We flew from Quito to San Jose through Miami (600$ cheaper¿?). We had a stop over for 7 hours. However time was flying by because of those several security checks. What we do not understand, that we had to go through the Immigration, even if you just are in transit. (Does that make any sense???) Because of that we could not meet Simone's parents. They were at the same time at the Miami Airport. However we were very excited to meet Simone’s parents at last in San Jose. Of course we chatted till very late. Next day we didn’t bother when it was raining, we still had to tell each other a lot of things. Early in the morning the following day a small bus picked us up and we drove to the Caribbean Side where a boat was waiting for us. We had a little stopover at a banana plantation. People there are poor and work a lot. The Samoa Lodge was very nice, what a luxury for Peter and I. No more shared bathrooms and cheap accommodations. The lodge was located on a river. We really enjoyed being at Samoa Lodge, there we could observe a lot of wildlife and we had enough free time to relax. Parque Nacional Tortuguero is situated on a broad flood plain, that is home to some of the greatest biodiversity in Costa Rica. The park is mainly known as the most important Caribbean breeding site of the green turtle. Unfortunately nesting season was over however we saw some small turtles trying to reach the ocean. With a rental car we drove to Puerto Viejo, which lies also on the Caribbean Side. We visited this small town where they sell a lot of crafts and art works. However we also did some hiking in the nearby Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre. It was nice walking through the jungle and we did some rest at lovely lonely beaches. We left the beach and drove further into the mountains to Turialba. We were able to spot some Colibiris. And it was amazing to watch them from our balcony. It was difficult to take some pictures from the feeding birds. They are so small and nervose. However it was a joy to watch them anyway. We visited also Poas Volcano, which is a must for anyone who wants to peer into an active vulcano. On a beautiful day we saw the crater which is 1.3km across and 300m deep. Small eruptions take place periodically. We also did one of the nature trails, which leads through forest to another nearby volcanic crater containing a pretty lake. We also went to the waterfall LA PAZ where we could hav a close look at butterflies, frogs, snakes and a lot of birds including the small colibris. This blue butterfly is one of the most famous ones in Costa Rica.Our next stop was in Fortuna, which is the nearest village to the spectacular Volcano Arenal. In 1968 huge explosions triggered lava flows that killed nearly 80 people. It retains its almost perfect conical shape and the activity of the volcan varies from week to week. We were pleased to see how the lava flow during our stay. we almost had no clouds around the volcano which is rare. We spend some time in several pools at the hotel and watched what this volcano was doing. Especially at nightfall the pools offered a spectacular view to the volcano. The absolutely highlight was in the pool bar, where we had a few opportunities to watch red-hot lava flows. Even the barman was astonished and he told us we really were lucky.
During the day we did some hiking on Canopy's. This hanging bridges are going through the top of the trees. We saw monkeys, leaf cutting ants, birds and sloths.
In Monte Verde we enjoyed a hike in the cloud forest. Unfortunately it was raining, however rain happens in rainforest, doesn't it? Evenings we, especially Peter and I, enjoyed delicious Swiss Food. We even could listen to Swiss harmonica. We almost felt home and this reminded us that we only had a few weeks left until we flew home.
We did another stop in another rainforest in Bijagua. The lodge was more basic but really nice. Not as a tourist place as the other ones. Till now some cabins do not have electricity, which makes this place unique. The food from the fire pots was delicious. However the best thing was the river pool, which was heated with fire. On a exhausting hike we had opportunities to take a bath in different natural hot pools. The National Park Tenerio is famous for Rio Celeste. Because of a chemical reaction this river Celeste changes its colours.
Our last stop was in a touristy village named Tamarindo. Our hotel was located directly at the beach. Where we enjoyed swimming, walking and reading. It was so relaxing. We hoped it will never end. It was the perfect ending of our huge trip. After a week relaxing we flew with a small airplane back to San Jose. And soon afterwards we flew back to Switzerland. Unfortunalely through Miami. Never through the States again. At the immigration (we just were in transit for an hours) they took Simone's father away for more than 3 hours. My mother, without money, credit card and house key, was nervouse, of course. She asked to meet with my father, because of no paper and money, they refused. Only because our flight was 4 hours delayed, my father could fly with us. We dont now how it would have ended if my father wouldn't have been on the flight. We guess without paper and money it is also difficult to take our flight or even going through the Swiss imigration. However finally we made it home. This is another storie, which follows soon.