|6.15 a.m. start and a stop for breakfast en-route!
Yesterday we met most of our group. Several ladies travelling in pairs as husbands either not interested in travelling or too unwell to travel. Stuart was pleased that there are 2 other husbands on the trip plus a very shy chap on his own. Very interesting to hear the different routes taken to get here - via Paris, via Amsterdam and one couple via Guatemala! All had long troublesome journeys so our hour at San Jose airport was nothing!
It never ceases to amaze me that despite all the places on Earth we would wish to visit, ours is really a small world. Turns out Val & Mick from Edenbridge, Kent lived in Wokingham for 25 years!
However, we are booked into different hotels in Tortuguero so have to say farewell, but will meet again. Our new group is more International. A couple from Valencia, 2 ladies from Lucerne and a young Costa Rican couple. Jon our guide is a natural entertainer and has us in stitches straight away! A great breakfast stop then a cheeky foray into a banana plantation. A worker arrives and zips past us on a sort of gantry line, the ‘Banana Train’, to harvest the bunches of bananas! All on minimum pay of course. Bananas are the second largest export from CR.
We arrive at the river after a ‘free massage’ on the very bumpy road. Bit of an understatement! This really reminds us of boats lined up on the Mekong, and also in Burma, ready for the tourists. It is much hotter now and about 85-90% humidity so it is a relief to feel the breeze as we hurtle around bends at breakneck speed in our boat. An hour later our lodge comes into sight set amongst the incredible tropical rainforest. Unless you fly in on a tiny plane the only way to get here is by boat.
Tortuguero - I am convinced the town was mentioned in Pirates of the Caribbean. In the 1800s British pirates took refuge here! A quick trip into the ‘town’ which is basically one street and ... bump into a couple from Wokingham! Sheila & I worked together. Crazy!!! And of course, members of our first group. The long deserted beach is stunning with white sand and gentle rollers. We are on the Caribbean coast which has been obvious from the change in accent & look of the locals.
A Mai-Tai cocktail before dinner finishes the day perfectly.