It's always good to catch up with friends and Costa Rica delivered. While it was a flying visit - we had five whole days - we managed to catch up with Arnaud in Bahia de Salinas for some kiting. While the wind wasn't at its best, Arnaud kindly bought some gear for Declan to use and he did get out on the water. An unexpected surprise was the arrival of Coline and Guillaume who we'd last seen in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala...., as ever, great to catch up.
A tour around Lake Arenal was interesting. A German Bakery was followed by a Swiss Village, complete with grazing calves - next week's Wiener Schnitzels!! We felt like we'd landed in the Alps, that is until we stepped out for a walk along the 1968 Lava Flow on Volcan Arenal and met a Golden Eyelash Pit Viper, bright yellow and highly poisonous. Oh, and a non-venomous frog!
We then cheated and visited an Ecopark outside Fortuna. Costa Rica has so much biodiveristy and a lot of it is easy to see with a good guide. We did manage to see the nocturnal Costa Rican Red-Eyed Tree Frog sleeping, camouflaged, under a leaf, Also out and about were the Blue-Jeans poison dart frog, basilisk lizards, tiger herons, stick insects, weird looking caterpillars, owl butterflies, Agoutis and a huge variety of birds. While the Sloth failed to make an appearance in the park itself, we were directed to one about a mile down the road by our guide. They clearly don't move quickly although some commotion from some Minnesotan tourists did wake it up about 5 minutes later and we were rewarded with some non-vigorous scratching and stretching.
Our final stop was San Jose, Costa Rica's capital, to meet up with James and Jane. First we slipped in a quick tour of the town and a visit to the Pre-Colombian and Jade Museum. Then a few beers on the roof top before a great evening out in Barrio Escalante.