Tortuguero to Parismina to Turrialba

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Cartago,
Saturday, May 8, 2010

A couple of nights ago, we celebrated Tom's birthday with dinner at Miss Junie's. The food was delicious. We had mackerel in coconut milk and a mixed seafood dish of crabs, fish, squid, and clams. We also splashed out on a bottle of wine. I asked what wines they had and the waiter said either a red merlot or a white merlot! Eh? We ordered the white and received a nicely chilled Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, much appreciated as it's the first alcoholic drink I've had since we got here!
We left Tortuguero yesterday morning, catching the 10am boat down the Tortuguero canal to Parismina, a small village about 25km down the coast. The boat journey started in the middle of a downpour so we had to batten down the sides but it soon stopped so we could look out and enjoy the passing rainforest scenery. The boat driver stopped to show us a crocodile he had spotted. Tom could see it but I was only able to make out a few bits of floating wood!
We arrived in Parismina about an hour later. Parismina is a friendly, laid-back village with a Caribbean vibe. We found the Iguana Verde lodge, which was pretty basic but fine for one night. There was a blue macaw out the front of the lodge that belonged to the owner and says 'Hola' when you walk past. We went for a walk round the village and down to the sea accompanied by the lodge's spotted dog. We ate a scrummy dinner of fish, rice and beans and salads at the little restaurant by the boat dock and got chatting to a Canadian girl who was spending a few weeks in Parismina volunteering with an organisation called ASTOP, which patrol the beaches to stop turtle poaching, which is apparently still a problem here. She told us that she had seen 4 leatherbacks laying eggs in one night's patrol. We wanted to have a go at spotting a turtle again but couldn't justify the price - people are not allowed to walk on the beach alone at night, you have to pay and go with a guide. We did try to go down to the beach in Tortuguero by ourselves one night but were stopped by someone who said it was dangerous as there might be people with machetes! I think he was talking rubbish and just trying to scare us! It worked!
Didn't sleep too well that night as our lodge was next to a bar playing loud reggae. The fact that there was a massive cockroach scuttling about in the room didn't help either!
Breakfast the next morning was fried eggs, rice and beans - very tasty! We boarded the 9am boat to Cano Blanco, a short 10 minute ride, along the meandering river. Here we got on the bus to Siquirres. This was a two hour, sweltering journey along a very bumpy road. The bus stopped regularly to pick up more passengers and was soon completely packed. We passed a Del Monte banana packing plant. Bananas were being pulled along a sort of pulley system by one person which looked like back-breaking work.
Once in Siquirres, we changed buses for the bus to Turrialba. This journey was much more comfortable as the road was now paved and the bus was not so full. We left the coastal lowlands and headed up into the slightly cooler Central Highlands. Again the scenery was stunning with vistas all around of rainforest cloaked mountains. Saw many birds along the way, including several large hawks and vultures.
After a couple of hours, we descended into Turrialba, an agricultural town in a valley. Turrialba is supposedly the home of the best white water rafting in Central America, a statement that we will be testing in a couple of days time!
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Erica on

Love the Spot the Frog competition!

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