A Travellerspoint blog

April 2022

Back to the Pacific coast

Costa Rica day eleven


View Costa Rica 2022 on ToonSarah's travel map.

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View on the way from Monteverde to the coast

I slept poorly due to very strong winds, disturbed not only by the noise but also the thought that they could bring one of the many large trees on the property crashing down, perhaps even on to the roof of our bungalow! Of course no such thing happened; these trees have no doubt withstood much stronger winds in the past and will do so again.

It was time to leave Monteverde; the Pacific Ocean which we could see in the distance from our lofty perch was calling us back. But the Senda Monteverde had one last treat in store for us. As we climbed the hill back to our bungalow for the last time after breakfast a band of over twenty (I estimated) Coati Mundi crossed our path on their way up to the trees of the reserve behind the property.

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Coati Mundi

We checked out soon after 9.30, planning to wait for our 10.00 AM pick-up in the seating area near the office. But our driver Jose was early, arriving while we were still paying our bill. It was good not to have to hang around perhaps, but on the downside we'd been following the score in the match between Newcastle and Aston Villa. We had to leave with ten minutes to go and Newcastle leading 1-0 (but with a very bad habit of often throwing away a lead in the closing minutes). Could we hang on? We would have to wait to find out the answer, as Jose was ready to go!

The first part of the drive took us through Sant Elena and up a ridge beyond, almost parallel to the road we'd arrived on a few days before from Lake Arenal. The views back to Monteverde and across to the Pacific coast were fabulous and Jose paused in a couple of places so we could take photos, albeit only through the windows.

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Near the highest point on the road

The road surface was rough at first but improved as we descended. Eventually we reached the Pan American Highway and turned north. Very briefly we were heading for Alaska! It was around now that Jose proposed a coffee stop, which we were happy to agree to. His chosen spot was a popular roadside cafe doing good business with tourists and local drivers it seemed. We had very good cappuccinos while Jose showed us a detailed map of our route. And as the cafe had free WiFi we were able to check the football score and thankfully Newcastle had held on for the win!

When we'd finished our drinks Jose suggested that we check the area behind the cafe as it was popular with macaws. Sure enough we found a couple there in one of the trees, both a beautiful shade of turquoise. He explained that these were crosses between Scarlet and Blue Macaws. As we were photographing them a Scarlet one arrived in the neighbouring tree. Cue more photos!

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Macaws

When we returned to the vehicle Jose almost immediately turned off the main road to head west towards the sea. At first the road surface was OK, then it began to degenerate into a wide but potholed gravel surface which seemed to get worse the further we travelled! Each car that passed us threw up a cloud of grey dust and the trees and other plants either side of the road were covered with this. At one point we crossed an impressive bridge, the Puente La Amistad, which spans an arm of the Colorado Gulf separating the Nicoya Peninsula from the main part of the country.

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Puente La Amistad

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One of the small villages we passed through

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Scenes on the road

It took about an hour on this road to cover the less than 30 kilometres to the coast, where thankfully the surface improved again as we drove the last few miles north to Nosara and to our last hotel on this trip, Lagarta Lodge. We'd been recommended this as a good spot for some R&R, enjoying the hot weather for a few days before our return to chilly England. And first impressions certainly didn't disappoint!

The view from the restaurant where we enjoyed a welcome drink was fabulous and that from our room (a 'panorama suite'!) equally so! We looked down over the river mouth below us and out to the waters of the Pacific crashing on the shore. The noise of the waves carried up to the terrace, mixed with the sound of many birds.

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View from our room

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Our room

We settled in briefly before heading to the area around one of two small pools. Here we took more photos of the views and had a light late lunch. I also had a dip in the pool, which was lovely.

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By the pools

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View from the pool area

Later we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from our terrace.

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Sunset from our room

In the evening we had a drink in the bar, the Gecko Lounge, followed by dinner. I felt the menu was a little narrow unless you like ceviche (I do, although it doesn't always like me!) Portions were very large too, it was like being in the US! Lesson learned; from tomorrow we'll stick to just ordering a main course.

Back in our room we relaxed for a while before bed, with the sound of the waves as a backdrop.

Posted by ToonSarah 18:38 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises bridges birds road_trip coast views hotel costa_rica Comments (5)

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