North western Costa Rica is completely different from the easy going Caribbean coast line. Succession forests and areas cleared for cattle are all around us as the land recovers from logging in the past which took down a lot of the mature rainforest in this area. 25% of Costa Rica is protected now so many stands of mature rain forest are developing. The lodge here has been a good break and rest in preparation for the second half of the trip. A huge covered veranda with chairs and hammocks overlooks the river which is 30 feet away, the gardens are spectacular and the eating common room is screened and airy.
Not many bugs around, or animals for that matter – the heavy rain has driven them deep into the bush. Bird watching early the first morning was productive. Some of the forest trees are bearing fruit at the moment and were good places to spot some interesting species. At least they don’t throw fruit at you like the monkeys did 🙂 The rain kept us close to the lodge – napping and watching the river and birds who braved the down pour.
The day closed out with a cooking class where we made chicken and cheese empanadas – they turned out pretty well 🙂 The trick is in the dough – as pastry dough and I don’t generally agree, how it will turn out when i get back is questionable. Looking forward to trying to duplicate it at home. Enjoyed watching the food scrap disposal program at the lodge , plates are scraped out a window into the ground below the kitchen and the family chickens devour the lot .
The humidity is 1000000% here- everything is wet, including any paper money, containers and all clothing – we are looking forward to getting into dryer climes and getting some laundry done. We leave this morning for La Fortuna. The trip will start with a 2 hour tractor ride out of here and then a visit to a coffee plantation for exploring and lunch.
It was nice to see the countryside in daylight on our trip out to the main roads. All was uneventful on our trip to the Planeterra coffee plantation.
We had an awesome tour of how coffee is picked and prepared to be roasted, visited the various machines that are involved in the process and ended up having an excellent tilapia lunch. The tilapia was raised in tanks right outside the restaurant and the fish was fresh 🙂
The coffee used to be hauled to the pacific side of the country for transport loaded in carts similar in appearance to the photo here. The carts were decorated according to the status of their owners and pulled by oxen.
Once loaded in boats the beans made the long trip down South America through the Drake passage and on to Europe. The city of San Jose came into being as a coffee transportation hub once the railroad was punched through to the Caribbean side the country, making transportation of the beans to their markets much easier. this was all pre-Panama canal.
have arrived at our hotel in La Fortuna – tomorrow is white water rafting – a first for me…..