Just back - 2 weeks in Puerto Viejo and Osa!!

Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:18 PM
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amyet - we've never had a snake in our room at BdC, does that help? Don't worry about scorpions either. Keep your luggage closed after you get out what you need, don't keep food in your room, and do a nightly sweep with a flashlight - you'll sleep better knowing there's nothing for them to get into or eat! Oh, and shake out your shoes in the morning ;-) You'll have an amazing time!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 05:11 AM
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Absolutely stunning pics, what I always wish mine would look like! Howlers are my favourites so of course loved those, especially from the Rescue Center. I really hope they can do something about that poor spider monkey, so sad his face. Thanks for posting the wonderful pics, makes my "homesickness" a little better.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 06:35 AM
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Thanks Tully. The experience at the Rescue Center in PV with the baby howlers was pretty incredible....you could smell them and feel there little feet and fingers. They're like, well, monkeys, when they wrap themselves and their tail all around you and don't let go!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 07:13 AM
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Your pictures are incredible...you are such an artist! I've been inspired for my next trip!

I really enjoyed your trip report too - the details were so great!

Thank you so much for sharing everything!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 07:35 AM
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thanks so much ShellD! I know what you mean, this whole forum inspires me to keep planning my next trip! I have one more installment on BdC but it'll have to wait until I get home!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Gorgeous pictures - they would make a beautiful coffee table book. Thanks for posting them!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Last Full Day at BdC:

So it's our last day at BdC....can't believe it's gone this fast. This morning we decide to do the Primary Canopy Tour with Phillip and, rain or shine, his night hike tonight! Last night, on the way back to our cabina from dinner, there was this thing hanging from a heliconia leaf right by the walkway. It was the oddest thing - definitely something molting out of it's shell and stretching out with long antennae. I took a picture of it so I could show it to Phillip this morning for identification. So we head up to breakfast early since the tour starts at 8. Phillip takes a look and thinks the molting insect is a katydid, then we head out on the tour. The family from Illinois with the three kids are along as well, but this is a 4-hour tour... but they turn out to be great. I comment to their Mom about how the kids seem curious and well-traveled, and she tells me about their trip to Africa when they were little. Little, as in 2 and 3! I think it's great when parents expose their kids to the world like this - but I digress. The tour really brings together a lot of what we've seen so far but didn't know what things were or how they related to each other. Phillip is really knowledgable and combines his tour with his dry sense of humor, and makes it so enjoyable. We saw several troops of howler and spider monkeys, enormous leaf-cutter nests, learned a lot about the amazing trees of the Osa, and saw an oncoming band of army ants which was really great! Phillip pointed out the signs to look for with army ants - insects popping up off the ground, small birds feeding on the insects, etc. As we were standing there watching, trying not to get too close, the Mom ahead of me started swatting and yelling as she was attacked by ants. Then it was my turn. Wow, they really sting, and when they get into Keen shoes...yikes! Toward the end of the tour, we end up in the Tropical Garden, and Phillip points out the Presidential steps, that were built when they hosted the President of Costa Rica last year. That's impressive....after 4 hours we're back at the restaurant and we're starving. Lunch tastes great, served with a smile as always by Eileen, whose helping me with my Spanish.

After lunch, we decide to hang out at the pool and just relax. We order the drink of the day, a Tico Sour, made with Cacique, lime, and cranberry juice. I'm really starting to not want to go home. The more I relax, the more I start to realize that some things back home aren't important and necessary, and I start to plan my escape!! We sat with a newcomer at the pool - a woman from the West Coast whose sons are here to surf and she's here to relax. We head back to our cabina to relax before we gear up for the last night hike of the trip. I was relaxing on the deck overlooking the ocean and watching the spectacular dragonfly show. Thousands of dragonflies feeding is quite a sight to see. Then I hear howlers really close by and they sound like they're in trees closer to the water. I grab my long lens and go looking for them. The cabina next door is empty, so I go onto their front porch to have a look. There are two howlers in the crotch of a tree - looks like a mother and baby - and they're in a perfect position to photograph. I finally get some shots that aren't silhouetted against the sky - more little gifts! Then I see a larger howler who spots me, but I just wait and seem to put him at ease. He makes his way further up the tree, behind leaves, and the mother and baby stay still, watching me. I'm so happy to end my trip with some great shots of these beautiful creatures.

We slather on some more of the natural insect repellent we bought in the BdC store (I'm happy to say it really works great!), put our Keens back on, and we're off to meet Phillip for his night hike. The thunder we're hearing is getting closer so it's not looking good, but we don't care. We're going. Phillip is in the bar and we wait until about 6:15 so it gets dark. We head down the lawn by the pool to see if we can find some tent bats, but no one's home. He points out the Ylang Ylang tree right near our cabina, and the flower that blooms at night. As we head to the pond, the sky opens up and it pours! We have rain jackets, but no umbrellas, but we go on. Phillip points out a few snakes, banana frogs, then I turn around and almost step on a HUGE Smokey Bush Frog. It's the size of a football! It's raining harder now - if that's possible - and Phillip is trying to find me the requisite red-eyed tree frog to photograph. He does and I try to focus, but between the pouring rain, and the frog slick with water, the flash is making him look completely white, and I feel like I'm blinding him with the flash. Plus it's time for dinner, so we head back. We have to go change our clothes because we're soaked and muddy, but it was worth it. It's a whole other world out there at night, and Phillip's tour really helps point out all there is to see! There was some good conversation about the days adventures, but we were tired after a full day, so we headed back down early. Tomorrow we head back to San Jose on the 12:30 flight and we want to savor every last second..............
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Loving the report, isn't BdC the best??? Have only been back 8 weeks and already planning next year!!

Great report and WOW those fotos!!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Thanks parrmt! I feel fortunate to have discovered BdC right off the bat with our first trip - thanks to you guys here! So many people we've talked with have told us they've stayed all over CR, and STILL think BdC is the very best. That's saying a lot. We love it too!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Am loving your report and the photos. We will be there in less than 3 weeks and can't wait, so thanks for all of the detail!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Leaving BdC for Alajuela: Last report and Final Thoughts!

The next morning we get up and have a delicious breakfast and say our goodbyes to the staff. Gerly tells us that they will come and get us at 11, so we can get to town and catch the 12:30 flight. We've had a great time at BdC this time, and I think the critter sightings have been better than our last trip in October 2006. Here's a list of all the things we saw:

- Monkeys - all 4 species. We saw Squirrel (Mono titi) on the Titi Trail. Spider monkeys were everywhere - on the Gulfo Dulce Trail, out front near the mango tree, in the trees near the pool and beyond the Mariposa cabina - really just about everywhere. White-faced capuchins were near the head of the Pacific Trail and the mango tree. Howlers were outside our Tucan cabina, in the trees overlooking the water from the Sol cabina, on the Gulfo Dulce Trail, and lots more places.

- Small mammals - Coatis and agoutis everywhere, especially near the mango grove.

- Reptiles - Frogs galore at the pond, along with lots of snakes. Lizards of many sizes including a neon green one at the restaurant.

- Arachnids - not my favorite but still interesting....A black & brown scorpion in Tucan, lots of ambush spiders, and tons of Golden Orb weavers everywhere.

- Insects - tons of leaf cutter ants, army ants, blue-eyed dragonflies, roaches, large beetles, and one molting katydid.

- and Birds - Lots of Scarlet Macaws all around the property but outside Tucan cabina a few mornings at 5 am, crest-billed toucans, lots of Great Vultures, pelicans, frigate birds, and lots of other smaller birds.

***One very cool little trick that Phillip taught us to spot spiders and other night critters, including red-eyed tree frogs, is to carry along a small flashlight and hold it up at your eye level when searching for these critters. (A headlamp is good, but won't reveal the eyes like something at your eye level). Especially in the grass on the lawn, holding a flashlight at eye level will make the spider's eyes shine like diamonds!!!***

So it's 11 am and they come to get our bags. The driver pulls up in the truck with the back benches and blue tarp, and motions for us to get in. He must see me looking around the back because he says "or, in the back if you want..." and I jump at the chance. I don't want to be cooped up in the cab on my last day. My husband looks a little surprised, but he's a good sport and joins me in the back and we hang on for the wild ride into town! I actually tried to take a few pictures and almost gave myself a black eye, but I do manage to get a few pics of that beautiful drive up to Bosque.......the one with the trees on either side that sort of curve in and over the road, with a view that looks out onto the Gulf? So beautiful. I ask him if can stop if he sees the spotted owls in the trees, and he stops and gets out to look, but they're not there. He does stop for me to take pictures of the herd of Brahmin cows and the man tending them that takes up the whole road.

When we get to the airport, we have about a half hour wait and we chat with a gentleman and his two sons, who were at Bosque a few days before we arrived. There's a little girl that catches my eye and she sees me taking pictures. She's a cutie, and immediately starts playing to the camera. She tells me her name and says she's waiting for her Dad to arrive at the airport soon. And when he does, it's really sweet to watch. Turns out his plane is our outbound flight, and we're onboard and heading to San Jose, with a silent vow to come back soon and check out those areas across the Gulfo Dulce.

When we arrive in San Jose, it looks like that movie Outbreak. Everyone has masks on and plastic gloves and they ask us one by one if we have a fever, cough, and a list of other things to which we answer "No" and then we're through. Boy, that was wierd. What a welcome to the airport, and there was no explanation of WHY! We hop in our cab and we're on the way to Las Orquideas. It's our last night in Costa Rica, and we're looking forward to a drink and dinner and the pool!

Our taxi ride made me queasy - I should know better than to sit facing backward in a van. We arrive at Las Orquideas, and it's just as we remember it - clean and comfortable, but with an even brighter coat of yellow paint on the walls! We have a standard room with 2 double beds that are comfortable, but the deodorant they use to clean the rooms gave me a wicked headache! Between that and my queasiness, I really need a drink and something to eat. We head downstairs to the Marilyn Monroe Bar and see Shawn, the young American bartender, exactly where we left him 2 years ago!! It's funny, and he recognizes us, which is even funnier. He makes us a round of drinks and a bite to eat. We've decided to just hang out for the evening and play dominoes, but when a few loud Americans show up and start doing shots of Flor de Cana 24-year-old rum (HORROR - that's sipping rum!!), we hit the hot tub instead. As it gets dark, it starts to rain, and the hot tub is so peaceful - no bubbles on, and no lights around..... it's a perfect way to end another amazing trip to Costa Rica.


Hope you enjoyed this vicarious trip (and for some, down memory lane!)......so sorry if I rambled, but it was fun for me too!! ;-)

Mucho Gusto!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 06:49 PM
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I think all the hooplah at the airport is for swine flu - we had to fill out a detailed form asking if we had any symptoms.

Fun report - Now time to start planning the next trip, right?!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 08:41 PM
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We filled out the same paperwork going into and out of Mexico City this past week. And toward the end, some of us got feverishly ill and we were starting to wander what would happen if some of us had contracted the swine flu. We'd been providing a medical clinic to the indigenous up in the mountains and had seen several people who came in with flu symptoms, some of them quite ill. And they had all wanted to shake hands after seeing the doctor (with everyone). We kept the Purell flowing, but still. Thank goodness, none of us had anything more than a little Montezuma's Revenge (although a rather harsh version with fever).

wasigan, this has been an absolutely fascinating report! Such a cool story about the mayor of Limon--such typical tico hospitality. Loved your take on PV, one of our favorite places. Takes a special type to enjoy it fully!
I'm off to view the photos now and know I'll be oohing and aahing over each and every one! Thanks for sharing--you've done a really nice job.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 08:55 PM
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WOW!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 05:35 AM
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I figured it was the swine flu they were checking for - but it was strange how they went about it. One minute it was like they were going to quarantine the whole plane, then the next they just pushed everyone through. Glad to hear all you experienced, shillmac, was a case of the Revenge!

Glad you all enjoyed the pics and report - we're thinking of the next trip already and maybe combining it with a neighbor north or south. What do you think - CR and Nicaragua, or CR and Panama???
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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I loved your report - so descriptive! Your trip sounded wonderful. We must get to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica sometime. You wrote about "little gifts," well, you have an incredible, not-so-little "gift" in your photography skills. Thank you so much for sharing them!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Hi Wasigan! What a great trip you had!!!!

Did you got to BdC in October? I have a trip planned to CR for the middle of October. I was wondering if it is worth going since it is supposed to be the rainiest month? We would hate to miss this because we are a bunch of nature freaks. Especially my two boys(5,8)!! Maybe we should do the Puerto Viejo route and go to Cahuita. What do you think? Thanks again!!! Thank you for such a detailed explanation!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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The more I relax, the more I start to realize that some things back home aren't important and necessary, and I start to plan my escape!!

If I had a nodding of the head smiley I'd use it here.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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So glad you guys enjoyed my report and my pics - thanks for the really nice compliments.

pocketchart - I actually got my time frame mixed up on our first trip - we didn't go to BdC in October, it was late Spring, sorry for that mix-up. But honestly, it rained alot at BdC when we were there and it didn't dampen our trip at all. From what we've been told, and experienced, it rains (hard) for a few hours and then it's done. There's so much to see regardless. Depending on how much time you have, you might consider splitting your time between the coasts or combining the Osa with another area that gets less rain in October.

tully - I take it you're planning as well?!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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wasigan planned and booked! November, 92 days to go says my google countdown. Will do 2 quick nights "next door" at El Remanso then 4 at Bosque. I am going to try to learn how to use my camera better by then though I would be happy with just a couple of your great shots.
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