From Diary 2 (and
we now head out on the last adventures in Costa Rica.
10.4. It's time to return to Costa Rica, so we take the 10am bus to Sixola-Limon-San Jose bus, where we arrive at 3.30pm. We pick up Line's backpack and find a coffee shop with an international atmosphere. The neighbour is an internet café and news is brought home. A taxi brings us to Hertz and we drive up to Pontarenas in a new, large 4WD.
11.4. While waiting for the ferry to Barra Honda, we admire the amazing frigate birds. The area is pretty dry, it hasn't rained for half a year. At the park entrance, a charming woman explains to us the precautions we should follow, if we want to live out of the park. We buy a ticket to the limestone cave and head up the mountain. It's hot - VERY HOT!
In some tree tops, just above our heads, are a bunch of roaring monkeys relaxing. A snake disappears into a hollow tree, while a myriad of green iguanas lazily remove them selves from the path. A chesty caracara hovers over our heads, while an agouti frightened whips into the bushes. Several times, the extremely charming white-breasted magpie jay comes flying over to us and talks. They have a very large and varied vocabulary, and then they are extremely curious.
Well sweaty, when we entered the cave entrance. A small hole gives access to a 20 meter deep shaft. A narrow rope ladder leads us down into the earth's interior. The sight is overwhelming; stalactites meet monoliths, large "curtains" gleam like diamonds, and the most quirky figures reveal themselves. We climb down a ladder and reach a narrow aisle, consisting entirely of stalactites. Here we play on the "organ", a formation of stalactites of varying thickness which produces a bell-like sound, when hit on.
In one of the caves there are tiny bats at the
top of the stalactites. Somewhere we penetrate a crevice to reach a
smaller cave. Morten can't see it! Our guide tells in
easy-to-understand Spanish about what we see, and the cave's
We drive to Jacó, a seaside resort on the
Pacific. It's get dark so we find a combined restaurant and hotel.
While we sit on the patio eating a small ant-eater comes by. It
seems totally unaffected by humans, but no one is feeding it either.
Some toads patrol the lawn, and two pigeons sit and shit at me.
After washing clothes and ourselves, we doze off.
We continue to Hacienda Barú. Here we see
large colourful and oddly shaped ticks, dwarf parrots and ants in
tons. We get out to the water; sand as far as the eye can see, large
waves and palm trees. Under the tree trunks in the forest, it is
teeming with hermit crab. The world's largest spinning spider has
its spins here. The female is huge, the male a small one. As we
cross one of the numerous streams, basilicas storm over the water.
We even start driving out to the woods and walk around for five hours. Here is not much life, but we see several macaw pairs. Morten is trampled over the toes by a snake, which, however, seems to recover completely from the meeting. We end the day enjoying the sunset over the bay. The evening will be a movie at one of the local eateries. Everywhere something is served, the music system and TV blast out in competition.
14.4. We meet with our American guide at 6am and take the "bus" into the middle of the peninsula. We are sitting on the sidelines of a fairly open pick-up along with some locals, who are on their way to work. In front is another pick-up and swirls up huge amounts of fine dust. As we get off the car we are reddish brown from hair to feet.
The American has found an amazing area: It is teeming with life in the rich vegetation. Howler-, spider- and squirrel monkeys, 30 centimetres long walking stick, a large scorpion, agouti, iguanas, numbers of macaws, hummingbirds, squirrels, colour seeds, toucans, hawks, alligators, lizards, hams, sloths, pelicans, giant hermit crabs, butterfly crabs and much more.
Several times we get out to the water and walk a bit in the hot sun. Somewhere we stop to dip. This is the hottest seawater in the world: 29C. The waves look nothing like the sea, but they suddenly grow to 1½ meters on the steeply sloping sandy beach. We continue along the beach, pass a gardener collective and come to a small restaurant. After dinner we are picked up by a taxi, which takes us back to the city, many impressions richer. As we sit on the car, the rain begins to fall.
We check out of the hotel and drive back
towards San José. A snake is about to cross the road, Jesper is
looking at a sign, and the poor animal has to jump for life. Its
eyes reach my eye level! Otherwise, not much happens on the 350
kilometres tour. After eight hours, we arrive in San José, well
tender, especially Jesper.
Further north to Liberia, where we shop around a bit. I stand watching shaving gear, as a sweet girl comes by, and says a whole lot in Spanish. The only word I catch is "free", but it's also enough; I follow her. She takes me over to her friend, who has opened a barber shop in the supermarket. I was - to Jesper, Morten and some other customers' great pleasure - soaked in and then shaved in all possible directions and directions. Slightly bleeding, I stumble out among the living. No thanks, the others don't want be be shaved.
At dusk, as we sit down by the square, huge
numbers of blackbird-like birds come flying in from the surrounding
fields and forests. They settle in the trees on the square, so that
eventually there are more birds than leaves. All the males sing, so
it is completely impossible to hear what we say. According to
Jesper, who has chosen the room with a window, they sing all night;
he's about to tweet! While eating dinner, an opossum creeps around
in a backyard.
Here it is slightly scorched, but according to some signs, there must be some hot and cold springs. We trudge into the woods, cross an army ants road, hurry through the sun's rays in the open areas, see many exciting insects, get a drizzle of rain and finally reach the cold springs of sulphur water.The long-term drought must have affected those who are little more than a large clearing with large sulphur crusts.
We continue into the wild and then see the hot springs. They come out under some rocks, just where a large stream strikes a bay. The scenery is breathtaking, the heat is terrible, and we were a bit weary. On the way back we see more birds, insects and just before the parking lot: A armadillo. According to the books, they should be calm, but this one storms into the bush and down one of its holes. A butterfly larva the size of a index finger, a snout beetle whose snout / head makes up half the total body length, a snake and much else cross our path.
The rain comes suddenly and fiercely, just as
we reach the car, so we head south towards San Calos. On the way we
pass Arenál, which - surprise, surprise - is covered with fog. We
finally find the centre of San Calo, and book into a luxury hotel -
compared to the others we have sleep in.
The gravel paths are a little too far-fetched to our liking, so as a opening appears in the dense vegetation, we enter the fog forest. Everything is overgrown with lichen, moss, ferns, epiphytes and orchids. The 25 cm wide path leads us, on an almost vertical hillside, around the mountain. Sometimes incredible views reveal themselves, other times the clouds hide us from one another. In one place we crawl six meters vertically up from tree roots, elsewhere we step on the ass in withered leaves. We do not see many animals, but the witch-like trees and the other vegetation are abundant.
After a cup of coffee, we return to the vantage point. As we watch, the clouds disappear and the crater lake reveals itself. A steam column rises on the shore, the whole area is totally golden, and we only have to be here for half an hour. We shoot like the Japanese tourists - and then return to the fresh air.
We drive through Alejulia and Heredia and get
the totally dusted car out of the airport. An unnamed person has
checked the flight time, which is 2 hours and 45 minutes for
take-off, 45 minutes for last check-in. We are driven to the airport
and are slightly surprised by the lack of queues. A captain comes by
and asks if we are going with Martin Air, then that's the way! Yes,
yes, we should just act duty-free. Then, what I find is that the
plane does not take off in 2 hours and 15 minutes, but in 15
minutes. We get to do duty free and spend the last money on coffee
and then sip on the plane.