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Osa Peninsula

COSTA RICA | Tuesday, 21 January 2014 | Views [373]

So we're in Costa Rica now and having a pretty great time. A couple of buses to get across the border and then we took the slow boat from Gulfito to Puerto Jimenez, our base to get to Corcovado National Park. Arnold has always talked very highly of this park and so it was always going to be on the itinerary. Puerto Jimenez was a very dusty kind of town as there are no sealed roads and everyone drives around in pickup trucks and old 4WD´s. It's a funny sort of place, with quite a few retired Americans living there, one of which was the owner of the backpack safari place we were going to stay at. This place was a few k´s out of town and to get there you´d have to stand in the back of his pickup truck, holding on tight to the metal bars as he drove around town,  first doing a few groceries, picking up a neighbour, and doing all sorts of other things before we finally made our way to the place.

 

The place! What a place! It was a very low-key backpacker place, set in the jungle on a private property not too far from the national park. It has tents instead of rooms and everything, from the showers to kitchen and communal room, was outdoors. He told us his son had set it up a few years ago, building everything himself, but he got tired of it after a few years and moved on. So Pete took it over. It was the kind of place where they try to grow their own herbs and veggies, recycle, and packpackers can volunteer their time to help with the garden and track maintenance in exchange for a free night accommodation. It was a most delightful place. From our tent, open on all sides, we saw several groups of monkeys swing past, checking out one of the banana trees which grows naturally in the area. Hummingbirds zip up and down, flapping furiously but gracefully.  Hardly any need to go to the park anymore!

But of course we went there anyway, a bit of an undertaking involving hiring a 4WD, getting up before dawn so we could leave at 5 am, trying to beat the scorching, draining, intense heat and humidity which makes any activity after 11 am virtually impossible. A bumby, hour long drive in the dark was prolonged a bit by a tree which had fallen onto the road and which required some locals, a rope and a car to get it out of the way.  Then another 3 km of walking on the beach before we got to the start of the track. The walk itself was quite wonderful, completely shaded by the jungle but close to the beach at all times. We just wondered around slowly, spotting spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, numerous raptors, a whole family of coati´s and some strange, jurassic looking reptilians.  Quite a treat!

Today, we´re at Rio Tico safari lodge, quite a bit more luxurious than what we would normally stay at but the place is run by a former colleague of Arnold´s, and he was keen to catch up with her and see the place. It´s right on the Rio Tico so we´ve been chilling out in the numerous waterholes and under waterfalls.

Tomorrow we will be off to Chirripo national park, where there are some seriously challenging mountain trails- from jungle to mountain to have a few days of respite from the heat!

 

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