Friday, February 13, 2015

The Mountain Adventure Begins: Part One - San Gerardo de Dota

Can you say climate shock?! We hopped in the boat to leave the Osa at 8:30am. It was already hot and very humid. We slathered on sunscreen for the hour boat ride back to Sierpe. The river was so incredibly calm along the way and we got to explore so narrow side channels through the mangroves. They are truly a sight to behold.

Once in Sierpe, we ate patacones (smashed, fried plantains eaten with guacamole and pica de gallo - yum!) and cold drinks as we watched a huge (probably close to 90 year old) crocodile float by. It was hot. The drive from Sierpe back to Uvita for groceries was less than an hour and we were all sweat soaked by the time we hit the grocery store. Then we head up to the mountains. And, I mean literally "up". The road climbed steeply and relentlessly and windily up, up, up. Before we knew it, we were in the cool mist looking down on valleys below. It was wild. Then down a bit into the regional seat of San Isidro. Got gas and then headed up some more. We arrived in the town (if you can call it that it is so small) of San Gerardo de Dota. We headed down the craziest, barely one lane wide road into a steep narrow valley. Everything looks so different here - no more towering jungle ficus and vines. The trees are short and there are plants and flowers that we have at home plus lichen on a lot of the trees.

This is the part of our trip that we left unplanned. We wanted to just figure things out when we got here and figured it would be easy to do b/c it's not a huge tourist destination. Well...who knew that Valentine's Day weekend would be a big deal here in Costa Rica?!  All of the little hotels and cabins we thought we would be staying in were booked for the weekend. We landed at the well-loved Trogon Lodge for one night to figure out what to do next. It is built into the hillside along the Savegre River, touted at the cleanest river in all of Central America. It's got a fun campy, lodgey feel with no end to path and nooks for Lucas to explore. He of course, has enjoyed finding every single one of the rooms at the lodge, which he has done at every place we have stayed.

We dropped our bags in our room and promptly put on jeans, sneakers, fleece, scarves, hats and rain coats - basically every one of our warmer layers that we have. It felt so cold! We wandered down to the bar/hang building. We taught Lucas how to play pool and met a few German travelers. After dinner, we hopped into our beds under down comforters and snuggled up to the hot water bottles they had tucked into the foot of the bed. We all chuckled since we've been sleeping with barely a sheet for the past week and a half!

We woke up to a sunny day with some off n' on sun rain and hummingbirds galore - so many different kinds. Breakfast and then off on a hike to a nearby waterfall. It felt like we were hiking on the west side of the Cascades. We've been fortunate to see 3 of the illusive Quetzal bird since we've arrived. It is truly an amazing bird and so different from any other bird - brightly colored with blue, green, red and white with a triple streamer like tail like that on a kite. They also have the most beautiful song. Matt tried to get a photo through the binocs. It doesn't do the bird justice. You can't see it's red breast or it's long tail.

The waterfall was a fun place to hang out for a while. Lucas found a little tree-vine-ephiphyte grotto to play in at the top of the falls. No end to the vine telephones up there!

We are off to the next place called the Toucanet Lodge that our guide on the Osa told us about. We are in search of many things for this part of our journey - time with Ticos, speaking as much Spanish as possible, off the tourist track, cooler days with new topography and a place where we can cook our own meals. More to come on where we end's a fun adventure.


  1. Happy Valentines day Lukey Lou!! Its great to read about your adventures and know what fun you are having. I love that you are seeing so many birds. AND crocodiles. :-0 It is warm here. And likely a dry weekend-Yay! we are running Fort Ebey 10K trail run tomorrow. :-) xoxo Betsy