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TRIP BLIP: COSTA RICA WEEK 1 - click here for week 2

click here for week 3

titi monkeyDay 5 and 6 and 7-February 10,11 and 12-.

A note to family and friends that our cell phones don't get reception down here so we won't be calling. We also no longer have internet at our new hotelso we will only update and check messages every two or three days. In case of emergency please call our hotel.. Well it has been a busy three days After I last updated we took a very relaxing "resort" day and just hung out at Tilajari for the day and swam in the pool. It was a really nice day. The boys played with the local kids in the pool. The families have memberships to the resort that allows them to come and enjoy the facilities. Gabriel was particularly happy to have some company his own age even if they didn't speak English. Yesterday we drove from Tilajari to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. Sander and Jonah took lots of pictures as we crossed the Tarcoles river of the very large crocodiles. We didn't go swimming. When we first arrived in Manuel Antonio John and I were a little dissappointed. Coming from the fairly pristine interior to the tourist heavy coast was a difficult transition for us. The boys had no trouble adjusting at all even though our accomodation is smaller and more privitive. Of course it helped that there were twelve titi monkeys in the courtyard of the Posada Hotel where we are staying. They kids were suprised how much attitude these tiny monkeys have as they run around and play tag. We will definitely bring the video home for you all to see. They kids are now really seeing the poverty that exists in other countries and our maturing in their world view for sure. They are also having to broaden there palettes a little but of course Gabriel eats everything!! The beach once you pass through the shanty town of people selling stuff and the accumulated garbage is gorgeous. The one closest to us is a surfing/body boarding beach and the boys had a terrific morning there and then some more time in the pool. The next 13 days we will alternate between beach days and exploring days, including the Manuel Antonio National Park, wildlife preservation forests and the spice farm. We are having a great time and hope that everyone at home is too! Cheers,

Liz, John, Sander, Jonah and Gabriel

 

Day 4 -February 9, 2008. Just a quick update as we are all tired. Today we went back through La Fortuna and went to a place called Arenal Hanging Bridges. Here they have built a series of suspension bridges( up to 50 meters off the jungle floor),that extend through the jungle allowing you to easily climb up to where the gigantic plants are and today we saw our first monkeys. Beautiful little white faced monkeys leaping through the canopy. To shaded in there to get a god picture but we all enjoyed that. We are still waiting to see alligators.There have been none visible here in the river but we didn't go swimming to test that theory. We should see some Monday when we cross the bridge in Tarcoles on our way to the coast. We forgot to charge the camera the night before so had to limit our pictures. When I upload them I hope the ones I took from the top of the climb will show the steam coming out of the Volcano. It totally cleared which is very rare!! Oh we also saw leaf cutter ants. Very cool!! We probably won't have a chance to post for a couple of days as we are going to be travelling and we will have to find Internet access at our new place but we will as soon as possible!

Pura Vida,

 

liz and gang Costa rica tahone

Day 3-February 8, 2008 Hola!

We have not even been here 48 hours and you would not believe all that we have seen. A few words from Sander, our official photographer of today. He is now thinking a career with National Geographic would be appealing! costa rica boysSander says-

 

 

"The best thing today was watching the (Arenal) volcano erupt. The rocks would come falling down the volcano and you could see the bursts of steam. You can hear the explosions from the Arenal Volcano lodge. It was fun seeing all the different birds and the "tahones" (raccoon like creature) and all the amazing birds. Its amazingly hot here and I am sure if you were walking around in your pajamas at night outside you would be freezing but we aren't. The people all very friendly here and the food is very good. The people commonly give us help. The waiter at our hotel restaurante always talks with us, helps us with our Spanish and when we get lost on the unmarked roads, there are friendly locals (ticos) willing to give you directions. The food comes in all kinds of varieties, is very fresh and (my mom says) inexpensive. The pork chops at the restaurante has a delicious pineapple barbeque sauce."

costa rica bird

Today we Sander took almost 136 pictures. We will post some here and try to add some to my (Liz's) Facebook albums for family and friends to see. Today we saw about 20 varieties of birds including toucans, vultures, hawks, storks, tanagers, parrakeets...., we have also seen iguanas, gheckos, toads, tree frogs, a possum, a sloth, bats, the raccoon like critters (pilote? or tahone?).

Our route today was from Tilajari near Mulle, a fairly short drive to La Fortuna (nice town at the base of the Volcano, up to the Volcano Observatory for a walk to the Waterfall(Sander and Liz got lost and walked an extra mile in the jungle), watched the Volcano erupt, drove to the Lake(Lago Arenal), stopped to see many animals on the road and in the jungle, Back towards La Fortuna, stopped for a few hours at the beautiful Tabacon Hot Springs (WAY to expensive!) ,back to La Fortuna for some snacks from the SuperMercado, back to the Tilajari resort in time for supper and some nocturnal animal watching. Whew!! Need I say more. Again, once we are home I will complete reviews and add links for our accommodations and activities. Arenal Volcano

buenos noches,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sander and Liz

February 7, 2008 Day2-

During breakfast this morning after my last updated, I noticed that the car rental company had an office directly across from our hotel which would save a trip back to the airport. The warning with the rentals is that they have endless add on charges, although I do feel better about having the extra insurance (especially after the drive today):) We ended upgrading (for 'no extra charge" to a diesel automatic which was good since gas is over $5.80 a gallon here! The drive through the mountains to Muelle and the Tilajari resort was beautiful albeit taking life into your own hands. Traffic generally moves slowly and the trucks extra slow but someone is always willing to pass you to get behind the next truck! Never mind though because we made it and the Tilajari is even better then expected. We took the afternoon easy and played in the gigantic pool area and in the hot tub deck overlooking the river. The view from our beautiful, clean and spacious room is of the San Carlos river. Already we have seen vultures, lizards of all sorts, giant iguana's, birds of every colour, fascinating beattles(scary according to Gabe), squirrels and more and that is all just walking from our room to the pool and back or while we are at either place. We are having dinner here shortly. I may not upload this until tomorrow morning. We are thinking of heading to TABACON HOT SPRINGS tomorrow and to view the lava at the volcano but we will chat up the other guests for their suggestions over dinner. So far this holiday is really turning out to be more then we had hoped!! Knock on Wood! Adios!

drive to la fortuna

February 6, 2008(Victoria, BC to San Jose, Costa Rica via Seattle and Dallas)

We are on our way! I am writing this in the last couple of hours of our flight that will finally take us to Costa Rica. After leaving our home at 4:30 am to get to the airport for our first flight at 6:00 we discovered the roads were covered with san jose flight

ice. It was a slow drive to the airport but we arrived safely checked in and got our days boarding passes. The wind storm from the night before had died off and we had a pretty smooth ride to Seattle. After breakfast we boarded the next leg of our trip to Dallas. There were a few delays getting away and we worried about making our connection in Dallas but again anther uneventful trip. I have not flown American Airlines in many years. Kind of a funny experience. Not a particularly "friendly" airline as compared to my experiences on West jet and Alaska...but I will go into more details on this in the final review of the trip. As we wind down and the movie goes on one of the elderly passengers up front falls ill and the aisle fills with flight attendants and nurses and doctors. And of course at the same time we enter the only turbulence of our trip so some passengers are unable to be seated. ............

 

UPDATE: We are in San Jose...got in very late last night and the boys are still sleeping. Seems the woman on our plane had an insulin attack. She was stable when we arrived but went off to the hospital. It is sunny and mild here today. The plan is breakfast, a swim and then off to Tilajari sometime mid day!!!! Hope to start getting some pictures and adding them soon.

PS. The coffee is fantastic!

costa rica drive

butterfly costa rica