Greetings fellow humans, I have returned from sunnier climes (although I think my brain is still mid-Atlantic) and am currently recovering from jet lag, looking forward to returning to work tomorrow, and overall catching up. Left San Jose (the Costa Rica one) on Saturday afternoon and it was approx. 28ºC and in Madrid 10 hours later it was 0º. Warmer in the UK, fcol.
In a couple of hours, I'm off to pick up Buzz and The Lads from their own holiday in much less sunny climes. Forgot to post that when I dropped them off, I was informed of the names The Lads had previously as this was one of the rescues where they'd been - apparently the polecat is Dragon and the albinos are Ice and Cream. Yep, I kid you not. So, The Lads they remain for now. ;)
As for Costa Rica? OMG. It's like holidaying in a zoo, particularly a zoo with a massive bird section, many of which are absurdly brightly coloured and some of which have ridiculous names to go with it (like Montezuma's Oropendula
, for example). It's a real paradise for birdwatchers - I got interested all over again (it was a major thing for me in my teenage years) and saw well over 100 species without very much effort.
And there are sloths All Over The Place (both two-toed and three-toed, depending on altitude)! In a very wind-swept tree in the pizza restaurant parking lot, hanging out casually in a tree just by the supermarket where we stopped, oft-spotted furry lumps in the treetops. Chances are if a bunch of folks are standing around, looking up, a sloth may be involved. Our guide was telling me about one particular part of the country, where sadly we didn't go this time around, where they often find sloths attempting to cross the road in search of new trees and how people stop traffic to pick them up, even if the sloths don't always appreciate it and will try and bite/scratch (very slowly, I presume?).
Also seen (and I shall probably forget some, there were so many): coatimundi, agouti, lesser anteater, red-kneed tarantula, (mostly poisonous) snakes, loads of lizards (including the jesus lizard
), many massive iguanas, armadillo, all 4 kinds of monkey, toucans, macaws (both green and red), turtles, a couple of caiman and many crocodiles, river otter, raccoon, osprey, quetzal, lots and lots of vultures, and many and various kinds of birds.
Anyway, I dare say there will be pictures in due course, though maybe/probably more of animal and birdlife than places. In short, if you can avoid the horribly touristy parts (Jaco, I am looking at you! *shudders*), or at least get out into the national parks, it's an awesome place and well worth a visit. I shall certainly be back, however not via Europe and the 10 hour flight from Madrid (yeuch), which my system very much did not appreciate - I'd forgotten how much I hate flights/hanging around in airports and the usual trans-Atlantic 7 or so hours is clearly about my limit!
Oddly enough, the temperature there fluctuated wildly between the mid-80's (dry or humid, depending on whether we were at the beach or in the rain forest) and the mid-50's (at one point also very windy). It seemed very strange to be wearing a hoodie, however this was clearly a sign of things to come on returning home... ;)