Costa Rica - Cloud Forests, Howler Monkeys and a cold!
Our first experience in San Jose was of our cab driver claiming that most of San Jose was experiencing a power cut. This included our hostel but thankfully he knew a very nice hotel he could take us to instead. Luckily we´d been warned about this scam but after Nicaragua it didn´t seem that implausible! However, after he then pushed his luck completely and tried to charge us $20 for a $2 cab journey we beat a hasty retreat leaving him cursing us at the side of the road!
We spent a couple of nights in San Jose and then headed to a place called La Fortuna which is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the country. That day, we went on a twilight tour which involved trekking in a national park, seeing the volcano by nightfall and then visiting the nearby hot springs. The hot springs consisted of 12 different pools of different temperatures and a large waterslide led to one of these. Having forgotton that the last time we went on a waterslide we were 20 years younger and 6 stone lighter, Paddy and I barged our way past a group of 13 year olds daring each other to go down and threw ourselves off. Half way down the slide it became apparent that there was a reason only scrawny teenagers go on such things - as we went over a bend, we were shot 5 feet into the air to the gasps of the fleeing teenage boys below who realized what was going to happen next. ´Tsunami´ was heard in the pool below. After regaining our composure (and Debs regaining her bikini top) we dragged our bruised bodies (and egos) to gentler waters for the remainder of the evening!!
The next day we went to Monteverde, a town famous for it´s Cloud Forest and wildlife and by 6am on Monday morning, we were trekking through the forest in search of monkeys! After 7 hours we finally found them! The scenery and setting here was just incredible and undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip to date. Totally amazing place! (Leachy - took lots of pictures of monkeys and wildlife but no sloths - we´ll try to find one in Ecuador for you!!! )
Our plan had been to then head back to San Jose en-route to a place called Tortuguero where we´d be able to see turtles laying their eggs in an area billed as a ´mini-amazon´. Unfortunately though, by 3am the following morning, Paddy´s temperature hit 102 degrees and it became clear that we weren´t going anywhere! For the next few days Paddy battled a nasty fever and cold (which he would like to point out was potentially life-threatening and therefore he was very brave to get through it without complaining - too much at least!) and then it was back to San Jose for a couple of days before the flight. No time for Tortuguero but we´ve had a fantastic time in Costa Rica and Central America.
Next stop, South America......