I am sorry that it has been a bit quiet on the blog front for the last few days. This has been caused by two factors - being a bit busy and rubbish wifi connections. So here we go on a bit of a catch up.
Arrived in San Jose, the capital, in the late afternoon and were met by our guide to be taken to the hotel which was about 30 minutes from the airport, passing all the Christmas lights in the main street of the city on the way. The grandly named El Presidente hotel was located in a busy suburb just out of the city centre. Got checked in and room was large, if a little on the basic side - the night proved that sound proofing and plumbing could both do with an upgrade! The shower room would have been large but was mainly occupied by a very large shower!
Needing cash, we were told that an ATM was just around the corner and, sure enough, there was a Santander branch - just like home. If you are a regular reader (see Namibia) our track record with ATMs is not great. Now, in CR you put the card in sideways and, having mastered this after a couple of attempts, found that the Revolut card used previously in many countries was not recognised! So we revert to the good old HSBC card and are offered a choice of the local Colones or US dollars. Choosing the latter, all was going well until it failed to dispense any of the $300 requested. Although it did return the card. Returning to the hotel, a call was made to HSBC who, it turned out were shut!! I know we were 6 hours behind but I thought banks ran a 24 hour telephone service these days. Apparently not.
We ate in the hotel restaurant and had a very good dinner and a few drinks before heading to bed at what was, effectively 4 am according to our body clocks. We were due to be picked up at 6.50 in the morning but didn’t get a whole load of sleep. Breakfast was served from 6 am so we managed a quick snack before pick up. This was by coach which was to take us to our first destination- Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast.
We passed through a National Park of primary forest on the way climbing into the cloud forest (where it was unsurprisingly very cloudy and raining) before dropping down the the rain forest (raining) and then onto the lowlands (dry). We stopped at a roadside restaurant for another breakfast of the mandatory rice and beans with a fried egg. Costa Ricans’ staple dishes are rice and beans or beans and rice and on special days you can get rice and beans and chicken or, in this case rice and beans and egg. You get my drift!
After another hour on the road we arrived at the dock to board our boat to the lodge 1.5 hours away. When I say ‘dock’ it was long boats with 2 x 2 seating and two big outboards on the back. On the way we saw crocodiles, Green basilisks (Jesus Christ lizards), caymans, and several different birds. We were greeted at the lodge with a cool fruit juice and handed the key to our cabin which, as in all good hotels, was the furthest away from reception!
I need to stop now as we are going into La Fortuna, the local town for a wander but will continue with a further update later
ADOG & LMAG xxxx