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Published: January 31st 2013
Last Sunday we went to National park Santa Elena, a cloud forest. We did a long hike, didn't see much wildlife but we did not expect that as we knew that its is not best place to see wildlife but for the beautiful cloud forest. The forest itself was beautiful enough, looking like a fairytale-forest: very calm, dense, green and very mossy. And of course very wet (typical for cloud forest).
On Monday we travelled to Liberia and booked our bus tickets for Nicaragua (we are going there coming Tuesday), so we are ready to go one of these days to the embassy for Gyanendra's visa. So again we are in a very hot area (about 35-38C), in Santa Elena we had very cool nights, which we enjoyed a lot.
Tuesday we went to National park Rincon de la Vieja, named after a volcano with the same name and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. The path to the main crater was closed because of "increased volcanic activity", but there were other interesting trails. First we took a 3km loop which took us to:
* "fumarolas": steaming holes in the ground, one
of them with boiling water (see picture 1 and 2).
* "volcancito": a small crater (see picture 3)
* "pailas de barro": holes with boiling mud - very impressive! (see picture 4)
* "pailas de agua": holes with boiling water (see picture 5)
* "laguna fumarolica": a lake. (see picture 6)
All these volcanic sights were very spectacular - something we've never seen before.
After this tour, we did a 5km (one way) hike to waterfall (50m high). Very beautiful and giving us a refreshing swim. The hike went through a different landscape (open savannah) that we didn't see before here in Costa Rica.
And while we were hiking, we saw some wildlife: monkeys, an iguana, coatis (neusberen), parakeets and 2 snakes, among which a very green one, it was like floating a few cm above the ground (we don't know if it was dangerous, but it looked like it would like some human blood). And besides that: some aggressive mosquitoes and lots of ants.
Yesterday (Wednesday) we went to the Palo Verde National park, or at least the border of it. We did a boat trip on the Tempesque river to see
many waterbirds and crocodiles. We also saw many white-faced capuchin monkeys, they even jumped on our boat when the captain scratched some plastic. There were also many iguanas, we saw a few very big ones, hidden in the trees. And we saw "Jesus Christ lizards", named like that because they can walk on water. We had a guide which was also our driver to the park (there was no public transport), this time it was a good one. Even on the way he was talking a lotm so we learned a lot about the Costa Rican agricultural life.
Now we are in San Jose and we went to the Nicaraguan Embassy: after about 2 hours waiting, Gyanendra has his visa, so we are sure that we can travel to Nicaragua (and from there back home).
In our previous blog we talked about the Corcovado national park, but we realised that we forgot to tell one story... During our trip we suddenly heard a sound that we hadn't heard before, a bit like a barking dog. "That's a spider monkey who sees a puma" our guide said, "they have a very specific sound to warn their friends". And as
the sound came from nearby, we started running through the jungle (away from the trail), to find the puma. But unfortunately we didn't find it (and fortunately it didn't find us...). And one more thing: to go to the entrance of that park, we had to take a truck, driving 42km in 3 hours, on a road that not always looked like a road and driving through rivers.
See more pictures below!
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