Costa Rica Beginnings

It’s definitely about time I talked more about Costa Rica.

I really recommend it if you want to go somewhere really exciting but you have limited time. It’s a small country so you can really see most of it in a couple of weeks.

We went during the rainy season. Rather naively we didn’t think that this would mean that it would rain literally all the time, but I was wrong, oh so very wrong.

Our tour began at San Jose (Costa Rica’s capital) which I do not recommend. Horribly busy, polluted and with a terrible traffic problem, spend as little time as possible there.

We went to Puerto Viejo on our first full day, a small town built on the Caribbean Sea. June is not the time to be visiting the Caribbean as it rains all the time and the sea is rough and unyielding.

We still managed to have a great time visiting a local animal sanctuary where they rescue sickly/injured animals before releasing them back into the wild.

I couldn’t deal with how unbelievably cute the baby sloths were.

The next day we visited a local village and watched the traditional methods used in chocolate production.

First of all they roast the whole (dried) cocoa beans.

Then the beans are crushed using a pestle and mortar.

The beans are shaken so that the light husks blow away in the wind, leaving just the bean behind.

Finally the beans are passed through a fine mincer to produce pure chocolate paste.

The paste was then added to hot milk with a tiny sprinkling of sugar to make the dreamiest hot chocolate which was much needed after we’d been soaked all morning by the relentless rain.

From Puerto Viejo we went to Tortuguero; a rain forest on the East coast. Due to the widespread flooding it took us 7 hours to get there and then we had to take a boat to our final destination.

Tortuguero is famous for turtle watching and spectacular wildlife watching in general including both two and three toes sloths, howler monkeys, ant eaters (which climb trees by the way, I did not know this!) and some tiny bats that had attached themselves to a beam in a boat house.

After Tortuguero it was time for the part of the trip I’d been most looking forward to our Jungle Lodge stay, but more on that in my next post.

Until next time, Pura Vida!

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