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Published: August 22nd 2013
These look exciting, but are completely harmless, they spin gold webs too, very cool.
From Arequipa we took a 16 hour night bus to Lima where we checked into our "hostel", which turned out to be a private house where the owner was illegally renting out her spare room! The nicest host you could wish to meet, and she provided the best breakfast to date. We spent a day looking around downtown Lima and went to the Cathedral with its accesible catacombs and two attached museums which was very worthwhile, not a bad way to spend time waiting for our flight to Costa Rica.
We arrived in the San Jose airport which is actually in Alajuela and got picked up by the owner of the Hostel that we had booked. We stayed in the small town of Grecia, a half hour drive from the airport and a bit more tranquil than San Jose. Grecia is famous for its huge metal church and being home to "World of Snakes"! We enjoyed seeing all the snakes and having the opportunity to hold a rainbow boa. The area was also full of the most fasinating spiders that spin golden webs.
We made the most of the location as Grecia is not far from Volcan Poas, we
Poison Dart Frog
Found on the way to early morning fishing
accepted an invite from a local to show us the non tourist route up the mountain through the forest with another tourist from Mexico. We had a great day out but it was a pretty tough climb. Well worth it when we got to the top to see the steaming crater!
The bus to San Jose was only an hour, then we had to change bus for the 5 hours on to Cahuita, a small town on the South Caribean coast. The scenery along the way was amazing, we passed steep cliffs with vegetation hanging from every part, just the occasional waterfall breaking up the green wall, it was very Jurrasic Park! As we got closer to the Caribean coast it got hotter and more humid. When we arrived there was a taxi waiting for us which was great as we never would have found the cabin we had booked. There are no street names, just dirt roads and although there is a grid system in the centre the rest of the paths just snake out in different directions.
Cahuita smells and feels like living in the reptile house at the zoo, and has many of the same
Cahuita National Park
animals living there too! The town is right at the entrance to a 10sqkm reservation area. The first night we couldn' t sleep because of the heat, second night howler monkeys kept us awake, it was quite nice to get up and see them in the tree tops right from the comfort of our cabin. We haven't seen much of the country yet but what we have seen has been much cleaner compared to the previous countries we have visited, many places also recycle which is nice to see, and a first on this trip.
We went into the national park which is lush tropical jungle all the way to the sea with a thin strip of sand surrounding. There is a nice easy trail to follow winding in and out between jungle and beach with a few small rivers to ford. We saw lots of animals, lizards, land crabs, birds, coatis, squirrels, but the highlight has to be the sloth. They are the sweetest most out of proportioned animal I think you can find. The one creature we didn't see was the bright yellow eyelashed viper, which is beautiful and there are apparantly lots of them in the
park, I think I would have been quite nervous if we had of seen one though. We stopped at one of the beaches for our first swim in the sea of this trip, the water was lovely, warm but refreshing at the same time.
We went out in a small local fishing boat at 5.30am when the water was really calm and we could enjoy the sunrise. We saw turtles and stingrays, but didn't catch any fish worthy of mentioning. It was a nice morning on the water though, unluckily there had been a massive down poor in the night and the water was very murky and affected the fishing. Having had such an early start it was a good excuse to just stay at the cabin in the afternoon watching the monkeys and we also spotted a sloth in one of the garden trees, I could happily do this every day!
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Been looking forward to you reaching Costa Rica - love the photo's but not too keen on those of the spiders. Your trip sounds as wonderful as ever - hope Mark gets to catch something really big and exciting on one of his fishing trips - Take care and keep on enjoying your Grand Adventure.