Category Archives: Costa Rica

A short re-union with Costa Rica

After a 14 hour long day of traveling from Ometepe island in Nicaragua I finally arrived in San Jose. But just for one short night. The following day it was once more time to raise before the sun to hop on a bus to the Osa peninsula. The bus took 6 hours followed by a nightmare-like boat ride over big waves. My back is not the best and after this ride it sure didn’t feel better since the speed of this small boat caused the boat to hit very hard.

Bahia Drake, a sleepy town with pretty deserted beaches on walking distance, is just on the edge to the Corcovado national park in the Osa Peninsula. The park promises the most diverse fauna and flora in Costa Rica, well in whole Central America. I decided to do a tour the next day. My clock rang at 05:00 but I was already awake from the roosters. At the breakfast table I met the Swedish family Andersson plus one friend of theirs. They were also going to do the tour. Family Andersson, mum, dad and 16 year old twin girls were doing a Costa Rica road trip with a friend for two weeks. They actually have there home in Vancouver in Canada since 1994 and had a lot of interesting stories to share about wales, dolphins, cougars and bears. I must say they woke my interest in going to Canada, especially Brittish Colombia.

The tour was great. First an hour boat ride where we saw small dolphins jumping aside the boat. Then into the dense jungle to look for animals. I must admit I expected more wildlife than we saw. The two new animals to me was the Tapir and the Anteather which made the tour well worth. Now there was only one thing missing. I still had not seen a red eyed tree frog despite this being the second time in Costa Rica. As I am a big frog fan I hoped that signing up for a three hour nightwalk the following day would make my trip complete. Family Andersson and their friend came along and off we went in our rented boots (spider & snake protection). After 2 1/2 hour of walking in a creepy area the only thing we had spotted was loads of dangerous, huge banana spiders and two small red/green poision dart frogs.

As we were promised to see the red eyed three frog the guide had a backup solution. In his friends garden there lived some he said and picked up the phone to call them and tell we were on our way and also if they could sprinkled the garden to lure the frogs out out. Once in the garden the guide walked straight up to a place where on a big leafs a male and female Red eyd tree frog were sitting. It was a moment of pure love. Then the male jumped away into a pond where a huge toad looked like he was chewing on something. The guide was terrified until he found the male a gently placed him back on the leaf. Later while discussing our nightly adventures we realised that “sprinkel the garden, we are on our way” meant “please place the two pets on the leaf, I need my back up solution”. Any how, I have seen them and I have seen them on a leaf in Costa Rica.

After three days I decided to move on. The boatride back wasnt as bad and Anderssons were kind to give me a lift to nearest bus station where I got the last seat back to San Jose. An idea had hit my mind when in Corcovado. I suddenly felt like staying a little longer in Costa Rica and travel back to La Fortuna, wher I visited last year, and soak in hotsprings. But then I realized the grumpy immigration officer on the boarder between Nicaragua and Costa Rica had given me only 10 days in Costa Rica. It was either that or to purchase a ticket to Panama directly. Why he gave me only 10 days is a big questionmark and I need to find out later on since Swedish citizens normaly get 90 days.

At the moment of writing I am in the little village Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, close to the boarder with Panama. A friend was here a few years ago and I am glad I took her advice to pay a visit here because the national park that runs along the beach is absolutely gorgeous. And in a two hour walk I spotted more wildlife than down in Corcovado. Lots of curious White faced capuccino monkeys, a bunch of Howler monkeys, a Racoon and lots of other small creauters. At the place where I stay, “Secret Garden” I bumped in to some people I met in Corcovado and toghether with the other guests we have had a great time togheter. Unfortunately it has been raining a lot. Seems like a well known theme for this trip. To activate myself I rented a bike yesterday and went to an animal rescue center. There I got stuck longer than planned since I became very good friend with the cutest Sloth I have ever seen (not that I have seen that many but this guy sure was special). He has been in the center for about a year. Found alone as a baby he had to be taken care of but soon he is ready for release.

Now to the bad news. Last year in Turkey I had my first experience with bed bugs. I have been travelling for 15 years and never had had it before. It was not a pleasant story at all and now I did not only get a re-union with Costa Rica but also with those bugs. I have a routine after my last experience to allways check the mattresses when I arrive to a new bed. I have read a lot and know what to look for. But this time I only checked one side of the bed. The problem with bed bugs bites is that at first they just look like small mosquito bites. Since there a lots of mosquitos here I kept spraying my bug spray but still got bitten. Now I understand why!

After about two days the bites gets bigger and red and it is a uggly sight. Bed bugs bites in a cluster or in a long row and as one was walking on me when I got up this morning it suddenly hit me that I am a victim again. I have now moved into another room where I will spend the last night. Once back in Sweden I will have to do the sanitary routine (hot wash and freeze) but for now I can only wait for my monster bites to get smaller. In one way I am relieved it is not mozzie bites because I have around 40-50 bites. The Dengue mosquito is very active here and the risk of malaria is present around here even if low. On the other hand I feel annoyed that it happened so soon again. From now on my bed check will be an even bigger routine.

This was all for now, my last destination, Panama, is waiting around the corner. I hope for some sun and bed bugs free beds.

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Serious relaxation in lovely Montezuma

After La Fortuna and a kick start with adventures (a good way to cure jetlag by the way) it was time for some serious relaxation on the Nicoya Peninsula. It was time to check in to Amor de Mar in Montezuma. What we liked most about this place was the big garden filled with hammocks in the shade of the palm trees. We spend many hours relaxing there, just listening to the sound of the waves. We were in Montezuma during those days of the month when the moon makes the ocean extra rough which unfortunately made it hard to swim. But that gave us more time to hang out in Amor de Mar. Montezuma is a tiny village with a wide option of bohemian chic dining. We ate wonderful every evening and one evening we ate extra special since my friend had her birthday. Have a look at what we ate under “pics food” 🙂 Another great memory was when I visited a local animal rescue center where I met lots of exotic animals in need of extra care. Some of them can be viewed in my animal section.

Adventures and hot springs in La Fortuna

As I wrote about in my very first post in this blog, I have an upcoming trip to Central America beginning next year. The trip will be partly done together with my friend Louise and partly alone. We went to this region this year in February and visited Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize. It was a wonderful trip and I really fell in love with all places we visited. It is an amazingly rich and diverse region.  One day you can be in the jungle in Guatemala, watching Maya ruins and listen to the howl of the Howler Monkeys and a few hours bus and boat ride away you can be in an Caribbean paradise in Belize with reggae music, coral reefs and cute pastel houses all around.

The first stop on our 4 weeks long trip was La Fortuna in Costa Rica. La Fortuna is famous for the Volcano Arenal and its beautiful fertile surroundings. It is also a real adventure mecca with among other lots of zip line tours available through jungle. Louise tried but I was a bit scared and decided to skip it. La Fortuna has really taken the advantage of being an volcanic region. Many hot spring resorts competes about the attention. They come in different sizes and shapes and the hot spring place we visited had no less than 25 different pools in different temperatures. Despite that I obtained a nasty so called “swimmers ear” during this visit, it is the highlight of my La Fortuna stay.

A guided tour around Volcan Arenal

The Baldi hot springs, me looove!!!

Our hotel in La Fortuna, just a shame that there was a road behind the bushes...

Zipline demontration

"best to listen properly, it seems a bit dangerous..."

lush surroundings...

beautiful greenery...

Preparation ongoing

The next trip that is waiting around the corner (Feb/Mar 2012) is an almost nine weeks long holiday to Florida, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The first four weeks will be done together with my friend Louise. We went away this year in February to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico and liked it so much more that we want to explore of this fantastic region.

Planning and arranging things for such a trip is really half the fun. Nowadays I pretty much like to pre-book and plan my trip in advance. Some might think that is boring and I would have thought too a few years ago. But this is just a way that suits me nowadays (especially when time is limited). It is very relaxed to not have to think about too much practicalities once on holiday. This way I also make sure not to miss out on any highlights since I do lot´s of research already from home. And it is just so much fun to enjoy everything twice, online and in real 😉

So where are we going? Right now in the planning stage it looks like this:

  • United States: Landing in Miami =>Key West – Fort Lauderdale – Orlando – Sarasota – Miami
  • Honduras: Landing in Guatemala City =>Copan – San Pedro Sula – La Ceiba – Roatan Island
  • Nicaragua: Flying to Managua =>Granada – (Jenny continues alone) Spanish studies by lake Apoyo – Ometepe Island
  • Costa Rica: San José – Tortuguero – Corcovado – Cahuita
  • Panama: Bocas del Toro islands – Boquete – San Blas islands – Panama City

This was my first post and first update, there is much more to come. And here is a picture of my friend Louise and me last year in Costa Rica. Louise is a great travel mate. We are both structured but adventurous and like a mix of beach, city life and beautiful & tranquil scenery. We like to go to bed early (unless there is a party ;-)), need food every three hours and around two in the afternoon we both get cravings for cold beer 😀 Now, that is what I call a good match!

Me and Louise

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