Rincon de la Vieja

Trip Start Jan 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 05, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, March 1, 2007

We used Liberia as a base for hiking through the Rincon de la Vieja national park.  This area of Costa Rica is known as Guanacaste and is basically the ¨wild west¨of the country.  A lot of caballeros, rodeos (we just missed one) and cowboy hats.  Rincon de la Vieja was a lesson in contrasts.  We had hopped to hike the volcano in the park but, as often happens, the peak was in the clouds and buffeted by very high winds.  From what I could understand, the trail near the crater is very narrow (a la the knife´s edge in Katahdin) and with the wind, it is very dangerous.  Instead we hiked throughout the lower reaches of the park, through savanna-like grasslands,dense arid forest and boiling, bubbling, sulfurous mud pots. We encountered a large family of coati´s, parading through the forest (Coati is the most diurnal member of the raccoon family, and wear many coats, from yellow to deepest brown, though all are distinguished by their faintly ringed tail, white-tipped black snout, and panda-like eye), a plethora of exotic birds and again, heard the demonic calls of the howler monkeys.  We also encountered several leaf-eater ant highways, carting pieces of the forest to and fro.  They are really fascinating to watch march along in-step, undeterred by the terrain or by the boots of passing hikers. 

Sorry no pix cause I received a CD of someone else´s pictures!  Hopefully tomorrow. 
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