Costa Rica 2000


Monday, August 1, 2000  - San Jose, Costa Rica to Corcovado Costa Rica

No need for our 7 am wake-up call.  I was awake at 5:30 am when the sun came up.  There were clouds overhead in the central valley, but clear behind the mountains.  San Jose is flat, surrounded by mountains.

Yesterday, the only vehicle pollution I noticed came from the busses, and they had a lot of busses there.

Yesterday at the airport, I got an envelope that contained the travel vouchers for Hotel Grano de Oro and Corcovado.  Last night we had a phone message and a fax placed under our door stating to be ready for pick up at 7:45 am.  Due to weather and other changing conditions, they don't give you any more advance notice than that.

We went to bed at 9 pm last night (since we got up at 4 am).  The boys were asleep when I checked them five minutes later.

On the plane to Costa Rica, there were about ½ North Americans and ½ Ticos.  There was a team of Tico basketball boys.

We were met at the hotel at 7:45 am and taken to a small airport.  We weighed our luggage and ourselves.  The luggage weighed 50 lbs.  We could not exceed 75 lbs of luggage for the three of us.  There were sacks of fresh fruit and vegetables going on the plane with us.  Potatoes, huge carrots, squash, yellow sweet potatoes, pineapple, greens.  Our plane had 6 seats.  Two for the pilot and copilot, two in the middle, two in the back.  Asher and the vegetables sat in the back, me, Skyler and the pineapple rode in the middle.  I was apprehensive about the small plane at first, with it's engine that sounded like an old VW engine.  But I didn't feel sick at all on take off, and it was quite easy to see.
[Airplane][Aerial San Jose]
We flew out of the central valley, over mountains (seemed like small mountains- not as big as Colorado).  We flew along the pacific coastline south to Carate.  For a [Aerial River][Aerial Pacific Coast]
long ways you could see meandering rivers empty into the ocean, and fields of palm trees.  You could see the glint of irrigation streams.  Once we were past the crops, there were miles of pure jungle.  We flew over our campsite, toward the ocean, then back toward land to a gravel airstrip that was parallel to the beach.  A windsock and a short gravel road - that was the airport.  And the town Carate was one building with minimal groceries and possibly a place to sleep.
[Carate, Costa Rica Airport][Airport Shopping in Carate]

We walked 1 mile along the black beach to get to the camp.  The horse and cart went ahead with our luggage.  The boys collected shells along the way, and we saw brown pelicans and small crabs.  We crossed a small stream or two.
[Costa Rican Concierge and Baggage Handler][Corcovado]
The camp is very nice.  Hammocks and beach chairs, palm trees and hermit crabs.  At high tide the huge waves (10 ft) were awesome and loud!  No swimming (for us) due to strong current and rip tides.  We went in knee deep.  The water is much warmer than the Pacific in California.

The weather seemed quite a bit like Kansas weather, except not much wind.  Hot and humid when the sun was out, and cooler and humid when cloudy.  The sky was clear until after lunch.  The boys played on the beach all morning.
River Emptying into Pacific

Right before lunch, the boys played ping pong and darts in the hammock hut.  Lunch was family style on picnic tables in a covered shelter.  We had squash, cooked carrots, rice, spaghetti, "meat" they said later was "dead cow" in a sauce, homemade small rolls with butter, cheese burritos, salad with asparagus.
After lunch we took a 15 minute hike up a fairly steep trail.  There was a covered lookout and hammocks.  There were white-faced capuchins there.  You can usually tell because they throw a lot of stuff like partially eaten fruit down from the top of the tree.  I heard scarlet macaws and saw the green and black poison dart frogs.

There were five other guests there at the time.  One couple from Miami, and another couple from Miami/Costa Rica, and a woman from Australia.
Corcovado Tent Camp & Pacific Ocean
From our lookout, above the camp, we were resting in the hammocks there when it started to rain.  Since the lookout had a thatched roof, we rested more.  Then back to camp.  It was pouring rain when we got back.  I went to my tent and took a fairly long nap.  The boys just looked around and played in the sand.  There were hardly any flying, bothersome bugs there.

After the nap, it was sunset - 5:30 pm.  Kind of cloudy.  We sat on a bench looking toward the ocean and saw bats flying around.  Then we got ready for dinner at 7 pm.  We each had a Fresca first.  Dinner was garlic soup, cooked yellow sweet potatoes, shrimp, rice, rolls, fried plantain and spicy sauce.  Dessert was pineapple and peach.  The drink was pineapple juice mixed with water.

After dinner we brushed our teeth and went to bed.  Skyler and Asher were in one tent, I was in the other writing these notes by candle.


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This page was last updated 8-18-2005

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  Emporia State University

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