Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Well we have left tortugero now and are sitting in a hostel in Monteverde. 

Loved being in the jungle in tortugero and getting on the boat back decided that we are going to have to do more of this jungle lodge thing.  After a slightly worrying boat trip back where we  ran into something in the shallow water which at first appeared to have broken the motor on our boat stranding us in the middle of no where, we secumbed to the temptation and got a tourist coach to our next destination La Fortuna.  This cost a lot more than the local bus but saved us about 5 more hours of being squeezed into a rickity old bus (although it still took 5 hours).  I am sure that when we become more seasoned travellers we will be more willing to rough it.

Felt very sorry for La Fortuna it is a whole tourist town built around a volcano which has stubbornly decided to sit there being completly inactive for the last year. We especially felt sorry for Mr Lava Lava the man who ran the small hostel in his back rooms of his house.  We were his only guests and he may now have to change his nickname to something less dramatic now there is no lava left.  We however decided to only stay one night and headed off early by bus and boat to Monteverde.

After our bus arrived in Monteverde we decided to go straight to one of the many places offering canopy tours.  Which is a very gentle sounding name for what it basically hurtling along a series of zip wires a frightening height above the cloud forest.We absolutely loved it especially the final Superman line where hands free you dangle along a 1km long wire so high that birds of prey were circuling under me as I flew by. 

Off early tomorrow to have a guided tour around Monteverde cloud forest but this time at a more leisurely speed. 

Jonty and Katie

Monday, 30 January 2012

toucans, monkeys and bears oh my...

After an epic journey involving 2 squashed public buses and an incredible boat ride along canals with wildlife and rainforest on either side we arrived in Tortuguero on the Northern Carribean coast.  It's stunning and is very much like I imagine the Amazon might be and is pretty remote as the nearest road is an hour away.  Got up at 6am the next day for a 3hour wildlife tour with Roberto our guide. It was like playing Where's Wally spotting the animals in the trees and in the river.  They're pretty good camouflage artists but we tracked them down and saw a boa constrictor dangling from a tree, a river otter, a basilisk (bit different to harry potter monster) monkeys, iguana, caimen and some cool birds.  It was pretty special seeing them in the wild and so peaceful floating along the river.

After a pancake brekkie we hit the beach but only paddled in the sea as decided we didn't really want to be a sharks breakfast. Then we went on a hike around the national park and after seeing just a dragon fly and a little lizard we thought our luck was out but we suddenly heard a rustle overhead and saw a monkey family swinging overhead followed by all of its extended relatives as must have seen about 12! It was then we spotted our first toucans sitting in a tree and we were torn between watching them and the monkeys!  incredible.  We stood watching for so long we started to get neck ache! We walked on amongst the forest and i almost expected a dinosaur to come out as it was just like being in jurassic park (it's filmed in costa rica we haven't gone mad) with the sounds and exotic vegetation.  On our way back to civilisation we were walking back quite fast as park was shutting and we weren't sure about being in the park on our own in the dark.  bats were circling when we came across a family of creatures who were as surprised to see us as we were to see them.  We had absolutely no idea what they were.  they were a cross between a monkey and a bear and later found out they were long nosed bears.  cool looking - google them!  Day finished off in a local karaoke bar/club where we and the german couple we went with were the only gringos.  and when we hit the dancefloor not sure we've ever caused so much excitement - as the cry of 'gringos dancing' went around the dancefloor.  very entertaining evening but lets just say the costa ricans seem to be much better dancers than singers.

had a good final day here where we paddled off in a canoe and saw monkeys, iguanas and an otter and got absolutely soaked in the tropical downpours but it didn't matter.  we've got to run now to catch our boat out of here.  hasta luego, katie and jonty xx