Friday, March 16, 2012

Tortuguero to San Carlos Valley

We left the Tortuguero Jungle resort on a 1 ½ hour boat ride to the dock where the bus was waiting for us with the majority of our luggage.  We took just an overnight bag to the jungle due to the weight and space for luggage on the boat.  The tour director told us that today would definitely be called a ‘travel’ day.  Well, it was! After boarding the bus we had another 2 hour drive to our lunch destination.  The afternoon was again spent on the bus with a break at a pineapple plantation.  We have learned how to have the best bananas and now the best pineapple.  We tasted both fresh pineapple and fresh squeezed pineapple juice.  Cal & I even had the opportunity to have a pineapple pop.  It was the best pineapple I have ever eaten.  In fact on this whole tour we have had fresh fruits at least each day and sometimes each meal.  I ate so much pineapple that my mouth was nearly raw! 
Pineapple Field

Picking Pineapples
Picking P:ineapples

Pineapples in teh Field

Rachel Eating a Pineapple

By 5:30 we arrived at our Hot Springs Resort near La Fortuna – we are now half way across the country (westward), going to the coast.  We are at the foot of the Arernal Volcano. What a lovely resort with at least 5 hot springs (at varying temperatures), and each of our rooms face the volcano, however the volcano is cloud covered! After dinner we enjoyed the hot springs, and if the sky had been clear, it would have been dark enough to see lots of stars. Instead it rained while we were in the hot springs – we just kept our shoulders under the warm water and the cool rain drops did not bother us.  By the time we returned to our room I was too tired to work on this blog.  It seems to have rained every 15 minutes today! So that being on the bus a lot of the day was ok.          

This morning (Thursday) we drove straight north to the town of Los Chilis, that is basically across the river from Nicaragua.  We had another boat cruise looking for wild life.  We saw a stork that is on the endangered list – the guides were so excited to see it.  Also we saw a blond howler monkey carrying its baby on her stomach.  She was not afraid of us and we were within 8 ft of her.  She was eating blossoms from this one tree and did not let us distract her.  It was amazing.  Later we saw the white faced monkey and the spider monkey – monkeys were everywhere.  We saw many other birds along the way to the Nicaragua border.  We actually crossed into Nicaragua for at least 30 yards on the river and then returned to Costa Rico.  The wildlife we viewed made the bus trip worth the ride.  We passed sugar cane fields and cane processing plants, pineapple plantations and processing plants, and diary farms.  The whole area looks more prosperous. 
Rare Blonde Howler Monkey with Young Baby

Blonde Howler Monkey with Baby

By mid afternoon we stopped at another resort in the Arenal Volcanic area that has an extensive hot springs system. Baldi Springs and Resort!  What a place! There are 25 swimming pool areas that were at various temperatures – 4 were swimming pools with cool water.  It is a beautiful facility.  We returned to our accommodations before dinner. 
Baldi Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs
Baldi hot Springs

To say the least we are tired tonight.  We will probably post this blog in the morning. 

1 comment:

  1. I am just now catching up on this trip! Wow! What an adventure! Thanks so much for sharing all the great stories and great pics.