Back from trip #2 to CR

Jan 5th, 2008, 05:38 AM
  #41  
 
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finally, whew! Couldn't you tell work you had a waiting horde? Big smile when you mentioned seeing Kevin (and/or Frank too!) - it's so nice to get off that plane and have someone greet you that is so genuine in wanting to make your trip/stay a great one. An anteater! Still haven't seen one, maybe in May! You know it's funny you mentioned the bed at La Palma. When last there, the couple I hung out with the most mentioned it too, what she did was take some cushions (not sure from where) and put them between the platform & the bed. Can't wait to read the rest! And pics too!
tully is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 06:28 AM
  #42  
 
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I am so enjoying the report, you aren't finshed are you?? Please a little more?

We are off to CR, Osa in May...can't wait.

Tully....when in May? Bosque?
parrmt is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 07:11 AM
  #43  
 
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c, I'm so glad you made it to BdC. We just adore Kevin - he was so warm and friendly to us too. He was teaching my husband some Spanish and was so patient. Sorry work is so hectic for you right now, but I'm excited to read more about BdC - great job on the trip report!
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Jan 5th, 2008, 07:25 AM
  #44  
 
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parrmt - yes, in May, if I'm going to CR, then I'm going to BdC! I'll be arriving the 10th & staying for 5 nights (with my dad! ought to be fun ~ I think!)
tully is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:05 AM
  #45  
 
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LOL, Cam, you and I posted about the same time last night, I guess.

It's been nice to visit Bosque again through your eyes. I know (as do most others, I'm sure) exactly how you felt to arrive there, knowing that you could really relax for a few days in an idyllic place!

Thanks for posting, and I hope work smooths out for you soon--does it ever? If not, you're going to need to plan another trip shortly!

Dyer, welcome to the "54" club! Happy birthday!
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Jan 6th, 2008, 07:40 AM
  #46  
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Thanks for all the great comments, everyone! It's so nice to share information here because of the great participation and appreciation people express when someone does take the time to chronicle their travels!

Very cool that your BdC visits will overlap, Owlwoman and 4explore! Philip and I had a brief conversation about the whole Fodors phenomenon. He mentioned Suzie2, tully, and shillmac by name, and said he was still trying to figure out who volcanogirl is! You'd better get back down there soon, VG, so that he can put a face to the name.

A great forum like this definitely makes the world seem like a smaller, more accessible place!

HVC, your countdown must be down to 76 days now! Seems like an eternity, but time has a way of flying.

Happy belated birthday, Dyer! Hope you make down to the Osa soon. It's definitely a magical place.

I do have more BdC/Osa tales to share, parrmt. I have a couple of ferocious felines staring me down for their lunch at the moment. I'm going to get them squared away, and resume typing.

Hi tully and shillmac! ;-)

cmerrell is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 08:08 AM
  #47  
 
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c, that's funny! I guess I forgot my "Hi, my name is Volcanogirl" nametag when I went on the primary forest hike! Looking forward to more of your adventures...
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Jan 6th, 2008, 08:41 AM
  #48  
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Lol, VG! We should plan a Fodors GTG at BdC sometime where everyone wears nametags with their usernames! That would be a hoot.

Chapter 5:

December 7th, 2007.

We woke up nice and early this morning, thanks in part to the distant call of howler monkeys! Another gorgeous day awaited us. Aside from our foggy, wet visit at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, we really had beautiful weather for the bulk of our week.

Mom and I both had the banana pancakes for breakfast that morning. I know others have said it before, but I will reiterate that the food at BdC is very good and the wait staff is terrific. We enjoyed every single meal (as evidenced by the fact that I actually packed on a few pounds despite all the hiking I did ).

Among the guests at BdC that week, were wildlife photographer Roy Toft and a good sized group of budding photogs who were traveling with him around Costa Rica. There were probably about 30-ish of them altogether. It was a bit comical watching him round them up for their daily excursions each morning; a bit reminiscent of a mother hen with her chicks! They seemed to be having a great time though, so more power to them!

After a fortifying breakfast, we set out to explore some of BdC's trails. We started out with the short section of the Creek Trail that leads to the Golfo Dulce overlook. There's something to be said for standing high atop a cliff looking out over sweeping views of blue sky, blue water, and the distant expanse of mountainous, heavily forested terrain that marks the boundary between Costa Rica and Panama.

We then wanderered further along the Creek Trail, hoping that it wouldn't be too rough for my mother. It turns out that there are indeed many stairs winding down the rather steep hillside to the stream below. My mom made it about half way and then decided that she better not go any further as her knees were starting to bother her. She was rewarded for her efforts to make it as far as she did by a troop of squirrel monkeys that joined us right at that section of the trail. This was our only sighting of Costa Rica's smallest monkey, so I'm really glad my mom was with us for it.

As Mom started to make her way back up to the top of the trail, my brother and I descended the remaining steps to the creek. It's a pretty area with a couple of small waterfalls and a pool that you can wade in. A couple of the BdC waitresses were there, enjoying a break from work.

We rejoined our mother and continued along the main trail to the suspension bridge and Tropical Garden beyond. Along the way, we had brief encounters with a few spider monkeys, a coati, and a couple of capuchins. The wildlife here was definitely more wary and skittish in general than the critters we had encountered last year in Manuel Antonio (and even around our hotel in Arenal). We had some terrific sightings, but it was a lot harder to get good photos. All in all though, the Osa is a better representation of how interactions between people and wildlife should be. Not to knock MA! I still maintain that its a great destination for first time visitors to CR, in large part due to it's wildlife accessibility!

We strolled around the garden area for a little while, admiring the trees and plants. My mom decided to sit and rest while my brother and I hiked a short way along the Golfo Dulce Trail that branches off from the Tropical Garden. We were in hot pursuit of a group of howlers that we could hear in the distance. Unfortunately, we never found the monkeys, but did see a couple of woodpeckers happily tapping away. We also had a Blue Morpho butterfly flutter all around us; it's wings catching and reflecting the sunlight that filtered through the tree canopy above.

By this time, the lunch hour was approaching, so we meandered back to our cabin to freshen up a bit. I had the chicken, avocado and cheese sndwich for lunch. Another delicious meal!
cmerrell is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 09:12 AM
  #49  
 
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Hi Cam. That is, indeed, funny. I had no idea Phillip was aware of all that. I've only been there 3 times, but 2 out of the 3 we crossed paths with fellow Fodorites while there. And the 3rd time enjoyed visiting with someone we met on a previous visit. I think it is enjoyable for them (Kim and Phil and others) to have repeat visitors and watch people coming together having a great time. It's part of the success of the resort, don't you think?

I remember being there last July and having Kim come by my table at lunch, saying, "By the way, hipvirgochick says to tell you hello"!

Phenomenen is a good word for it!
shillmac is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM
  #50  
 
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Ok, so volcanogirl, what IS your real name? I should know this by now...? I will see Phillip soon and make sure he knows us by our first names.

It is fun and I'd love to meet us with a Fodorite somewhere, but so far I haven't seen anyone with our dates this year.

Cam -- It's year end and then into audit time, so I think time will fly by!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 10:58 AM
  #51  
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Looks like a few folks posted while I was typing away at my epic tome! It's kind of funny how the site inserts your post at the time you started typing it, even though it might take a while to get it all laid out and officially posted...
cmerrell is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 11:08 AM
  #52  
 
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Wow, Roy Toft, I have kept on Tivo,the TV show "Fantasy camp" , the episode about Roy's stay at BdC with his photo students. I watch it occasionally!

Still enjoying your report.


Tully, we will be in Casa Blanca for a week, the very last of May, into the first week of June.
parrmt is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 11:56 AM
  #53  
 
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cm -- I missed your most recent post above. Exciting to meet/see Roy Toft. I actually researched a little on him because I was interested in doing an African Safari he was leading this Spring, but decided to head back to CR. I'm sure it would have been way out of my price range anyway.

I loved that you enjoyed all the wildlife at BDC. I chuckled about being on the hot pursuit of the howlers because I remember myself, walking the trails, hearing something and quickly heading in the direction of the sounds for quite a while sometimes, eyes to the sky, off the beaten path, wondering what I was getting myself into! Sometimes I'd find myself under a troop and just continue following them on foot as far as I could, watching them follow each other's path from branch to branch, tree to tree. Sigh.
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Jan 6th, 2008, 12:46 PM
  #54  
 
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How cool you got to be there when Roy was there, he is a really cool person and a great photograpger. Did he happen to do a slide show? He does that sometimes and it's great to see so many of his pics. Yes, it was cool to meet up with Philip in Granada, we talked a lot about the town & CR and a lot in between. You know I'm not sure if I've ever finished the Creek trail properly, I know it eventually ties into the GD trail but I've never taken it that far - some thing to do in May I guess. How cool to see the titi's too, I love that little chitter chatter they make. Looking foward to the rest, as my wait is only down to about 112 days and need my fix!

parrmt - sorry we'll miss ya!
tully is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #55  
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Hi all,

My crazy job has once again consumed my life this week, preventing me from spending any quality time here on Fodors! #39;(

I managed to escape at a somewhat reasonable hour tonight, so here I am to share a few more details with anyone who cares to read...

For the Roy Toft fans, it was kind of cool to be there at same time as him. We didn't really interact with him aside from the standard "Hi, how's it going?" sort of exchange, but he seemed quite amiable. He had his hands pretty full with his group. It would probably be a great experience to travel with someone like that who knows where to go, and how to get the terrific money shots!

I have not even been back home from my trip for a full month and I'm already starting to feel envious of HVC and tully, because you guys have your next CR fix pulling into view!

Oh, well. For now I'll have to make due with my memories!

Chapter 5 cont'd:

After a leisurely lunch, we decided we were up for more hiking. My mother wisely armed herself with a walking stick from the reception area, and we set out towards the Titi Trail. The trail itself proved to be one of the more mom-friendly hikes we made, but getting to and from the trailhead requires a trek down the BdC driveway which does have some hilly/steep-ish sections. My mom is a trooper though, and wanted to see and do as much as she possibly could.

I kept peering up into the trees, hoping for a sloth sighting, but luck was not with us that day. In fact, the whole Titi Trail excursion was fairly uneventful. Perhaps we just went too early in the afternoon. We did come across a couple of spider monkeys, and at one point heard a lot of rustling noise just off the trail. The noise was accompanied by a strong skunk-like odor, so I'm pretty sure we had some peccaries rummaging around in the underbrush. We peered into the trees for several minutes, but never could see anything.

Aside from a couple of cool birds and an extensive colony of leaf cutter ants, that was about all-she-wrote for the Titi Trail. We were a little bit disappointed, although the trail itself is very pretty. We had sort of wistfully been hoping for something truly out of the ordinary such as a tapir or even a cat (both of which have been sighted fairly recently in the vicinity). I realize that our hopes were fairly unrealistic, but you've got to have your dreams!

I have to chuckle just a bit even as I type this at how spoiled I am. I sort of live for the wildlife sightings when visiting a destination like Costa Rica. I saw several different species of animals, birds, reptiles and insects every single day at BdC, and still whine that I didn't see more! ;-)

We did find some clear cloven hoof-looking tracks that we tried to convince ourselves might belong to a small tapir. In retrospect, I think they likely belonged to the peccaries because, A) They were quite small, and B) Tapirs actually have 3 toes rather than 2. Apparently my finely honed Davy Crockett-esque tracking skills could use a bit of work!

After our hike, we headed back to La Palma and vegged on our porch watching the light change and fade over the Golfo Dulce.

We had another wonderful dinner that night, seated next to a friendly, very fit middle-aged couple from Colorado. They had been to CR several times, but this was their first visit to the Osa and BdC. They were very impressed! And who wouldn't be, I ask...
cmerrell is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 02:25 PM
  #56  
 
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So true, cam. I would walk those trails alone this past July, just hoping so much for a sighting of something UNUSUAL. Not sure just what I would have done had it actually taken place! Depends on HOW unusual, I guess!

I can remember stopping once on the Titi trail, though, with squirrel monkeys overhead, coatis all around, a falcon in a nearby tree, and some crested guans (no, not those, but that other beautiful crested bird you see occasionally there)--all at the same time. I just stood and enjoyed for lots or minutes. Amazing. . .

Thanks for continuing with your report! They come and go so quickly, don't they, these trips we so enjoy planning and carrying out!
shillmac is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 02:45 PM
  #57  
 
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I think my problem is I talk too much on those trails scaring everything away! This time I'm going to go out in the middle of the night ...alone...with my headlamp...and find me a PUMA and some and then in the morning, go find me some !

Ok, can you tell I'm waiting for the end of the day to get here? TGIF!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 02:55 PM
  #58  
 
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cm -- Did the food live up to your expectations? Was Jose bartending? I'm taking note of your peccary vs. tapir footprint.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 04:23 PM
  #59  
 
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Okay, I had to look it up--I was thinking of the Great Currasow. . .
Good luck with all that wildlife you plan on spotting, hip!

Your trip is SO close! I was researching airfare out of OKC through Dallas last night for Spring Break in March. Skyhigh. Over $1200 for our favorite nonstop out of Dallas, early arrival/late departure. Jiminy!

We may head to Florida during the MIDDLE of the week to avoid Spring Breakers and Spring Break fares. I almost can't STAND not heading to CR for Spring Break. . . Lucky you!
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Jan 11th, 2008, 07:42 PM
  #60  
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Hi Hip,

I wish you the very best luck and success in finding your and (puma... ;-) )!

Be sure to take lots of if you see something good!

We did enjoy the BdC culinary fare very much. The whole experience there was wonderful! I think I had read here on Fodors that Jose left BdC a few months back. I haven't had the benefit of meeting him, but have certainly read good things about him here. Every time we visited the bar, a female employee was holding down the fort.

Those spring break airfares sound horrendous, Jill! What's an avid CR fan to do? Do you have a trip planned for the summer?

I enjoyed your reminiscences of the Titi Trail. I hope to stand there someday surrounded by wildlife! I sort of like to informally catalog my wildlife sightings and I'm always excited when I can add something new to the list. Even though the tapirs and HVC's puma eluded me, I added anteater, boa constrictor, and agouti on this CR visit. Not bad for 4 days in the rainforest!

Speaking of springtime trips, I'm starting to keep tabs on airfares in the hope that I can find a good deal for Memorial weekend. CR is on the short list of potential destinations if we can get a decent flight price. Keeping my fingers crossed! Otherwise, I'll have to plan something in Florida as well, and I'm already here!
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