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Onwards to Arenal

Costa Rica, day five


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Dragonfly at the Aguila de Osa Inn

Although we had no need at all to be up early today, we were awake soon after 5.00AM. This was due perhaps in part to the time we had gone to bed but mainly to the cacophony of bird and insect noise that starts up here as soon as there's a glimmer of light in the sky.

We had a leisurely breakfast chatting with a pleasant German couple who'd been on our snorkelling trip yesterday, and I made use of the better WiFi in the restaurant area to catch up with emails and post a few photos on Facebook.

I took a few last photos around the grounds, including a lively woodpecker. After packing I sat out on our terrace and managed to get a few shots of the hummingbirds visiting the pretty bush outside our door.

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Woodpecker and bougainvillea in the grounds

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Hummingbird

Flying back to San Jose

At 11.00 AM we were ferried across to Drake Bay with another, Canadian, couple - friendly young people with whom we'd been chatting quite a bit. We had all the performance of our last 'wet landing' but at least the hotel had sent towels along with us! We then had a jeep ride to the airstrip, fording the river en route.

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Fording the river

As always with airport transfers, we were there far too early. The tiny terminal building had no facilities other than toilets but an enterprising local living opposite had set up a stall in her front garden selling cold drinks, which we all fell on with relief!

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Drake Bay airport

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Refreshment stall

Apart from that and taking a few photos of birds, there was nothing to do until we were summoned to board around 12.30.

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Great Kiskadee on a wire

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The plane for our flight

The flight was a delight from take-off to landing, with stunning views of the coast and coastal mountain range.

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From San Jose to Arenal

At the airport we were picked up by a friendly driver, Oscar, for the three hour drive to the Arenal region. I enjoyed the scenery as it shifted from Central Valley to mountains, across the Continental Divide and down to the lowlands on the Caribbean side. Oscar chatted as we drove about the crops and landscape, and recommended a coffee stop at a simple roadside stall that served great espresso.

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Near the Continental Divide, where we stopped for coffee

The Arenal Korio Hotel

We were stunned when we arrived at the Arenal Korio Hotel to see the size of our room! We had two queen beds, a day bed, seating area with a view of the volcano (largely obscured by cloud) plus a jacuzzi, bathroom with two basins and a huge walk-in shower. Wow!

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View from our room

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Beds, seating area with view, jacuzzi

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Beds, with day bed area behind

There had been some confusion on our arrival about the arrangements for our pre-booked tours, with the local company leaving a note about a pick-up time for a different tour to the one booked. We thought we'd resolved that with a phone call but later, when Chris was in the shower and I trying out the jacuzzi, reception rang with a further message from them, again relating to the wrong tour! I called them back, established the correct details and got back in the jacuzzi. The phone rang again, I got out again and on my way to the phone slipped (because my feet were wet and the tiles well-polished) and went flying. Luckily nothing was broken - I got away with a grazed elbow and a very sore backside. But the frustration was with the tour company who had called again, unnecessarily, to tell us about a slightly later pick-up time on the day after tomorrow. It really could have waited, and I could have avoided my painful bumps and bruises!

Once things were finally sorted with the tour company and my elbow was patched up, we went to dinner in the hotel's restaurant. This was rather less impressive than our room, visually - a large rather bland space, brightly lit like a canteen! But the food was good, as was the wine, if on the pricey side for what it was.

With another early start tomorrow, and me still nursing my bumps and my pride, we again had a very prompt bed-time. Hopefully tomorrow would be problem free!

Posted by ToonSarah 16:14 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged birds volcanoes views hotel flight airport costa_rica Comments (13)

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