A taste of Costa Rica travel blog

It is still raining this morning but the sky is beginning to brighten over breakfast. Sadly it is time to leave Tortuguero and head to La Fortuna, or Lucky Town, at the base of the Arsenal Volcano.

Just before we leave the rain returns and we wave off the group on the boat ride today. How lucky we were with our weather! So, back by boat to the pick up point to transfer to our minibus. It is great to meet up again with our first group but sad to say farewell to our Mantuso Lodge friends. We do think however that our paths will cross again in a few days time.

Back on the road we make a few ‘surprise’ stops as our driver had spotted a 3-toed sloth asleep in a tree, then a 2-toed sloth and later we stop at Soda des Iguanas. A Soda is a small family run restaurant but this one has a small resident colony of Green Iguanas in the surrounding trees! The large male has changed to orange in colour to attract females as December is their mating season. Getting a photo of him necessitates me lying on the ground as he is half hidden by a large pipe!

Thank goodness Marco, our driver, has good reactions and good brakes! Drivers do not feel they have to follow overtaking rules here and suddenly he is faced with a huge America-style ‘Freightliner’ truck heading towards us on our side of the road. I think we all instinctively leant to the right! Phew!!!

We pass through banana plantations again and see banana bunches arriving at a packing plant on the ‘Banana Train’, the overhead line that the picker has attached them to. The sorting into export & home consumption quality is all done by hand.

‘The Man from Del Monte he say yes’!!! After bananas, pineapples are the next important export and there are fields of the plants as far as the eye can see! Another labour intensive crop with workers on minimum wage! The fresh pineapple we have had here is so fresh and sweet. Certainly beats anything that has travelled all the way to the UK!

Arenal volcano comes into sight but its summit is deep in cloud. La Fortuna, a spa town, is only 6 blocks long but it is very busy. This area is the top tourist attraction in the country with many outdoor adventure activities. It is famous for its hot springs and for the Hanging Bridges for walks through the rainforest canopy.

We plan to experience both whilst here but first we must check into our hotel. Superbly comfortable ‘cottage’ with fantastic amenities, not surprisingly it is aimed at the American market as many come here for ‘vacation’!

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