Thursday, February 17, 2011

Costa Rica

When we arrived at Ollie’s Point, in the remote Santa Rosa national park, there were a few other boats there with surfers in the water. After some deliberation we decided to anchor in the bay overnight and in the morning we had the surf break all to ourselves. I took the paddleboard ashore and walked the length of the deserted beach. It was extraordinary.

After the morning surf session we weighed anchor and sailed across the gulf of Papagayo for Marina Papagayo. As we approached the arid, sparsely settled gulf, a large three-masted ship was the most notable feature of the shore. At first we thought it was the Maltese Falcon, but as we got closer we saw that it was the Eos. The Eos belongs to Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg and is the world’s largest private sailing yacht if you’re talking about length over all. The Maltese Falcon, owned by Tom Perkins, is the largest private sailing yacht if you don't include the bowsprit. The Eos was enormous and made the mega yacht behind it, the Utopia (one of America's largest motor yachts) look somewhat dinky.

The next day we drove up the steep and bumpy unpaved road to the Monteverde/Santa Elena cloud forest reserve. At Selvaturas we walked across the “tree top walkway,” a series of eight suspension bridges hanging high about the jungle floor. It was a rare cloudless day in the cloud forest, so the visibility was great although we didn’t see any rainforest creatures besides a few birds and insects. Later in the hummingbird garden we saw some tourists feeding a Coati, a raccoon-like creature with a pointy nose and long tail it used for balance. It was very pushy about getting its meal, and even began to root around in the tourist’s backpack looking for more goodies.

The best part was the butterfly garden, a large greenhouse filled with thousands of colorful butterflies fluttering all over and landing on our shoulders. All the chrysalises were collected and pinned up in a box. We watched as butterflies escaped their cocoons, then waited for their wrinkly wet wings to dry and flapped to speed up the process.

Later that night we saw some of the beautiful endemic rainforest frogs at the ranarium.

When we got back to the marina the clear water was filled with these crazy looking jellies:

They were stuck to each other in these long cords, but each little bulb was its own creature.

They were absolutely everywhere and causing trouble for the bigger boats because they were clogging up the intake valves on their air-conditioners. Mysteriously, the next day they were all gone.

We left Marina Papagayo and headed for the Osa peninsula, the most remote and untouched part of Costa Rica.

1 comment:

  1. Castin and I spent 4 weeks in Costa Rica in 2004. It is nice to be reminded of the beauty. You did not see the Resplended Quetzal at Monteverde? We backpacked through the Osa, finishing with a walk down the entire length of its shoreline. We illegally camped on the beach and got our punishment. We woke up at 2am with the underside of our tent being savaged by a million small crabs!