around the volcano, before being "attacked" by a mutant jungle cat (pictures when we return). We were saved by a couple bird nerds. They wanted to take Esther on the equivalent of a Costa Rican Snipe hunt.
Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night.
Click on the pictures on this page to see more on Flickr. They are not necessarily in the travel album.
(But it's not 10 degrees here.) Six hours on planes, 5 out of breath minutes running through Houston's airport, 4 hours of crazy Costa Rican city driving and beautiful rain forest driving, 3 hours of sleep the night before, 2 people extremely happy to be out of Ohio and in Costa Rica where it's 80 degrees and sunny, and 1 realy bad flan. To see the bad flan and other travel pictures, click on the Flickr/pictures on this page.