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A Note From Wing Dunham.

Hi Joy,

This is a truncated outline of our trip to Costa Rica. It was a Globus Tours and it appears they’re not offering this version anymore.

Day 1: Detroit to Houston to San Jose. Customs were barely interested in us. Overnight at the Ramada.

Day 2: Off to the jungle by van and then boat to The Pachira Lodge in Tortuguero. Lovely, w/pool, outdoor bar, and jungle all around. We had a small boat tour into the watery jungle and just gaped at how beautiful. Then a hike through the “local” jungle, exhausting, hot and boot sucking muddy. (JD wisely decided to pass.) At night the howler monkeys sounded like they were just around the corner of our little cabin room.

Day 3: A  trip to the village of Tortuguero. One street, chickens in the yards, many opportunities to spend your tourist dollars but the wares weren’t bad. The rest of the day “at leisure” as they say, which for us meant hanging out at the bar and having a couple cold beers before dinner.

Day 4: Up early, get a cup of coffee and a cracker then board the boat that took us upriver about a mile and deposited on the shore.This was the Airport, and our plane took us back to San Jose. During the flight we got what was apparently an unprecedentedly fabulous view of all the volcanoes lined up in a row.

Upon arrival in San Jose, we had time to use to facilities before boarding another van which picked up a few more travelers and headed for Alejuela and Montana Fuego–a real live active volcano which rumbled once and the spent a good part of the time in the clouds.

Hiked around the mountain on very slippery soil (rain forest) and I wouldn’t recommend the hike. Then we were taken to a fabulous hot springs spa and restaurant. Beautiful place, excellent food. Afterwards, we were all taken to our various lodgings. Ours was the Montana de Fuego Lodge with a huge picture window on the porch facing the Volcano.

Day 5: Next stop was Monteverde and the Trapp Family Lodge. First stop, get on another boat and cross a large lake to meet up with the van.The subsequent trip was bone crushing because the road was…grim. But interesting landscape, gently mountainous with fields occupied by cattle. Trapp Family made sense. We stopped once for another opportunity to spend a little cash and get a cold pop. I think we just collapsed for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Day 6: A walking tour of the cloud/rain forest with a truly brilliant guide, Oscar. We saw wonderful birds, monkeys, flora and fauna. And if that weren’t enough he then took us to the hummingbird sanctuary (?) And took photos for us using his monocular, getting shots my little camera could never have caught…IF I had actually been able to see the animal. Later we took a little tour of a small coffee plantation which was very pleasant and informative. Did you know the darker the roast, the less caffeine? Me neither. I was also going to try to do the suspended walk thingy but just ran out of time and energy. BTW, we did not do zip lines or whitewater rafting.

Day 7: With fear and trembling we got back in a van to head to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast and the Casitas Eclipse. The ride was still grim but not as long. The Casita was quite nice and very Greek looking. There were sloths and monkeys hanging out not far from the lobby, the monkeys looking for a handout (which the management strongly discouraged.) We wandered around the nifty grounds and then went next door for dinner. It was ok.

Day 8: We split up…JD wanted to do a boat tour of the Mangroves, complete with snakes and who knows what all. I chose yet another walking tour of the Pacific coastal forest. A beautiful day and all kinds of things to see if the guide could find them. He was not the best of guides, but very earnest. And when we came out of the forest to the shore of the Pacific, the sight just took my breath away. It was absolutely stunning. And I got to see the “Jesus Christ Lizard” (Basilisk) so named because it can dash along on top of the water.

WE met back at the Casita and decided to clean up a bit and go to the bizarre restaurant across the street which is built around a big ol’ Reagan-era 130(?) cargo plane. Surprisingly, the food was wonderful and we had a sliver of a view of the ocean.

Day 9: Back on a van and off to San Jose and the Ramada. We splurged on a very nice dinner at one of their restaurants and returned to the room to get organized for our trip back to the states.

Day 10: Flight was fine. Miami was dreadful. Will never go through that airport again if I can possibly avoid it. Made it home safe and sound but fully exhausted.