Costa Rica 2020, Day 8

Tuesday, February 25

For Mike and I a free day rarely means a lazy day. This was our opportunity to do some exploring on our own.

After breakfast we loaded up our packs with water and snacks and set off to explore the trails that lead towards Corcovado park.

Being long distance runners, we have a lot of gear for carrying water and clothing to help deal with heat and humidity. We also brought bug spray but discovered we didn’t need it. Even in the forest flying insects didn’t seem to be an issue. I had been worried about mosquitos, particularly when I noticed many of the screens in our cabin had holes in them. We didn’t see any mosquitos during this vacation. Perhaps they are more of an issue during the rainy season.

We started our hike on the path behind our hotel and started heading uphill. I found the plant life similar to what we saw in Hawaii. Everything seems very large and lush, almost larger than life.

We walked along the ridge trail keeping an eye out for spots where we could get down to the water. We found a couple of spots that were fun to explore – small secluded beaches with not another soul in sight.

There was one trail that we tried but when we got close to the beach there was quite a drop off. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to climb back up so we backtracked to the ridge trail.

I love exploring these secluded beaches where the only footprints in the sand are our own.

One area we climbed down to was quite large and had a lot of lava rocks as well as a couple of caves.

It was a bit tricky getting into one of them. When the waves came in they covered some of the rocks so knowing where to step was a bit tricky. It was a good test for our balance.

We had to keep an eye on the tide as it was coming in. Some of the waves were quite large. It was fun to watch them breaking on the large rocks, but we didn’t want to get knocked over trying to leave the cave.

We continued on the trail until we came across another hotel: Casa Corcovado. They had many nice cabins deep in the forest. We enjoyed visiting their gardens and then headed back to the trail. We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw a ton of leaf cutter ants and found this giant pile of sand some ants had left behind.

While we were hiking we could hear various bird songs as well as the very loud howler monkeys. I reminded Mike not to put his hand on a branch or tree without looking at it first. He had already tried to grabbed a tree for balance and discovered a vine with many thorns wrapped around it.

You also have to be on the lookout for poisonous frogs, spiders and snakes. I kept my eyes peeled for sloths but didn’t see any. It is best to have a guide when you are on the hunt for wildlife. They are much better at knowing where to look and at spotting them. Neither of us spotted a sloth on our own until the day we were heading home.

These large black things were a common sight and we were told different stories about their origin. They were either caused by termites or a reaction by the tree to the salt from the ocean.

We hiked at least part of all of these different trails.

We arrived back before dinner and I enjoyed a yummy Pina Colada in my favourite spot – with my feet dangling from the bench while gazing out at the ocean.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica is only 10 degrees above the equator so the temperature doesn’t change much between the seasons.

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About Me

My name is Cindy Southgate and I love to travel and try new things!

My husband Mike and I love to explore new places and try out new experiences! We prefer warm places so we can escape some of the cold during the winter. (We live in Canada!) I love mountains, oceans, wildlife and adventure! Both of us have run numerous marathons and completed at least 2 Ironman races. We have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters!

Quote: This was often repeated to me by my mother, Betty Elliott, while I was growing up!


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