Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain….

As you might have noticed of all the entries in our log we are having a lazy day today! The morning started really relaxed around the pool. As it is still a bit off-season we are the only guests, and enjoy our private pool to the fullest. Åke is working on the blogg updating all the photos. Me, Simone, is mainly choosing to be lazy in the hammock enjoying the views over the sea, or cool off in the pool. One cannot sit forever around the pool, so we planned to take lunch in Ojachal. The most famous restaurant on this part of the coast is unfortunately not open for lunch (Exotica) so we go for the another nice little restaurant called Citrus in Ojachal. But when lunch is over some rain drops start to fall, and some more and more….
Well, this is the rainforest, so we should expect some rain. And we did, but not this much! We are outside the rain period, so it does rain, but only to a certain extend. Today however we got a real downpour and for hours and hours. From just after lunch until 5:am the next morning. Rather unusual I was told.  But not that bothersome for us. We had decided to be lazy today anyway, so what better place to sit, relax and read a book than on our outside terrace (with roof).

Photo above: Our outside living room during the evening. From here we have a great view over the rain forest below and the sea in the distance. In the picture you can see the sitting area, but the terrace is really big, having a dining table and most essential a hammock 🙂
 
Bugs!
Yes, there are bugs and all types of creepy crawlers here! But so much less than I had expected. Nothing really disturbing at our sitting area or around the pool. The main thing you’ll see are ants in all sizes and shapes. The Leaf Cutter ants were rather cool to watch, carrying their fresh cut flower bits over their heads, heading in a row to their homes somewhere in the forest.
The bug above I spotted on our wall, and is quite large in size (8 cm). It didn’t want to move though, bugs seem to be getting lazy these days 😉 Another visitor was a huge Walking Stick. It must have been almost 10 cm long. Quite a sight to see.Mosquitoes seem to be almost non-excisting, so that is quite a relief!
Fruit salad for breakfast, fruit salad as a snack during the day and of course some fresh fruit to munch away during the evening. With so much fresh delicious fruit around we seem to eat it all the time. Fresh pineapple, mixed with different sorts of melon, bananas, papaya and you name it. Delicious!
Lunch at Citrus Restaurant in Ojachal

Corcovado National Park

It’s dawn, I am already up this early during the day as I am hoping to see some wildlife. The sun hasn’t come up yet, but darkness is slowly fading from the sky. The temperatures are comfortable this early in the morning (5 am), around 25C I am guessing, and outside on the patio I hear the sounds of the jungle and the waves from the sea below. Åke is still sleeping and is enjoying some more rest before he also needs to get up, as today we have planned a trip to Corcovado National Park.
I was hoping to see some monkeys and a Sloth with baby in the trees as these are regular visitors to the garden. But luck is not on my side this morning, no wildlife to be seen anywhere around. But even without the wildlife showing up, it is still a wonderful way to slowly wake up this morning. 
5:30, time for Åke to wake up as well and hop into the car. We drive south along the coastal road to a village called Sierpe, tucked away in the jungle in the Osa Peninsula. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes drive to get to our tour operator La Perla del Sur.
By boat through the Terraba-Sierpe Wet Lands
Corcovado National Park is not an easy place to visit, which is probably why it is still so pristine.  From Sierpe we take the boat and follow the river through the Terraba-Sierpe Wet Lands for about 45 minutes. During the boat ride we can see quite a few birds on the shores, among others lots of Egrets. There are also plenty of crocodiles around, so we are advised not to put our hands into the water, which I happily obey to seeing the crocodiles on the shores and gliding quickly into the water when we get too close.

After 45 minutes we get to the end of the river and are at sea. The trip continues for at least 30 minutes more on open sea along the shores of Corcovado. From the boat we see the dense jungle and beautiful pristine beaches. The sea is calm making the bumpy trip over the waves relatively comfortable. 

Arriving at the beach of Corcovado NP

Finally we are there, Corcovado! We make  a wet landing, meaning that we need to wade through the last few meters from the boat to the beach. It’s just 4 of us plus our guide that will be going on the hike in Corcovado for approx. 3 hours. First hurdle though is to cross a little river. It’s low tide, so an easy obstacle to cross. After that it is time to put on our hiking shoes as the trails are good, but at the same time quite muddy and slippery. And with all the creepy crawlers around it is better not to walk in sandals.
Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager

Great Curassow (male)
It’s a huge stone that is stuck and lifted up by the tree, a Strangler Fig

Black-throated Trogon (female)

Mangrove
Cormorant

Howler Monkey

Howler monkeys are widely considered to be the loudest land animal. According to Guinness Book of World Records, their vocalizations can be heard clearly for 20 mi (32 km). The function of howling is thought to relate to intergroup spacing and territory protection, as well as possibly to mate-guarding (from Wikipedia)

Capuchin Monkeys

With the exception of a midday nap, they spend their entire day searching for food. At night they sleep in the trees, wedged between branches.  Capuchins live in groups of 10 to 40 members and are considered the most intelligent New World monkeys (primates that are found in Central and South America). They played a lot when we saw them, trying to push each other of the branch (down into the water).

Spider Monkey

The Yucatan spider monkey . Spider monkeys are among the largest New World monkeys; an average weight of 10 kg for males and 9 kg for females. They form loose groups of 15 to 25 animals but during the day, breaks up into subgroups of two to eight animals. This group had two mothers with babies. One of them was holding her baby tight in her arms while resting high up in the tree tops. The other little one however was very playful swinging around in the treetops, but always with the mum being close by. They were high up, and sometimes hard to spot through the dense green of the jungle. But at times the views were clear and the playfulness of the little one brought smiles and laughter on everyone faces.

If you click any picture ones it opens the same windows,
click once again and you’ll get a close up.


Down and down we go!

11th of December
It’s time to move on and continue our tour through Costa Rica. The direction we drive today is south and down the mountain. And even more down the mountain! Hairpin bends, driving through clouds and beautiful vistas. Unfortunately not that many possibilities to stop and take photos, but a great drive nevertheless! We drive for approx 3 hours and descend down from 3000 metres to sea level, and from 19C (around 10C at night) to 31C (26C early morning).
 
We made a stop at a stream to cool off at the waterside and take a relaxing break before moving on to our destination “The Shelter of the Storm” just south of the village of Dominical right at the coast. 
Daryl and Donna gave us such a great welcome, we immediately felt at home here. Great to know we will be staying here for the coming 5 nights!

A tour close to our lodge

10th of December afternoon
Afternoon, the sun is still shining brightly and it is gorgeous weather outside (19C), although a bit colder right now then it was this morning.
The Dantica Lodge is not only a lodge, it is also a huge area with trails. And when here, of course we had to go and explore a bit, even if ours legs were tired after our morning hike. From our room we took a steep trail down in hope to see the Quatzal, a rare but beautiful bird with long green feathers, which was considered sacred for the Mayans. But unfortunately this time we where out of luck, no Quatzal in sight. But nonetheless a nice hike.
So high up the plant life is different with huge trees, climbers clinging on to them and covering the grounds, but no shrubs. With the moist of the clouds everything was green, but also a lot of moss and fungus covering every bit of surface.
Spider web

A trip to a waterfall in the morning

10th of December before noon

During the morning we decided to drive to the end of the valley and the end of the road. A descend down to approx 2200 on an unpaved road with hairpin bends. No traffic here though, so it turned out to be a really enjoyable ride with great views. The drive was only approx 10 kilometres, but going down so much in altitude made quite a difference in landscape.

On the way to the waterfall
 


A small waterfall







Simone in the left of the pictures