La Fortuna - volcan arenal - cahuita
03.04.2007 - 11.04.2007
Spent a few days up in the mountains and cloud forests of costa rica, at santa elena. Went on our night tour into the rainforest which was good. Didn't see quite as much as had hoped. Did see a tarantula which the guide poked with a stick to get it to attack which was interesting.
Saw fireflies and loads of insects and a raccoon. Not quite the jaguars, sloths and monkeys that we were hoping for. Did quite a bit of drinking with the couple that we were travelling with while we were there which was all good fun. Also attempted our own little night safari after several too many drinks. Didn't get very far though which is probably a blessing, given all the wildlife and costa ricans that own weapons.
I managed to pluck up the courage to do a canopy tour on zip lines in the rainforest, having initially chickened out of it because of the heights involved. One of the lines was 260ft over a valley which certainly focussed the mind, as did the tarzan swing. This was basically a platform that you had to jump off and drop about 50ft then swing out over the jungle. Had to do it because everyone else in the group that I was with did it, including an 8 year old girl. Was good fun.
Spent a few days in Santa elena before getting a 'jeep' - boat - 'jeep' tour to our next destination, la fortuna. Turned out the 'jeeps' were minibuses, surprise surprise. The reason for going to la Fortuna was essentially to see volcan arenal, a volcano overlooking the town. Unfortunately for almost the entire 3 days that we were there the volcano was covered in cloud. It is supposed to be very active and spews lava out the top. Didn't see any of that though. We did a trip to the hot springs which are heated by the volcano. It was pretty much a resort with different pools of varying temparatures. One of them was 45 degrees, and was quite entertaining watching people trying to get in it. Far too hot. We decided not to do any of the tours to the rainforests on the volcano on account that they seemed to be a bit of a con and we would be unlikely to see any wildlife. So we, along with Sarah and James, decided to chip in together and hire a cire and do our own wildlife tour. Couldn't afford a 4x4 but certainly got our moneys worth out of the car - a little gold hyundai - which me and james took turns at hammering about little rocky dirt tracks through the forest. Was great fun. Actually saw quite a bit of wildlife aswell, monkeys, vultures, and two different types of toucan. I'm not that fussed by birds, but the toucans were amazing.
Next day we travelled to San Jose, capital of costa rica, in order to catch another bus to the caribbean. Had to stay a night in san Jose which wasn't great. Not a lot to see and do, and felt a bit dangerous. We also stayed in quite a strange place with a weird night porter who liked to stare a lot, and a funny old man who crept about the place occasionally stopping and staring into space. Managed to survive the night though, and are now in Cahuita on the Caribbean. Very nice so far. Saw our first sloth, attached to one of the windows at our hotel here. Very very strange looking thing. Moved off up onto the roof after Jenny irritated it - as any good zoologist would - waking it up by blowing in its face. Moved off very very slowly and went to sleep again.
Going to spend a couple of days here then move south to the next beach resort, puerto viejo, then on to Panama.