Saturday, May 03, 2008

04/26/08 Day 6


We're in Montezuma now--a lovely beach town on the Niyoca Peninsula. On our last morning in Arenal, the clouds cleared and we were treated to a brief glimpse of lava flowing down the volcano at 2am. I wish we could have captured it on camera. I have had some sort of tummy bug since I last wrote, so we took our time leaving Arenal. I dreaded the drive to Montezuma, in part because we have heard how bad the roads are to the Niyoca peninsula, and in part because I fear getting lost due to the absence of road signs. Of course, the roads we were traveling on actually had NAMES on the map, but I had no clue if they would on the road!! Turns out it was a nice, fairly straight forward drive. We didn't get lost, but the roads were quite bumpy in places. Along the way, we saw a pecciary (basically a wild boar), another pizote, and various birds.

The hotel we are staying at here in Montezuma is a quaint B&B over a restaurant--El Sano Banano. Its bare-bones, but nice. They have a sister resort right on the beach, complete with a pool and hammocks. When we arrived on Thursday, we wnjoyed the beach and pool. It is REALLY, REALLY hot here (keep in mind I am USED to South Florida Summers!). and we are very thankful to have A/C in our room. We sat on the beach for a while, too, but were "mugged" by a wave--not used to areas with such crazy tidal flux, since the tide here isn't much to write home about! :-)
Camera phone self portrait.

Yesterday we got up in the morning and hiked to Montezuma Falls. Apparently it has been pretty dry here, and the falls were small, but still beautiful. This is supposed to be one of the biggest touristy spots in town, so we were SHOCKED to have the pool all to ourselves for a while. We enjoyed a nice swim, with little fishies nibbling at our toes, until a few other folks came along. There were lots of butterflies as we hiked along the trail, including several blue morpho butterflies.

After an early lunch (pizza!), we headed off to the resort to alternate between the pool and the beach. However, it ended up being far more pool than beach, as it was so incredibly hot. We're talking scald you feet so bad you worry about 2nd degree burns hot! We mostly lounged in the pool and had some drinks from the bar (virgin for me, of course!) . . . and then there were the hammocks :-) We did spend a little beach time checking out all the tidal pools and the awesome volcanic rock formations.

We saw white faced monkeys at the resort, apparently they show up there every evening. We also heard (but didn't see) howler monkeys. The Magpie Jays we saw in Arenal are here in droves, and there are birds of every shape and color everywhere! We spend an evening on the beach while Brad smoked a cigar, but it was really hot even then. Despite the heat, we've had a great time.

This AM we are going horseback riding to another waterfall. Should be fun!

Funny thing about that horseback ride. When we booked it, the lady said 3 hours. Uh, yeah, it took six. It was incredibly fun, but so incredibly hot!!! Poor Brad got more than a little overheated, so I don't think he enjoyed it nearly as much as I did. Even though was a long day, it was beautiful, and something we wouldn't have done if we had to walk it. We crossed 7 different beaches, most of which were within protected areas and unaccessible by vehicle. The downside of being on horseback is that it is next to impossible to whip out the Canon and take pictures, so I only have photos from when we reached our destination. Our destination, by the way, was Cocolito Falls. Its one of only 7 waterfalls or so that falls into the ocean. Again, the weather has been very dry (Costa Rica is nearing the end of its dry season and the Niyoca Peninsula is REALLY dry during it), and the falls were small but still beautiful.

Cocolito Falls from down the beach

Hoofprints in the sand

Brad cooling down in the ocean

Little trickle near the falls.

Falls and pool--the pool area collapsed a while back and now blends with ocean water.
Shot from the falls area--we came from somewhere WAY over to the left!

No shorelines quiet like this at home!

Pinto and Tuca
Me on Pinto . . . .

Brad on Tuca!

Once we returned, we had a late lunch and laid down for a while. Brad was so pooped from the heat, he chilled in bed while I did some souvenir shopping. One of the few times I have actually enjoyed shopping while on vacation, since they had some great shops and some really original gifts!

We have been in Costa Rica for six days and I have FINALLY mastered the phones here. In the US, it usually costs more to use a calling card from a payphone, so we purchased our own card especially for international calls before we left. However, in Costa Rica, the payphones don't even take money-they take only Costa Rican calling cards. So we had to buy another calling card there. When we were in Arenal, we didn't even have that option, we had to use a credit card if we wanted to make a call. In addition, you don't need to use what I would consider an "area code" if you are calling anywhere in Costa Rica. Apparently they just changed the phone numbers so that mobile numbers have a 8nnn.nnnn, and land lines have a 2nnn.nnnn. I mistakenly was trying to dial 506 ahead of that . . . if I want to call my neighbor, I have to dial 10 numbers, for goodness sake. So, on our sixth day in Costa Rica, we have finally mastered making phone calls.

Side note on the pregnancy--I was 20 weeks on Friday, and Brad has gotten to feel the baby move for the first time. I am as convinced as ever its a boy, because this one is even more acrobatic than Garrett was. I'm gonna have my hands full very soon!

Tomorrow we are headed back toward the San Jose area, although we are not staying in San Jose. We will take a ferry and stay midway between Alajuela, where the airport is, and the Poas volcano. Not sure what to expect for the ferry ride, it could be an ordeal!

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