Published: February 9th 2011February 8th 2011
Dear friends and family of Jon and Leanne, whilst you guys slave away at work, we thought we'd give you a hand and try to help you through your tiresome day by telling you about the awesome experiences we are having at the moment.
Number One: Last night I felt the baby kick for the first time. Leanne had been trying to make the baby do it whilst I had my hand on her tummy for weeks, but telepathy doesn't seem to work with foetuses. So finally by good luck, I felt a tiny little tap on my hand. I'm not able to predict if the baby will be a stong enough kick to make it in the AFL yet, but the signs are promising.
Anyhow, you probably know that Costa Rica is a long way from Australia. And after 32 hours on planes and in airports we are acutely aware of this fact. We feel fortunate to have made all 4 connecting flights to get here. Good on ya Qantas and AeroMexico. When we arrived in San Jose we were both knackered from jetlag, so we went straight to bed around 1 am local time, but if felt
more like 6 PM, which was the time back in Oz. So it took a few days to aclimatise. Its safe to say that was the worst jetlag either of us have ever had. But we still managed to see a really cool macaw sanctuary near the hostel we were staying in. They had a breading program and were over 80% successful in relocating the mature birds into their natural environment. The Kiwi bloke running it was very informative and gave us plenty of tips about what to see and do in CR.
With two nights of interupted sleep under our belts we thought we were ready to take the four hour chicken bus to La Fortuna. We were wrong! Whilst technically not a chicken bus due to the lack of livestock inside the bus it made up for that shortcoming with its interior design. The spacing between seats was precicesly 2 cm shorter than the average human femur. Ingenious! So 4 exhausting hours later we stepped out to see La Furtuna and Volcan Arenal. Except that we couldn´t see Volcan Arenal because it was shrouded in clouds like it is almost every day of the year. So there
was no point in climbing to see the erruptions, because of the clouds and the other problem that it stopped errupting 6 months ago.
So you probably think that this sounds nothing like a holiday so far, and that is what I was starting to think at this point. But from here on it gets better. The following day I went white tater rafting and absolutely loved it. On the way I saw Iguanas, Monkeys, a massive blue butterfly and many different birds including black vultures and these funny white birds that follow cows to eat the bugs in the dirt after they stir up the ground with their feet. I had a really cool day, but Leanne had to miss out on something she would have loved to do. Instead she had a "pregnancy massage", which she also enjoyed. In the afternoon we went to some very posh thermal springs and ate well before retiring for the evening.
Next stop was Santa Elena in the hills. From here we saw cloud forrests, and I got to go zip lining. If you don´t know what this is, it is a series of flying foxes through the tree tops
and in some cases across very wide and high valleys. We made friends with a canadien couple who went with me, but again Leanne had to sit this one out.
That night we were wet and cold and didn´t have any warm clothes so we decided to move on to Tamarindo on the coast. We were warned about this place, but the first thing that struck us was the smell. Apparently we had arrived the day before rubbish day and there is no such thing as a wheelie bin here. Tamarindo embodies all the bad things that western tourism can impose on another culture and is not really the type of place we like to stay in. But there were turtles to see and we hung around for two nights to do the turtle tour. On our second attempt we saw a 1.4 metre leatherback dig her nesting hole in the sand and lay 80 eggs in it. The rangers and biologists are trying to increase numbers of turtles on this beach, but it seems they are fighting a losing battle. From Tamarindo we also visited Playa Brasilito and Playa Conchal which were much nicer for a day.
We have now made it to Samara, which is another beach about 40 km away from Tamarindo. That equates to 5 hours of bus travel in comparable luxury to get here. I say luxury, because a very unexpected event occured. When trying to board one of the three connecting buses needed to get here, the conductor said it was full. I didn´t realise that there was such a thing as a full bus in this country. Until now there had always been room for one more. But on this occasion we had to wait for the next bus, and when we got on that one it also became full. An interesting feature of the public bus sytem in CR is that there are very few official bus stops; instead any point along the route, or even not on the route, can become a bus stop at the discretion of a passenger or driver. But when the bus is officially full, we get to cruise past all of these so called stops and get to our destination much quicker. Samara seems like a very pleasant, medium sized village town and we plan to stay up to a week here to chill out for a bit.
Hasta la vista amigos.