Turtle Beach Lodge

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
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Trip End Jan 11, 2005


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Saturday, January 1, 2005

Read On at Klenske, Ink.

After an early morning wake up call, we were picked up at our hotel's front door by the lodge's bus. We then set out for our 'wild' trip to the jungle lodge. The first half was a four hour ride through the country. After getting out of San Jose, we first went through a national park full of rainforest covered mountains. It was actually sunny out, which I guess is rare, and we could see the top of the dormant volcanoes. We stopped for a great costa rican breakfast along the way at an outdoor cafe. Traditional costa rican grub consist of rice and black beans, which is eaten at all three meals. At breakfast you just add eggs. We also had a taste of costa rican coffee, and even kara is drinking the cafe con leche. The last stetch of the bus trip included an hour and a half 'massage', costa rican for a very very bumpy road. We did get to drive through the Del Monte banana plantation, and stopped to watch the process. You would never guess the ammount of work that goes into getting you your banana. The worst part is, all the good ones go to us in the states, so the costa rican's only get the left overs.

After the bus massage was complete, we began the second leg of our journey, which was done completley by boat through jungle canals. The lodge and town have no roads, everything is by water. But on the way we saw about every type of animal you could imagine. Right after leaving we saw a crocodile sunning on the shore. There were numerous water birds everywhere. The highlight had to be the sloths. We saw at least three on the trip, but we were lucky enough to see one down in the water, trying to climb back up into the trees. They sure don't move too fast, which i bet is how they got their name. Did you know that the sloth only comes down to the ground when 'nature calls', and nature only comes a calling once every two weeks or so. Crazy crazy. We also say at least a dozen green iguanas. Then of course the monkeys. We saw both the white faced monkey and several howler monkeys, which make an extremley loud scream any time you invade their territory.

Once we got to the lodge, we had a quick lunch and checked into our cabins. The place is beautiful. The garden is huge, the resturant/bar is all outdoors under two large straw huts. There is a pool in the shape of a turtle, and the ocean is just on the other side of the trees. Our cabins are set back into the jungle, and we have to cross an interstate of leaf cutter ants on our way there. Our group is great, with some st. louis natives and a great couple from Denmark, Jane and Anders. what a small world. The staff and costa rican people are also extremeley friendly and fun.

We got along great with the danish couple. It was inspiring to talk to them about their travels and the way the are able to balance their jobs with their love for travel. They´ve been all over the world, and have even taken a year off to travel through asia. That´s what I love about traveling, the people you meet for a few days and most likley never see again. That´s what makes the memories. It´s fun trading stories with like minded people, discussing the far sides of the world. I only hope to be able to see half the places they´ve seen already.

In the late afternoon we got back onto the canals to explore the town of Tortugera and Parque nacional tortuga. The town is small but nice and we went to a meseum about the seaturtles. We then cruised around the canals in search of more wildlife, and got lucky to see a tucan and a green parrot, along with monkeys, sloths and iguanas.

We spent the night drinking beer, playing cards and looking at the stars around a beach bonfire.

(friday)

Suppose to go on an early morning trek, but it was raining heavily so we got to sleep in until 6:30 (it's just like boyscout camp, breakfast at 7:30). It rained off and on throughtout the day, so we spent most of it hiking along the beach, reading in the hammocks, swimming and eating. We took an afternoon hike in the jungle. It is unbelievable how thick the jungle is, and the floor was a complete swamp so we needed to use rubber boots.

After dinner it's time to ring in the new year and then get packed to head out in the morning for a long day of traveling to monteverde, our next stop.

P.S. We'll add pictures soon, so check back.

Feliz ano nuevo!

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