Searching For The Quetzal

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Mirador De Quetzales

Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, March 11, 2011

We drove back over the rough road and through the streams from Drake's Bay to the main road; but this time we did it in a driving rain storm that made the road itself look a bit like a stream. Fortunately, our little 4X4 was up to the task and we never stalled on any of our stream fords, so we hit the main road and headed inland to the Central Valley of Costa Rica to try a new part of the country and to stay at the Mirador De Quetzales where we had the best chance of seeing the legendary bird. It is about the size of a small crow or Jay; but it has a long green tail hanging below it's red belly. The head and chest are bright green and the head is topped by a crest so it really is a spectacular bird. In fact the proper name is the Resplendent Quetzal. We stopped short in San Isidro because we didn't want to drive at night and miss the lovely mountain scenery that we were experiencing.
We got up the next morning and arrived at the Inn around 10:00 which was perfect for an afternoon of birding. The price of $50.00 included dinner, breakfast, and a 6 am guided search for the Quetzals. This whole forest of avocado trees and such was the dream of Eddie Serrano who planted them nearly 50 years ago and though he has since passed away, his children now operate it and so both the Quetzals and the people still benefit from it. We saw over 20 birds that we had not seen so far on our trip that afternoon so it was a good hike; but we didn't see the great green bird. Hoping for better luck with a guide, we were up early for our tour. Everyone was stamping their feet and holding their cups of hot coffee and chocolate after a cold night in the unheated bungalows and the mist covered much of the view which the day before had stretched for miles of rolling hills and mountains. We set off in a group of a dozen and our guides called and called the birds; but after 3 1/2horrors we returned empty handed. Oh well, you cannot make nature do what she doesn't want to do. We packed our backpacks for the last time and headed for San Jose and the airport to return home at last. Sounds easy right? Not so! San Jose doesn't have any street signs so we ended up navigating by dead reckoning until some hours later we finally turned in our car and caught our Panama. Yes you have to go South before you can go North so now we are catching a few winks in the Orlando airport waiting for a 5:15 flight to Charlotte and then Asheville. And so this adventure has ended and the next one has begun. I hope that you have enjoyed traveling vicariously with us as much as we have enjoyed your company....Happy Travels!
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Steve on

JOJO: 44 posts so far, how many days has it been? A great adventure surely!! Have good travels back to wherever.

JJ on

Glad you are home safe....SOME TRIPS

Frank S on

Joe, I have enjoyed traveling with you. The pictures are great, capturing beautiful sights. Glad you are back safely.

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