Dick and Sandy's World

February 2005

We arrived Tuesday at the San Jose airport around 2 PM and were taken to our hotel by a representative of Costa Rican Trails. He explained the details of our tour package and then we were free to do whatever. We walked from our hotel to the center of San Jose, clutching our wallets because of cautions we had been given. The natives were friendly and we made it back to the Britannia Hotel safe and sound.

San Jose main street
San Jose
Teatro Nacionale

Gathering place near city center
Britannia Hotel in San Jose
View from our hotel

Wednesday at 9 AM, we were met at the hotel by an agent from the car rental office who took us to one of their offices so we could pick up our 4 wheel drive Daihatsu. Below is a picture of it that was taken later on the vacation.

We drove to Monteverde. The predicted 3 hour trip took us 4 hours - a foretaste of how slow we would find the driving. These photos show some of the beautiful scenery we encountered on this drive.

We stayed at the De Lucia Hotel in Santa Elena, not far from the Monteverde Cloud forest.

Our car
De Lucia Hotel in Monteverde
Our room

These flowers were in a garden near our room.

Calla Lillies

Dick got sick during the night, perhaps from food poisoning. So on Thursday morning, Sandy went on nature walk by herself.
Photo 1- an interesting beatle that was spotted on the way to the nature walk.
Photo 2 - nice view just before the official path.
Photos 3 to 8 - along the path. The flower in photo 5 is a bird of paradise.

Around noon, Dick was feeling well enough to go to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Because this was such an important part of our trip, we hired a guide to help us optimize the nature hike. The circular pictures below were taken with our digital camera viewing through his scope.

Us in front of Strangler Fig Tree
Lush vegetation in the cloud forest

Sandy and the guide
Howler Monkey

A harmless snake
At feeders, we saw 6 types of hummingbirds

Dick rested that afternoon while Sandy went to a chair lift ride for a mile plus ride through more forest.

View from entrace to chair lift
Chair lift tour
Chair lift tour

Rainbow during the tour

We left early Friday morning and headed towards Tamarindo, one of the many beach towns on the northwest Pacific coast. We decided not to stay in Tamrindo because we realized it was too much of a tourist/surfing town for us, but headed further north along the coast where the tourists population would be less dense. The photos below were taken during that 5 hour trip. The road shown in photo 3 was like a super highway compared to those we encountered near Monteverde. The last photo shows a raised burial ground.

We stayed at the Flamingo Beach Hotel. We would have stayed for more than one night, but there was no room at the inn.

These flowers were close to the hotel.

Flamingo Beach, just in front of the hotel was quite nice. We tried snorkeling at the end of the beach. Dick got a bloody leg and bruised hip trying to rescue one of Sandy's flippers.

The sunset we saw on Friday evening was one of the most spectacular of our lives. Probably the high point of the vacation.

Saturday morning we headed north in seach of other lodging. This photo was taken north of Flamingo Beach. The smoke shown there was quite typical - they allow small brush fires to burn without much intervention. As a result, there are probably very few large brush fires.

North of Flamingo Beach

We spent the next two nights in Potrero at Villaggio Flor del Pacifico . This is a large and still growing set of duplex cabins, mostly frequented by native Costa Ricans. During Saturday and Sunday we visited three beaches in the immediate area. Our favorite was just up the coast from Potrero.

Villaggio Flor del Pacifico
Part of our cabin

Dick on the beach

Natural sand art
Natural sand art
Wavy sand

Monday we left Potrero and headed back towards San Jose.

Cattle field
Lop eared Brahma cattle

Simple dwellings

Pottery for sale

Cactus garden

The next day we had to be at the airport before 7 AM, so we stayed close to the airport. We dropped the car off at the car rental office and they took us to La Riveria hotel. Below are show photos of the motel and scenes from the nearby town.

La Riveria B&B
View from La Riveria

Bar and Grill
School Yard

Tueday we flew home.