Costa Rica: Toucans, waterfalls and beer

After our bus tour of Doka and Poas, we reluctantly decided that we were going to have to drive. By this time we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, so we knew that we needed something with 4 wheel drive and good ground clearance. We rented a mini-SUV. If you’re planning on driving in Costa Rica, then based on our experiences, here are some things you can expect to encounter:

Costa Rica: Volcano and coffee

On Monday, we arranged to go on an all-day tour. The hotel had information about various tour packages organized by local companies. Now that we had seen some parrots, it was time for coffee, so we picked out a day trip that would take us to Poas Volcano and the Doka Coffee Estate, then to see some local crafts. As the bus climbed up the mountainside, we entered the cloud forest.

Costa Rica: Did I mention there were parrots?

On Sunday, the sun emerged from the clouds. The weather was beautiful, apparently perfect for cycling as we saw a lot of serious cyclists go by as we waited for the bus. We also saw around 30 or 40 bikers head for Delicias del Maiz for brunch. They weren’t Hells Angels, but I didn’t manage to see the entire name of their group as they went past. Our destination was Zoo Ave, a rescue center turned zoo.

LBJ was an asshole

By chance I saw two stories about Lyndon B. Johnson this week: Johnson lived to dominate, and he used crass behavior to bend people to his will. At 6-ft., 3-in. tall and 210 lbs., he liked to lean over people, spitting, swearing, belching, or laughing in their faces. Once, he even relieved himself on a Secret Serviceman who was shielding him from public view. When the man looked horrified, Johnson simply said, “That’s all right, son.

Costa Rica: Alajuela’ve a time

We arrived at our hotel in Costa Rica late in the afternoon. After resting briefly, we walked to the bank nearby and got some cash, and then walked down the street in search of food. We arrived at a restaurant called Las Delicias del Maiz. The sign said “restaurante tipico”, which is the phrase to look for if you want to try Costa Rican food. I ordered a random platter without meat, and Horchata.

Costa Rica: Coffee, parrots and hotels

Now that we had decided to travel to Costa Rica, it was time to work out where we were going to stay. Since this was our Coffee & Parrots Tour, I started off by looking up the coffee plantations that offered public tours, and locating them in Google Earth. Next, I searched the Internet for information about Costa Rican parrot sanctuaries and breeding programs, and locations where parrots were often seen in the wild.

Costa Rica: General travel tips

In this article, I’m going to cut to the chase and provide my general tips for anyone considering a trip to Costa Rica. Navigation First of all, get a GPS. A good one, with batteries that will last all day. You’ll probably want it to be water-resistant as well. We have a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, which fits the bill perfectly. It’s rugged, waterproof, runs for over a day on two AA cells you can buy at any store, and has a transflective LCD screen that is readable in anything from bright sunlight to pitch darkness.

Costa Rica: Introduction

It was rothko who came up with the idea of going on vacation in Costa Rica. As a professional barista, she was interested in visiting a coffee plantation and learning more about the process of growing, harvesting and roasting the beans. I knew nothing about the country, and had to go do some research. It turns out that as Latin American countries go, Costa Rica is very unusual. After a brief civil war in 1948, the rebel army which seized power proceeded to draft a constitution, institute democratic elections, and disband the country’s entire military, including its own forces.

Chester budgie is unwell

When we returned from our vacation, Chestina the parakeet didn’t look too good. She had terrible itching and feather loss around the eyes, a dirty vent, and generally appeared ragged. Her head feathers had some kind of yellow material on them. I was concerned that she might have early stage scaly face, a mite infestation that’s a common budgie illness. We took her to the vet, and a physical examination revealed a serious abnormality, so we agreed to pay for X-rays.

On returning

We took a vacation to Costa Rica. Our return trip was one of contrasts. I’m writing about the return trip first, to get the unpleasantness over with. That and I have over 6GB of photos to work through, so the rest might take a while… Costa Rica’s San Juan international airport is the most mellow and relaxing airport I’ve visited. After paying the exit taxes and collecting our boarding passes, we passed through security screening quickly and easily.