Line is with Nephendis in Costa Rica to save
nature. Between two projects, she has 14 days of vacation; "Will I
come over and join her on a tour around the country?" Of course, and
since I get convinced Morten and Jesper that Laos at the end of the
dry season is not a success, they join the idea of Costa Rica.
28.3. Directly from the bar (where I work) to Kastrup airport at 5am. We stop in the Netherlands and there will be time to replace the camera with an even smaller one. After 19 hours of flight, we are in Costa Rica, catching a taxi and heading towards the capital of San Jose. On the way, we hear a football match: Costa Rica beats El Salvador, and it does not happen in silence! Gooooooooooooooal!
We find a reasonable hotel for $ 5 and go into the centre, there are no high-rise buildings in glass and steel, not a lot of traffic but quite a relaxed atmosphere. There are regularly a small herd of parrots flying through the streets, on their way from one park to another. After a chicken (pollo), we roll over on our miserable mattresses for a little while at nine. We've been on the move for 25 hours.
29.3. I get up at 5.45 and head for a walk in the quiet and almost empty city. The brothers get up at seven, and we begin the arduous pursuit of decent breakfast and coffee. Today's first experience is a serpentarium that houses most of the country's snake species. Nice and clean with extremely well-decorated terrariums. There are 17 poisonous snakes in the country, including the sea snake that has the strongest poison nature can produce. There is no antidote for obvious reasons; one does not reach it anyway.
We find a tour operator to help us find the most interesting sights. I have prepared a complete list and plan from home, but not surprisingly; it is deeply unrealistic, if you have less than a year's holiday. We are also slowed down by Easter, which the Costa Ricans take very seriously. Line needs at least 72 hours outside Costa Rica, to extend her stay, so Panama must stay in "her" 14 days. We get some tips and continue around the quiet capital. Finds a bank where Morten discovers he has left $ 100 and his purse for the maid, under his pillow.
After a bite to eat, we head out to the city
zoo. Small and cozy with mainly local animals. On our way back to
the centre, we see the central market. Not exactly the vibrant
agricultural market I had expected, but still very interesting.
While Morten and Jesper return to the hotel to find Morten's purse,
I head to Corres Central to meet with Line. She shows up smiling and
tanned, almost at the same time the brothers arrive, and we find a
cozy café where we can hear about Line's first two months and make
plans for the next weeks.
15 kilometres of dirt road leads us to another vantage point, right at the foot of the volcano. We walk up a riverbed, but the clouds still cover the view. Some tracks in the riverbed sand look like leopard tracks, but the darkness suddenly falls on, so we rush back to the car. Sun down 17.50, dark-blak night 18.05! The air is trembling with birds and insects singing.
On the way down the mountain, we see bearded
birds and a huge intense swarm of fireflies. The bearded birds sit
on the road with their phosphorescent eyes. Some pretty big aga
toads cross the road, and in the thickets along the road there are
animal eyes. We have dinner by the hot baths and find night shelter
in a nearby village.
We can smell the volcano, and periodically a roaring roar are heard. Sounds like a mixture of thunder and the cobblestones unloaded. The earth vibrates, and all in all, it gives an intense experience. Nature is beautiful; 2-3 meters high grasses, river beds and a dense and moss-overgrown forest. The lizards and toads, butterflies and beautiful wasps. After a long walk, we reach a 20 meter high wall of boulders. This is the boundary of the volcanic eruption in 1992. A small sign states that no stones may be removed from the Roskilde-sized area. We are the only tourists that day, so I can see that in 3-4 billion years, the area will be empty!
Recognizing that we will not be able to see the summit today, we drive from the Arenál volcano around the giant large artificial Arenál Lake to Arenál city. On the way, we see spiders in the trees across the road. Then a coati suddenly appears on the roadside. Funny little cousin. We aim for Monteverde, which holds some of the most beautiful cloud forests in the world. Spot a sign with Sky Walk. We have to try that.
The area is exclusively deep canyons with
dense forest. Five walkways are stretched out, each about 200 meters
long and 65 meters to the bottom of the gorge. It gives the effect
of walking from the forest floor and through the wood crowns to the
magnificent view of the gorge. On the way up, we pass orchids,
ferns, bromeliads and other epiphytes of the world. Insects and
birds swarm everywhere. Somewhere, a metallic hummingbird sits and
sings. It sounds almost like a toads quack.
Well sweaty, we continue to Iguana Park, a huge, un-fenced area with 70-80,000 green iguanas. It is an attempt to breed utility animals directly in the primeval forest without destroying it. At first, we don't see a single one, but then suddenly the trees are packed with them. They live on leaves and despite their physique they are very agile.
The park also raises red macaws. They have been close to extinction due to human trapping. In nature, they have no enemies, in fact they "hang out with the vultures in the tree tops". In one clearing, we see two sitting and moaning inside. We wait a bit, and finally they fly. Other smaller parrots look like they're just about to crash because of their feverish baskets with their short wings. The red / blue / yellow / green macaws fly like giant swallows.
The next thing that meets us on the narrow
path is a small bunch of squirrels. Then comes a coloured seed (Dendrobates
auratus) and some helpless iguanas (Jesus lizards) that can
cover 20-30 meters on the surface of the water. We are, not
surprisingly, first out of the park after closing.
More adventures awaits in Diary 2