A Travellerspoint blog

Day 9...La Fortuna

Costa Rica trip 2002-2003

0 °C
View Costa Rica December 2002/January 2003 on Sam I Am's travel map.

On the choppy, windswept waters (famous to windsurfers) of Arenal Lake we got our first glimpse of the active volcano we had travelled from Monteverde to see. Yesterdays near 2 hour jeep/van ride had brought us to the edge of the lake where a small boat was ready to take us to La Fortuna: the village near the foot of the volcano. Although shrouded in clouds, El Arenal rose majestically in a countryside of rolling hills reminding me of a Scotland seen only on pictures (the patches of rainforest aside of course!).

No place booked to stay yet, but thats usually not a problem. The same here, with owners of different hostels and the like waiting for the jeep from Monteverde. We made the best decision yet and drove a couple of kms out of town with a guy who had cheap cabinas to stay at. This place was more like a resort than anything else-fantastic! A pool, basketball court, volleyball court, football field etc. etc. Our plan to stay for only one night was changed nearly immediately to include another day of relaxing by the pool-another great decision!

The evening of our 8th day included a near two hour hike to the foot of the volcano, spotting red lava and boulders flowing down the slopes and last of all, a visit to the hot springs. These hot springs were something else.... 7 different baths ranging in heat from 35 degrees celcius to nearly 70. One of the springs had a bar built in the middle selling cocktails...what a great place. We hung out there for a few hours, bribed our tour guide into arranging an extra bus back an hour later and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. After meeting a couple of canadians we invited them back to our resort for a late night swim. It ended up being our latest night to date... just past one in the morning: we are definitely growing old! This morning I woke up to find the rest of the gang seated in the kiddy pool playing cards...life is rough and as they say here in Costa Rica: we are enjoying the PURA VIDA!

Posted by Sam I Am 00:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Day 7....Monteverde

Costa Rica trip 2002-2003

0 °C
View Costa Rica December 2002/January 2003 on Sam I Am's travel map.

Another day, another animal. Well, that was supposed to be true today. We set off to the national park for a treetop walkway of 1.6 kms, sure we would spot the Quetzal (which we learned was possible from the Lonely Planet), some monkeys or if we were lucky, another cat type..... no such luck. I don't think we got any further than a butterfly or two. But still, it was well worth it. Standing in between the tops of the trees at 1500 metres above sea level, you are in a different surrounding than in the Netherlands....first of all, the fact that it is at least 1000 metres higher than anything in the Netherlands, second of all, the fact that there is some prime rainforest all around you...wonderful! Tonight we went on a evening/night tour...that was great. Saw a tarantula, another sloth, some big rat type (for lack of words) and a lot of insects...

To get here, we set out from Puerto Viejo early yesterday morning, forgive me for not remembering what day it is anymore... they seem to blend. It was a long bumpy ride but because the bridge had been fixed, not as long as it could have been. The bus apparently hadn't been looked at while fixing the bridge, some axel under the bus broke about an hour out of PV. However, faster than I have ever seen at the dutch rail (or any other rail) we had a new bus ready to take us on to San Jose for our connection. That was the longest part of the trip....6 or more hours, 3 of which on unpaved roads; brilliant but we were glad to arrive here in Monteverde! A nice place, obviously living off of the tourism coming from the surrounding national parks.

Speaking of getting up early in the morning. I don't think we have slept past 9 in the morning since arriving...something we find very impressive. The fact that we haven't been to bed past 11 is probably equally impressive. Most nights are from 9 to 6....incredible stuff for us :)

Getting kicked out of this internet cafe now but it is 9 so way past my new bed time already... don't know where the next entry will be from. Tomorrow we are off to the Arenal volcano/lake and La Fortuna (the place nearby). After that on to Liberia (a city, not the country). Sometime soon I will write more.

Cheers and goodnight....tomorrow the alarm rings at 5.30 ...zzzzz

Sam

Posted by Sam I Am 00:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Day 4...from Puerto Viejo

Costa Rica trip 2002-2003

0 °C
View Costa Rica December 2002/January 2003 on Sam I Am's travel map.

Day four brings an update from the far south east of Costa Rica. The Jamaican feeling town of Puerto Viejo to be exact. We arrived here earlier today after an interesting boat and bus ride (more later) from Tortuguero (far north east). As far as great places go, Tortuguero is one!

Nestled in the middle of a national park, Tortuguero surroundings boast an amazing array of animals, from the Manati (sea cow) to howler monkeys, from humming birds to tiny red frogs. Our accommodation was one of those places you can only dream about. On the river banks, hammocks a plenty, a self service bar, dinner and breakfast served every morning; what more does a person need? The tours through the national park made it the perfect place to spend a couple of relaxing, yet fulfilling days. We spotted all kinds of interesting animals, of which a dead manati and a oselot will stick to my memory the best (because they are the rarest to see I guess). Although the tours made at the park were great, the boat ride to the park was equally amazing. In the hands of Alexi (aka Carlos) we speeded down canals for a good 4 hours, occasionally stopping as Alexi pointed out some interesting flora and fauna along the way that only he could see till we were a meter away from it.

This morning that same boat ride brought us back to the town of Moin. Although no one probably knows it, it looked like it hosts the largest Dole banana handling center in the world with hundreds of trucks full of fresh bananas standing ready to be shipped to (probably) North America. That aside, from Moin we caught a van to Puerto Limon where the driver dropped us at a wayside road convincing us that this is where the bus to Puerto Viejo departed from. And sure enough, 20 minutes later, there was a bus filled with locals heading down south. There was still ample space in the bus and even Lucas with his 2+ meters could take a seat... half an hour later though, we all were ushered off the bus. A few weeks ago, a storm had destroyed a bridge and we now all had to walk across a log to get to the other side. The moment I was across I started hoping one of my travelling companions would fall off, but no such luck. On the other side, continuing busses awaited and a half an hour later we were on our way to this town. In a lot of aspects it reminds me of Byron Bay about 5 years ago; for those of you who have never been, the hippy mecca of Australia. It looks interesting so far, tomorrow will show more with a trip to the national park nearby.

More to come, dont know from where yet but it will be somewhere in the center of the north I imagine.... La Fortuna or so...

Take care,

Sam

Posted by Sam I Am 00:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The first day....

Costa Rica trip 2002-2003

0 °C
View Costa Rica December 2002/January 2003 on Sam I Am's travel map.

Costa Rica is already great! As all holidays are supposed to start, our hotel (yes, I know, a HOTEL!!!) was not as booked as expected. Basically, it wasnt booked at all (sorry about the punctuation marks... I am in one of those internet cafes that wont allow them without trying to find the alt key that will work the same sign....ah well, at least it is cheap!). Anyway, after some calling around we ended up in a great place downtown. Let me tell you...not just a hotel but a HOTEL! It is wonderful and cheap too which is what I like best about it! We sleep in a ball room of some sort. Wonderful! The ESPN channel tops it off...

On to more useful stuff. Today we booked some trips through this great country. Basically the trip planned was ditched on the first day....and I wont say I told them so... when we got some great advice on where to go, what to do, what not to do etc. etc. Tomorrow we are off to Tortugeuro and from what I have seen it is one of those places we dream about when we talk vacation....beautiful, clean, beach, national parks, rainforest and a general relaxed atmosphere. I am pumped! After that, Cahuita is in the planning...Jamaican hospitality at its best...but then in Costa Rica! More is planned after that....actually, we have nearly the whole three weeks planned which is a bit boring but hey, it is only three weeks. Give me a break!

Take care and hope to write again soon...

Cheers,

Sam
ps. if you are ever in San Jose, check out Papa Pey at la Pueblo. The big guy is hilarious!

Posted by Sam I Am 00:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Last night

Quitting Work & Travel Company International and heading to Costa Rica!

0 °C

Well, the last night is here before leaving tomorrow for Costa Rica and three nice long weeks away from everything! Unemployed since today; what a great feeling :)

Wishing all of you staying behind a great weekend, a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Cheers,
Sam

Posted by Sam I Am 00:00 Archived in Netherlands Tagged packing Comments (0)

(Entries 131 - 135 of 135) « Page .. 9 10 11 12 13 [14]