Published: May 17th 2012May 17th 2012
Before getting in to what we´ve been up to in Costa Rica, allow me to just say something quickly about airline food. Maybe it´s just non South American airlines that are creating the terrible reputation that it has, because so far it´s just been awesome. This is excluding the food we got in business class on the way out here of course as that´s obviously not a fair representation, but on the other flights we´ve had the food has been great. Travelling from Lima to San Jose we had chicken with herby mashed potatoes and a tomato sauce, with a potato/lettuce/tuna salad, bread rolls and biscuits. I´ve been led to believe I should be expecting some flimsy cardboard box filled with rotting meat and compost, but what I´ve actually found is pretty decent standard food, although still in a flimsy cardboard box. Anyways, on to our various galavants around Costa Rica.
We spent the first couple of days in the capital San Jose, which if I´m honest isn´t anything special. One notably good thing about it though, and this actually applies to the whole of Costa Rica, is the bakeries. They all sell these amazing sweet loaves, with various things on like cinnamon, apple, dulce de leche, and they´re all really big and really cheap. They also do ham and cheese ones so you can have that for a savoury option followed by a sweet one for pudding. Its an epic lunch. I think I´ve decided that I want to live in a bakery when i´m older. I could literally eat bread forever, without stopping. I´m sure my body would adapt to the homogenous diet. After a day or two in San Jose, where we had planned our vague route around the country, we made our way to the first stop - Tortuguero National Park. The small village of Tortuguero is only accessible by boat, it lies on a small strip of land with the Caribbean sea on one side and a network of canals that run through the park on the other. It is known for its beaches where, at night sea turtles come to pop out their eggs and abandon them in the sand after getting cold feet about motherhood. We first did a canoe tour of the canals, trying to spot various animals both in the rivers and the surrounding jungle. We saw spider monkeys, howler monkeys, a load of birds, caiman and lizards. The ability of our guide to spot animals in the undergrowth was literally ridiculous. He could have probably pointed out to us the bacteria on the leaves if he wanted to. He didn´t but I bet he could have. In the afternoon we did a walking tour of the jungle and then, after waiting til nightime, we set out on the hunt for the main event - the nesting sea turtles. The large majority of this was a major disappointment, we walked up the beach for ages getting drenched by the absurdly sporradic rainstorms they have there (they get ike 10 billion mm a year), and then walked back towards our hotel not thinking that we would see anything. But right at the end, it immediately became not at all disappointing and completely worth getting totally soaked, as we saw a Leatherback Turtle starting to dig its hole in which it would soon cruelly abandon its unhatched children. It was enormous, although relatively small apparently, but to me it was enormous. The whole process of laying the eggs and burying them in the sand takes about an hour in total. Luckily we got there towards the end of the hole digging part and so didn´t have to wait long before we could see it actually laying the eggs. It was an awesome thing to witness, especially as we weren´t there at the most active part of the nesting season so our chances of seeing one were even lower. Once we had watched the eggs plopping in to the hole in the sand, we had a celebratory barbeque on the beach with turtle burgers cooked in a tajine made out of the shell. We were arrested and sentenced to 3 months in prison.
So that´s it for our first Costa Rican experience, I better get back to my cell but stay tuned for my next blog - "jailbreak".