Who’s Colin I can hear you shouting? Well more of him later but he has a lovely smile.
First ML had to check in with a couple of people and pick up his new vehicle, it’s silver grey and a four-wheeled drive and my legs need to be at least 10 – 15 cm (4 – 6 inches) longer to get in and out of it comfortably. But it has air conditioning that goes from hot to arctic in a very short time.
We were both really hungry so headed to a restaurant attached to a hotel just along the coast. Now the hotel wasn’t anything overly special but the restaurant which was like most I had seen so far in Costa Rica was open to the elements but the view from the restaurant overlooked Playa Bonita beach with its wide expanse of sand and the Caribbean Ocean rolling in.
It is a popular beach for sunbathing but also for surfing. This has only been the case since the early 1990s when a 7.4 on the Richter scale earthquake hit the area it raised the coastline by 1.5 – 2 m (5 – 6.5 ft) exposing the coral reef, this apparently creates a hollow wave which I think is a good thing. I am reliably informed that although Costa Rica is within the ring of fire the last big earthquake before 1991 was 1953 and before that 1901 so I’m going to ignore thoughts of earthquakes while we are here (fingers crossed).
My skill set for natural disasters will be comprehensive by the time we finish travelling, I have my cyclone drill down pat and considering that earthquakes happen all over Costa Rica I guess I will soon know what I should and shouldn’t do. There is even a website called Earthquake Track where you can see if there has been an earthquake that day. According to the site there have been 43 in Costa Rica so far this year and they range between 4.2 and 5.1 on the Richter Scale.
Well even I can remember that.
Back to the restaurant, a lovely cool breeze was blowing through as we were seated, a plate of prawn rice and an ice-cold drink and we were both ready to head to the hotel and relax. We were spending the next two nights in what can only be described as a fairy tale cottage in the corner of the grounds. The cottage was edged in gingerbread trim along the gable ends and white window shutters and was a bright eye piercing mint green.
I got to meet the partner of one of the other people on the project and ended up giving her an impromptu lesson in how to start to use WordPress. I’m not sure how helpful I was but I tried the best I could. We ended up having a chat that ranged over a multitude of subjects and continued for the rest of the time I spent there. She was a lovely lady who made the most beautiful quilts, had lived a really interesting life around the world and we were able to play ‘Did you go to….’ Also ‘Did you visit ….’ And finally ‘Do you know………?’
She is hoping to start-up her own blog so I wish her luck, I know I muddled through when I first started with WordPress but I managed to get something posted most days. I wish in some ways I had started writing a blog long ago, the posts from A View From a Vietnamese Balcony are a permanent reminder for me of our adventures there. Whether it’s old age creeping up or just too many new experiences in a short period of time when I reread them I am surprised at the things I had forgotten.
ML and I collapsed into bed early the first night in the cottage. We woke up early the next morning not used to the time change yet and hunger as we hadn’t eaten since lunch the previous day. We set out in the car to see some of the places ML had discovered before I arrived, have breakfast and I was finally going to meet Colin.
The best place for wildlife spotting ML told me was in one of the quarries, the wildlife isn’t really disturbed that much and therefore a wide variety of animals and birds made the rainforest surrounding the quarry and the river that ran through it their home.
This is also Colin’s home, he is the first crocodile to take up residence on the river within the quarry boundaries for 15 years. ML and Colin got to know each other over a seven week period and ML made a point of going to visit him first thing every morning.
Colin would sun himself on a small island of stones that had accumulated at one spot in the river and ML would stand on the bank above him. I’m not sure what they spoke about but Colin would only let ML get so close before he slithered of the stone bank and disappeared under the water. This was repeated each day and I think he was quite sad to be saying goodbye to him.
While we were there we saw some beautiful birds, lizards a few different types of butterfly, a bright red frog and a dragonfly. Along the bank there were the stumps of trees with the most amazing tangle of roots exposed to the air, I’m not sure if these were from the quarry or whether they had been washed down the river. In the distance I could see the excavators lifting the stone from the river bed and loading it into large dump trucks. Behind them the mountains covered in rainforest, their tops wreathed in low white fluffy cloud.
We spent ages walking around and photographing before heading back to the cottage but on the way back we passed through a number of small villages; hanging from a power line that crossed the road in one was a sight you see all over the world wherever there are children – a pair trainers shoelaces tied hanging from a powerline. What you don’t see everywhere is the plants that have taken root in the mud on them and despite their precarious existence they appeared to be flourishing.
What I didn’t manage to see regardless of how hard I looked was a sloth, this is definitely high on my list of things to see in Costa Rica, and maybe I’ll have better luck in Guanacaste.
Tomorrow we are back on the road again heading back towards San Jóse.