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Published: January 25th 2016
R: After Dominical, we took a bus to San Isidro de General, apparently the new upcoming city of Costa Rica. There isn't much to see here, so we ran from bus station to bus station, in hope of making our 20 minute connection to a bus to San Jose. Success! Our next bus was a bit more complicated as we were to get off in the middle of nowhere to visit an Eco lodge. Thankfully it was well signed and there were no dramas. After an 800m walk down a muddy track, we found the place, and it is stunning.
C: The lodge is built on the edge of the mountain and is made up of lots of individual wooden cabins. Ours had a great view down the mountain and was surrounded by bird-filled trees. It got very cold at night, which was actually a nice change from the crazily hot and humid conditions on the coast, so we were grateful for the eight blankets on the bed! There was a small restaurant and lounge area with a massive log burner and balcony with stunning views across the valley. My favourite thing was the hummingbird garden outside the restaurant area,
we must have seen well over a hundred coming and going to little feeders set up by the lodge as well as buzzing around the trees. They're amazing creatures and really beautiful. Dinner was basic but tasty and we enjoyed relaxing by the fire in the evenings before retreating to our cabin. On the second day we explored some of the trails in the Cloudforest, hiking to some pretty waterfalls and coming across a small, abandoned plane that apparently crashed into the side of the mountain about thirty years ago. Thankfully still no snake sightings though!
R: I took the early morning tour to hunt for Quetzals, the bright red and green endangered bird. The Eco lodge have a deal with certain farmers who spot them on their land and provide them with habitat to live, in return, small groups can go and see them early in the morning. Our 6am departure provided me with wonderful view of the sunrise. I got the opportunity to speak a lot of German on the tour, as everybody but the guide spoke German. The tour took us down some rough dirt tracks, steep into a valley. It only took us minutes to
find a pair of Quetzals near the farm, and we spent quite a lot of time (too much time?) tracking them and taking pictures. By 8am we headed back to the lodge, where I woke up Cate and made her come up for breakfast of Rice and Beans. We ended up a parculuarly majority German speaking group as the other members were from Germany or the Netherlands, so I got plenty of opportunity to practice my German in an unexpected place. But I still can't remember the word for Hummingbird...
I am writing this part of the blog sat in a chair with the best view (see photos) from our room of the whole Central area of Costa Rica. We can see Hummingbirds, butterflies and beautiful gardens around us.
It's been great to relax a little here, as tomorrow we fly on to Peru, and something tells me that will be anything but relaxing...
We had a little bit of luxury on the way to the airport - a private transfer instead of the public bus as we had an early flight and weren't convinced we would make it. Our driver, who owns a transport business in
Costa Rica, regaled us with stories about transporting Will and Jayden Smith around Costa Rica for their latest film, Concussion. Well, if he was a good enough driver for Will Smith, he is good enough for us.
On reflecting on our time in Costa Rica, you can see the interest everyone we have met has in the environment, right down from the support for wind power (something we could learn from in the UK - 90% of all Costa Rica's power comes from renewables), to the pro-wildlife laws and the councils planting trees on highway road sides with the correct genus name attached to them, so motorists can learn the right names for all the plants they see.
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