First, I am not condoning the use of plastic however on this occasion it is very much needed.
As you remember in my last blog, I was telling you about my trip to Costa Rica in May which is the start of the rainy season then couple this with nearly 95% humidity and you are going to get wet clothes! The bin liner is vital to store any damp clothes in as trying to get them dry is a near on impossibility. I did manage on one day to dry them under the air conditioning unit however I was frozen all night!
The other thing to remember is that if you are on a tour you will be staying in several different hotels and I cannot encourage the use of travel cubes enough. These are different sized zip bags that you can put a day and night outfit in each (rolled for space) then that’s all you need to take out of the suitcase when you get to your hotel plus toiletries. Organisation is the key word on trips like this.
Our second day consisted of a departure of about 8am as we had a four-hour journey from San Jose to Tortuguero plus a 45-minute boat ride. So, after a wonderful breakfast of fresh fruit and the traditional “Gallo Pinto” (rice and beans) we headed off.
We passed through some beautiful scenery with waterfalls and dried riverbeds and I was very impressed with our guides driving on what at times were very narrow roads with deep storm drains at either side.
Forgot to mention a nice touch that we had from Fran, our guide. As we were checking out, he provided us all with an insulated flask for water that was reusable to cut down on single use plastic. That meant we could just fill it up when we wanted as the water is drinkable in Costa Rica.
En route we stopped at a roadside service station for coffee and although I am not a big coffee drinker other than Nescafe, I was very impressed by it and it was only a few dollars. Although the local currency is Colones the US dollar is widely accepted.
Upon arrival at the boarding area for our trip up the Rio La Suerte (Lucky River) we were greeted by a huge downpour that soaked us to the skin as we did not have time to get our waterproofs on but as soon as it had started it stopped!
The journey up the river was fascinating and we managed to see Caiman, Iguanas and a whole host of multi coloured birds.
After 45 minutes we arrived at Lapa Verde and we were welcomed by the owner, Bismark, plus some sleeping long eared bats that were roosting in the boat shed. The grounds here were beautiful with hibiscus and birds of paradise everywhere and our rooms were classed as eco lodges. The rooms are clean but nothing fancy although the bed was one of the highest, I have ever seen! Lunch was served in a gazebo and consisted of salad, rice and beans, chicken and pudding was a mango semi Frodo. All washed down with Passionfruit juice.
After lunch we took another boat ride to Tortuguero. The village has approximately 2000 inhabitants and we managed to see more Iguanas and the hilarious antics of the spider monkeys. After a few hours we returned to our lodges for a quick change before heading back to Tortuguero for dinner at Laguna Beach.
After dinner we began our nighttime turtle tour. Dark clothing is necessary, and no electronics or torches are allowed. As it was very early in the season, we did not see any turtles but our guide pointed out some nests and also manually performed how the turtles come on to the beach and dig their nests. Have to say it was the funniest thing I have ever seen!
The night ended with a short trip back to Lapa Verde and I have to say I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
One thing that I loved at night was the noise from the animals whether it was a troop of howler monkeys passing by or cicadas singing their songs.
Next time hear all about La Fortuna and Mount Arenal …….