hip's 17 day Costa Rica trip with 10/yo daughter

Jun 24th, 2007, 06:39 PM
  #41  
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BTW - The bird I was referring to in day 8 above, was the "Boat-billed Heron", and I thought it was pretty cool

Sorry for being a slacker on my report! End of school stuff, sleepovers (and the entertainment that goes with them) and things like that got in the way!

tully - I'm just awaiting my vacation approval for Mar/April because No. 1, I don't think I can wait until next Nov! And yes, girls' night out at BDC would be fab!

parrmt - I'm glad to see the travel-bug runs in your family. I'm hoping it will in mine too, so my daughter will take me with her when I get old.

volcanogirl - I see you've got the bug like me!

I'm typing now...
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 07:05 PM
  #42  
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cmerrell - You've been a great help too, and lucky you getting go go in 4+ mo!

Day 12 - I slept so well in the rainforest. I so miss those sounds. I left thinking I needed to go patent a "Howler Monkey alarm clock". I can't remember what I had each day for breakfast, but I can tell you it was delicious the first day, and every day after even more so. I tried to make myself try new dishes every day, but I had to have the chicken curry sandwich twice and the huevos rancheros twice. My daughter usually had french toast or banana pancakes, but sometimes scrambled eggs. It was cool, but dry weather for the most part today. We headed off over the bridge toward the Tropical Garden. The suspension bridge is fun, but surprisingly low cable handrail through the middle. I would be nervous after a couple of drinks. The TG is a good place to look for mcaws or toucans because they seem to like the open area. We spent some time on a trail that looped around there, not sure what it was. It looks to me like they are also adding or expanding some of the trail. I'm not sure. The TG cabins looked nice and if I had a group I was with I wouldn't mind staying up there, but after Jose's margarita's, might have to take the long way to avoid the bridge. Later, we tried started on the Creek Trail, but started getting tore up by mosquito's, so had to head back. I took a lot of pictures on this trip. I recommend you learn how to use your macro if it's not preset, like mine isn't I had a terrible time up close in low light. We headed back for lunch. After lunch we typically hung out at the pool or stayed on the grounds. You could see wildlife there as well as on the trails. At noon the bar is technically "open" even though you might have to ask someone from the restaurant area. The pool doesn't really have a shallow end, and is somewhat small, but if your hot, it will do! There is room for about 8 chaises, so beware if you're a large group. I normally read while Alex swam. To tell you the truth, we were winding down a 17 day trip, so I was beginning to feel the need for more R&R Snacks at the bar are at around 5:00pm, and dinner is at 7:00pm sharp. The evening routine was usually freshen up, head to bar, head to dinner, head to bar My daughter loved Jose's smoothies and milkshakes. The family style seating was a fun ritual because for one, I like to talk , and two, I like to listen to other stories and make new friends. We met a nice couple from LA that night, Kristina and F.J. There were also a couple of honeymooners and another couple named Jaime and Aileen. After dinner, the bar is where the coole people go, so that's where we went. I can't remember everyone's names, but there was a new couple that came in late because they got stuck in Panama City. They really didn't look happy at being in the rainforest at all, to tell you the truth. After some good conversation it was time for bed! Don't forget, flashlights are a must!


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Jun 24th, 2007, 08:14 PM
  #43  
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Day 13 -- We woke up to meet Carlos for the morning walk aka birdwatching at 6:30am. There were about 8 of us that went. Carlos was brought his scope and was an excellent spotter. We saw many different birds including mcaws, parrots, toucans and a sloth. I guess I'm going to have to start marking them off as volcanogirl suggests, because I seriously don't remember all the names of the zillions of birds we saw on this trip! He took a few pic's for people through his scope also. Jaime stopped short on an anthill so they were all over on his foot and in his jeans biting him for a few minutes. Lucky for him we happened to be right by a water faucet in the Tropical Garden to help get them off. They stung for awhile. Bummer. After the walk we headed back for breakfast. My daughter and Jaimee hit it off because he was sort of like a big kid to her, and his wife was going to relax for awhile, so we 3 decided to walk the Titi trail. We didn't see any mammals this time, but lot's of birds! I think there is something to that you need to be a little quies so as not to scare things away! We went off the main trail because we ended up on some private property (I think) that looked similar to the Tropical Garden. There was one house that looked inhabited, and one that was dilapidated. In any case, the exciting part whas the flock of mcawas. Wow! They are such beautiful creatures and especially in flight! They didn't stick around too long, but there were also a couple of pairs of toucans. We ended up sitting in the grass just watching them for probably over an hour. They're just such spectacular birds! There was also one of those ancient stone spheres there, and just like in the TG. By this day, the family of coati's were a regular sight, the agouti's, guan's and we got to watch a group of both howler's and spiders today. What a sight! It's true though, don't stand right under the howlers, they will poop on you! Again we did the pool, bar, dinner, bar routine. Sharing with everyone what we did for the day was great fun, as well as listening to Jose and his stories. Oh yes, we had a bat living our bathroom. Well, I first noticed him on the shelf under the bathroom counter. I asked Carlos what I should do, full well knowing what he would say, which he did. Just leave it alone, it won't hurt you, it lives there Ok, another critter test. After that, I always used the flashlight when I went in there, because the solar powered electricity the lights are kind of dim sometimes. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The couple that came in late and didn't seem happy to be there...they left after one night. Apparently, they got so badly bitten by bugs that you could barely see a WHITE spot on either of them. Face, arms, neck. Phil said he's NEVER seen this happen before. I guess the woman was really cold that night (I'll never know how) and took all the covers off the loft bed to use. Some of us theorized the extra blankets trapped the no-see-um's and they got super hot and mad and went ballistic with the biting. That's the best we could come up with. Anyway, I felt sorry for them as they were hauling their stuff out, it was a shame to go all that way. I guess they decided just to go back to San Jose
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Jun 24th, 2007, 09:06 PM
  #44  
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Day 15 - It just kept getting more beautiful, with sunny and blue sky each day. However, in Puerto Jimenez it was overcast. We had prearranged x-fer to the dolphin watch combined with the wildlife sanctuary. After an early breakfast be left for the port. We went with Jamie and Aileen, because we had became fast friends with them over the past couple of days. I wanted to do the sunset mangrove kayaking with the sanctuary, they really wanted the dolphin watch, so we compromised. Kevin took us into town and dropped us off with a driver (with an American name) and a little boat with no weather protection. We drove out around the bay for a while and it was very pretty, weren't sure what was going to happen. Soon, driver's friend radio'd him to tell him he sighted a pod of dolphin's. We headed for them and after what seemed like several minutes, we found the pod. I thought a pod was maybe a dozen. I was surprised to find out there were approx 100! I had no idea. So Jaimee and Aileen took what is essentially a 14' x 14' board with a roape tied to it, mask and jump on in. Basically, you get trolled behind the boat (I know, shark bait) until you mesh with the pod and then you can dip down with your board under the water and see them all rolling around and swim/playing. It's pretty awesome! Jaimee and Aileen gave up the first time after we lost the pod. But then I jumped in with Aileen and we caught up with them. My daugther isn't a strong swimmer, so she passed, but had fun watching. After that we went to snorkel for a while. There was some sediment in the water, but you could still see fairly well. There wasn't really any coral though, and very few fish. I still like jumping out and pretending, but it just wasn't a very good time for snorkeling, I guess. After we got back in, the Sanctuary radio's saying we need to get over there because the water was getting choppy. It also started to rain, so we put on our rain ponchos. Since the boat had only cover for the driver, we got somewhat wet, but hid behind him best as we could. When we got to the sanctuary, we wet from swimsuits and rain. But, as soon as we got off the boat and walked a few steps we were greeted by Winky and Sweetie. Winky is a spider monkey and she's full grown. She will climb right up you if you let her, and she's pretty darn cool! Sweetie is a precious howler monkey baby in diapers. She'll also want you to hold her. Since it was raining, they mostly wanted to try to get under you poncho. Winky crawled under my daughter's and we got a shot of them with both their head through the hole of the poncho. Super cute! She went on to tell us a little bit abouth each of the animals there, as well as their mission statement. Lulu was a brooding howler monkey with a broken leg, that healed wrong, but that she's living with. She gave me her hands to pull her up, but my plastic poncho wasn't very welcome so she didn't like that. Another monkey cabled in one of the trees that was too strong/out of control to be off cable. Another that had his collar literally sewn onto his neck when he was abused as a guard monkey at an auto dealership, another that was taken as an infant and in seclusion and no one to nurture her, wen't insane and is on Prozac and valerium. Others, they are able to release in the wild. If they are able to integrate them back into the wild they will. There was a sloth there, a kinkajou, some birds and a few monkeys. That probably changes depending on when you go, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit there. Our boat waited for us and so we jumped back in and headed to Puerto Jimenez. Once there, we headed to the main office to change into dry clothes. We decided to have lunch in town that day. I had some good seafood soup and we shared some ceviche. Ceviche was really good in CR. Frank picked us up and we headed back to BDC. We stopped along the way for a few sightings and I got my white hawk photo, which I"m really proud of because you won't always get lucky enough to see one, but they are so handsome. That was a pretty full day, so after that it would be pool, freshen, dinner, bar Jose played and sang for us. He's a wonderful entertainer, don't forget to ask him about his CD when you're there
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 09:24 PM
  #45  
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Oops! That's Day 14 above, and Day 15 will have to wait until tomorrow!
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Jun 25th, 2007, 11:24 AM
  #46  
 
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The dolphin swim sounds like a blast. I would expect a dozen or so too, you must've been surprised to see so many. Glad you had time at the refuge, I just fell in love with lulu the way she held her hands up to me to be held!

I know exactly where you are talking about seeing the macaws. That's actually part of Bosque property as well and I agree a great place to see the macaws. I kept seeing it from the titi trail and decided one day to walk dwon the driveway to check it out.

Lucky you to het Jose sing. The last time I was there he was on a moped so couldn't carry his guitar but I do have his cd (first edition ! )
tully is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 11:58 AM
  #47  
 
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Hi Hip Chick!!

I am so glad that you had such an amazing trip! We can't wait to go back, too.

What were your daughter's favorites?
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Jun 26th, 2007, 01:40 PM
  #48  
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tully -- Re: Jose's CD. Unfortunately, I didn't know he wouldn't be working on our last night there, and wasn't able to say goodbye OR pick up his CD. I've since e-mailed Kim to see how to reach him, but haven't heard back. I have one of his RE cards (Jose of all trades!) so I might see if there's an e-mail on it.

I have reservations into BDC for 5 nights, March 31 through April 5 I probably won't be able to afford it after Alex turns 12, she'll be full price then Actually, pretty generous seeing as how some hotels offer kids prices only through age 10.

gem -- I haven't seen you around lately ! Glad you're back Yes, we had a fantastic time, and are trying to make a trip back next Spring break. My daughter loved it all in many different ways At the top of her list is the wildlife, but next is Banana Azul, wildlife sanctuary, sloth rescue center, hand-feeding the birds at Peace Lodge, Cano Negro, zip-lining, Bosque del Cabo (she loved it here, but missed the beach and walks to town). There were so many mini-adventures, great friends made, critters found, and learning experiences
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Jun 26th, 2007, 06:48 PM
  #49  
 
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Your report has been so much fun to read, HVC. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

I'm so ready to go in December that I actually made my formal vacation request to my boss yesterday. He thought I was a bit crazy to be notifying him of my plans 5 whole months in advance, but such is my Costa Rica mania!

It sounds like you truly had a phenomenal vacation. Love it when that happens, don't you?
cmerrell is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:55 AM
  #50  
 
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Glad to hear you enjoyed Banana Azul. I am considering staying there in January. Did you have a chance to see the Ocean Rooms? I'm wondering if they are able to be locked at all and how bad the bugs are. Thanks!
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Jun 27th, 2007, 09:25 AM
  #51  
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cmerrell -- Thanks for staying interested in my report You are going to really enjoy yourself in December! I can tell you're really looking forward to it Can't wait to hear YOUR trip report!

Felidae -- The ocean rooms are very nice. You can sort of tell from the website what style they are, very natural, comfortable and tasteful. I would request the 2nd floor instead of the 1st (only for more separation from the main patio). Yes, you can lock all the doors and windows. Anywhere with a jungle setting you will have some bugs, but there were no bug "problems" here Don't keep food/snacks in your room, that will attract them. Also, you may have a bat, geckos, etc. We kept our windows open the whole time and didn't have bug issues, except for the peanuts I forgot about in my bag
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Jun 27th, 2007, 04:06 PM
  #52  
 
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Hi, hip - I am really enjoying reading your report! Speaking of locks, is it true that BdC does not have locks on the cabins? I thought I had read that somewhere. Did you feel comfortable leaving valuables there, or is there a safe or something in the room for passports, camera, etc.? I've heard nothing but great things about Bosque, but I was curious about that. Only a few days more to go for us - yay!
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Jun 27th, 2007, 04:20 PM
  #53  
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Hi volcanogirl You are correct in that the doors don't lock. Cabinas do have a personal safe though, so you can set it with your password and leave anything you want in there. Gerly hit the wrong buttons when showing us our safe and we had to wait for it to reset...but then just never ended up using it. Not to say this was the smartest, but we left expensive shoes and other personals about our place and I never felt uncomfortable there. I pretty much sleep with my camera, so there's no chance it will get stolen!

You'll see! I'm so envious!

But...happy for you
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 04:29 PM
  #54  
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Oh - volcanogirl -- If by any chance you remember, please tell Jose the bartender this:

Hello from Kristin (the one who would only drink Margaritas) and daughter Alex (who loved his smoothies and milshakes). We were there end of May/early June. Also, tell him I'm sorry he wasn't working our last night there, because I didn't get to say goodbye or get his CD. But, we'll be back in the Spring, so let him know I'll be ready for his "Special of the Day" by then

If you can pass that along, that would be great!

hipvirgochick is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:15 PM
  #55  
 
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Awesome you're going back hvc, certainly a place to go back to again and again! Hey who knows in the spring what I'll be doing, ya never know.

volcanogirl - just to ditto what hvc said. They have safes but I've only used mine once. It's so extremely secluded that someone would have to come a long way to get there, not to mention be noticed! Don't be surprised when you come back late mornings to find all the doors of your cabina open, they leave them like that after housecleaning for the breeze.
tully is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:47 PM
  #56  
 
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Wow, we live in a big city and the thought of being able to leave the doors wide open is pretty refreshing - tells you what a special place BdC is. Hip, I will do my best to pass your message along, and I'm sure he'll be happy to hear from you. It stinks when you don't get a chance to say goodbye to people.

My husband and I are getting so excited about our trip. We bought our Keen's and headlamps this weekend. I almost don't want to go because I love planning the trip so much, and soon it will all be over, but I know we'll be left with great memories. And then we can start planning the NEXT trip!
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Jun 27th, 2007, 07:15 PM
  #57  
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I'm gonna try to get the rest of this written tonight, but first, I want to say to Tully - of course I'm date droppping, so you or others can get Spring fever too Would that be great?!?

volcanogirl -- Good choice with the Keen's. We liked them much better than our Tech's. Next time, probably won't even take them. We'll definitely take a headlamp next time though. We didn't have one last time and it would have been nice.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 09:38 PM
  #58  
 
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How soon do you leave, volcanogirl? I will be looking forward to your trip report and impressions as a first-time visitor to BdC (since my first visit is approaching as well...).

cmerrell is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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cmerrell, not sure if you saw my other post - we leave this Saturday! Very excited - I'm wearing my Keen's around the back yard to get used to them. Husband thinks I'm nutty, but at least I'm not wearing the headlamp. Hip, I'm glad you think the Keen's are a good choice; we didn't know how to go in terms of footwear. Was BdC really muddy when you were there? I'm looking forward to more of your report. It sounds like you had an amazing trip.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #60  
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volcanogirl -- Yes, quite a bit of mud. It's that red clay mud in many places. My Keens were more porous than my daughter's for some reason, and they were pretty hard to get clean. I had to use a toothbrush when I got home and then I gave up and ran them through the washing machine! Don't plan on them looking brand spankin' new when you get home
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