Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monkey Break!!

We had a full sunny, blue sky day today!! We've only had a tiny bit of rain the past two days and it is truly enchanting here. We're still taking “Monkey Breaks” to drop what we are doing when the monkeys come by. We're doing it at least 2 times a day though, so we'll probably stop soon. It is pretty magical to watch them parade through the tree tops and stop to eat along the way. The big brown howler monkeys are a bit intimidating and super loud. They travel in small groups and make a lot of noise and drop a lot of fruit, seeds, leaves, etc. on the ground so you don't want to be underneath them. The small black monkeys with the white faces are much cuter, they are small and travel in larger groups and get much closer to the ground. They eat fruit and are great at sharing and eating only what they need, it is cool. They'll gather around a tree with several large melon type fruits and they will open one and take turns climbing up and eating and when it is done they'll move to another tree. We have a tree with 4-5 melon things there and they come by and eat one at a time. Pretty responsible little guys!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jungle Flu!

Well, I have mostly recovered from a serious bout of jungle stomach, I have never been more sick in my life! We hiked over to Encanta La Vida, a local Inn, for dinner and drinks on Sunday night. It was a brisk walk at dusk among the bats to get there. We had hoped to travel to this place once a week for dinner and hanging out with people on vacation as a break and some socialization. Well, the place had cleared out that morning and has no more guests booked for the next few months. We are bummed we won't be able to hang here more...but we had a margarita and talked to the manager and then had a great dinner. About 5am the next day I woke up and rushed to the bathroom. I spent the next 4-5 hours in there, the next whole day in bed, and the day after that taking it easy. The third day I started eating a bit again, but I still don't feel normal. What a pain! As if this trip isn't hard enough, getting sick was a major bummer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jungle Life Part Two

We've added some pretty great things to our daily routine. Some highlights include:

1) swimming every day in our own little pool

2) eating breakfast on the rock bench at the beach in front of our place

3) Playing with Hermit Crabs at the beach

4) Watching monkeys eat fruit in the trees

Jungle Life

Well, we're living in the jungle. Somehow chanting "the bugs are more afraid of you than you are of them" is not as comforting as it would seem while trying to use the open air bathroom at night. We are in an amazing house, totally fit for the enviroment, but not a very good fit for my somewhat sheltered city existence. Here people are happy to have bats around since they eat the mosquitos. For me, bats "around" is OK. Bats in the house...that takes some getting used to! Here are a few things we've added to our daily routine here in Costa Rica:

1) We sleep in a mosquito net, a lot of folks around here don't use them since there are so many bats...but that thing is my new best friend! When we get in and read to PJ and then turn out the light I can (sort of) sleep knowing that all of the chirping and buzzing and flapping going on will be safely kept away.

2) When we get up in the morning, one of us gets up first and cleans up all the random poop off the floor. Bats, birds, geckos...and who knows what else all leave their "deposits" around so we have to clean up a bit before Pippa can get out of bed to run around.

3) No food waste of any kind in the trash, there is a special bucket outside with a screw top locking lid that food trash goes in. We don't know the consequences of breaking this rule...but I can we're militant about this one!

Life here comes with pretty great perks though too...I'll post them next.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

San Jose Sights

Our adventure in Costa Rica started as soon as we landed in San Jose. The taxi driver we hired to take us to our hotel didn't show. We were left to fight through the gauntlet of aggressively helpful drivers and figure out how not to get ripped of. We found a new driver, but he either got lost on our way or isn't a good taxi driver...we weaved through
some SUPER scary parts of the city to get to our hotel.

We chose to stay at the Hotel Don Carlos in the historic district, advertised as a hotel with charm and character in the historic district.

Well...sort of! It took a bit of time, but we grew to appreciate after exploring it a bit. It was an old residence for kings or goverment folks or something. The rooms are small and old, but there are a lot of cool corridors and outdoor spaces filled with interesting Costa Rican art and some neat fountains. If you have one night in San Jose I would recommend it....but it is somewhat rough.

It was a rainy afternoon...but we took in some city sights anyway. We stuck out like a sore thumb with our rain jackets while all the locals had nice clothes and umbrellas, but PJ had fun and we all needed the exercise after the red-eye flight.

San Jose Sights

Our trip to Costa Rica began with an adventure in San Jose. We had one day here before catching the small plane to Puerto Jimenez and Matapalo, our designated taxi driver didn't arrive to take us to our hotel, so we were left to fend for ourselves amid the gauntlet of aggressive drivers trying to "help". It was intimidating and we were a little wary of being ripped of, but we found a driver and headed to our hotel. We booked a room at the Hotel Don Carlos in the historic district of San Jose. It was a former residence for royalty or heads of state or something and was supposed to be pretty cool. I am not sure if the cab driver got lost or what..but we went through some SCARY areas of the city getting to this place!!
When we finally arrived in one piece, with all of our bags, we were disappointed to say the least. But, after settling in somewhat and exploring the place the hotel began to show it's charm. The rooms are small and old, but there are a lot of cool corridors and outdoor spaces filled with interesting Costa Rican art and some neat fountains. The restaurant was good and the staff super friendly. If you have one night in San Jose I would recommend it....but it is somewhat rough.
The afternoon was super rainy, but we put on our coats and headed out to explore a bit anyway. We definitely stuck out as tourists with our rain coats amid all the Costa Rican's with regular clothes and umbrellas...but we had fun.
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Journey to Costa Rica

Well...after weeks of planning, then a few months of waiting, we finally left for our two month stay in Costa Rica. Here are a few travel day photos...

Just so you know...that bag holds all of our stuff for the whole two month trip!