Tortuguero to Volcan Tenorio National Park
Guess what – it rains in a rainforest! Last night, it rained pretty well all night. It hammered on the tin roof of the lodge for all it was worth, building up to a crescendo drum beat for a few deafening minutes before petering out to a bit of a tap dance and a finale of sprinkles and tinkles in the gutters. Then silence, filled only by the constant hum of the air con which intermittently halted as the electricity cut out. Those industrious leaf cutter ants must be so pleased when it rains. They don’t go out in the rain. They finally get to take a bit of a break from humping bits of leaf twenty times their body weight around and get to sit inside their huge nest and put their feet up for a bit.
The appearance of the grounds around the lodge was transformed by the rain. As the sun returned after dawn, it lit up the rain held in the palm trees and cobwebs and gave the world a whole new look. So that’s what it is really like to wake up in a rainforest. Really lovely for a holiday, but I’m not sure I’d be moving in permanently any time soon.
We move on to Volcan Tenorio National Park today. The only way in and out of Tortuguero is by boat, so it will take us a couple of hours to navigate the waterways back to La Pavona and then another three – four hours to head inland to the Celeste River 226 kilometres away. It is a long road, with not a huge amount to see on the way. The two lane road out of la Pavona carries quite a lot of traffic – trucks exporting bananas, pineapples, papaya, coconuts and coffee.
We drove past fields of sugar cane (what they use to make the delicious cocktail based on cacique liquor), pineapples, fields of cattle and free range chicken runs. One brave chicken chose to cross the road right in front of us bringing the car to a screeching halt. He just plodded on across – pure vida style. We also passed through an Indian indigenous reserve – Maleku – which would have been really interesting to visit if only we had had more time. It made me wonder – if rice and beans is the national dish of Costa Rica – where do they grow it, because I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet?
Costa Rica is a safe place to holiday and there are relatively few risks. Interestingly though, you are often warned not to linger under a coconut tree in case one falls off and knocks you out – they are huge fruits and extremely heavy when ripe and full of coconut milk – not a nice way to go at all!
Bullet ants are another danger. You can get a very nasty bite from them if you accidentally touch one in the forest – easily done if you catch hold of a creeper/vine or brush against it.
Flora and Fauna
The most startling sight was the bright yellow Cortez Amarillo tree punctuating the horizon on the ride through Guanacaste province. This unique tree is native to Costa Rica and only seen in this part of the country and only in flower at this time of year – stunning.
These beautiful flowers produce a sugary sap that attracts humming birds. And what eats birds – snakes. So don’t be surprised if one of the venomous yellow snakes they have here jumps out from one of those enticing looking flowers – so don’t get too close!
Airy soft wrap style bread encasing a creamy mixture of cheese and chicken and onions.. It’s hard to think of a better lunch really?