Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Costa Rica

We stayed at a terrific Villa in Monteverde and were within walking distance to some lovely restaurants. Of course we had to invest in some flashlights as there were no street lights so it was pitch black walking to and from supper. We were told that scorpions were something that was around so we were watching for them. Doing laundry one evening Joyce stepped on one --- I think she surprised it as much as it surprised her -- she called for John and he killed it! We were also told that their sting altho not fatal is like a really bad bee sting and we were also told by another that altho not fatal they hurt like hell for quite awhile. Glad none of us had to find out! Our first venture was exploring a butterfly farm and then in the afternoon we toured a coffee plantation

We had our first early morning (6 am) to start the first birding morning with Chico. He is a fantastic guide whom Iain had arranged  before we even arrived. So many birdies! I think Iain's head was twisting off its hinges. I think this was the outing Iain got his 1000th bird. That night we celebrated with a bottle of French Champers that Paul and Elsa had brought just for this occasion!

In between our birding days we did a canopy walk. Spectacular!! We didn't attempt any zip lining but saw many who were. Also did some touristo shopping and visited an orchid display. Absolutely fascinating! Didn't know there were so many and then the little tiny ones that we needed magnifying glasses to see.
Our second birding excursion was not quite as intense as the first but we managed to bag quite a few. We did discover that our guide's grandfather had settled the area  in 1918---San Luis! So there were quite a lot of cousins around I think Chico told us about 200. We stopped for a lunch at a local field where the Sunday morning soccer tourny was happening. After a lunch of chicken, rice and salad and of course a nice cold cerveza we were off again!!
Before we knew it it was time to leave Montverde and head to Arenal. After a drive and a less than thrilling boat ride  we arrived at a fabulous resort with an equally fabulous view of the volcano. We were reassured it had "spewed" about 3 months earlier and there was no indication it was ready to go again. We spent the rest of the day in and around the pool and the evening having a few drinks on the patio. The next day we hiked up around the volcano. Phew what a hike! Those lava stones are hard to walk on and between Iain's gimpy knee and my munchkin legs we were always pulling up on the rear. We did feel good after it was done and I was very happy to see the "salida" (exit) sign. Back to the resort for more drinks and pool. That night we treated ourselves and ate at the restaurant in the upscale hotel next to us. --- Worth it YES!!

Two days in Arenal then it was time to head to Sugar Beach. Glorious way to spend our last few days in paradise! 30 to 36 every day , lots of sun, water and relaxin!!

Time to head home but wait what is that spewing from the bottom of OUR airplane hydraulic fluid!!  NOOOOOOOOO!! Now I do not know too much about airplanes but I do know that you need that stuff for taking off -- staying in the air --- and landing! So we were sent to the hotel we had stayed in when we first arrived for the night. Well I guess if one has to be in paradise one more day this is the best place. The next morning all 200 of us filed onto the bus and off we went again.Yahoo this time we are on our way. Arrived in Montreal to 4 degrees and bussed yet again to the van. Oh no the van has a flat tire. Iain and Paul go in search of a service station that is open. Okay so tire is pumped and off we go again. We stop for a Harvey's burger (funny how good these things taste when you are on the road) and what?? the tire is low again. Dump out the luggage and the women and the nascar pit crew jumps into action. Finally by almost 2 am we were in our little beds.

If you ever get a chance to go to Costa Rica I have only one word for you ---- GO!!

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