Arenal to San Jose 2008

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Up ] Caribbean Coast 1995 ] Central Highlands 1995 ] Pacific Coast 1995 ] Final Leg 1995 ] Victoria to San Jose 2008 ] Southern Sky Fiesta 2008 ] Poas & Sarapiqui 2008 ] Arenal Volcano 2008 ] [ Arenal to San Jose 2008 ] San Jose to Victoria 2008 ] La Ensenada Nature Walks 2008 ] Horseback Riding 2008 ] Mangrove Boat Ride 2008 ] Tractor Ride 2008 ] Carara National Park 2008 ] Likes & Dislikes ] Victoria to San Jose 2009 ] Southern Skies Fiesta in Costa Rica 2009 ] Tamarindo 2009 ] San Jose to Victoria 2009 ]


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February 14, 2008 - Thursday - Arenal to San Jose - We leave the Tabacón this morning, returning to San Jose. First stop is El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest, a private biological reserve located at the end of a long and narrow winding road. This is the first Cloud Forest I have visited up close, so it is fascinating as our guide walks us along a trail under the canopy. We saw lots of fauna and flora, including several varieties of hummingbirds, orchids, army and leaf-cutter ants, and many varieties of philodendron. As a bonus as we finished our walk, an Armadillo scooted under some bushes - the first time I've spotted one.  We also walked through their plant rescue centre, where there were some beautiful orchids growing, as well as other cloud forest plants. We had a very nice lunch at the adjoining Villa Blanca restaurant.  I saw a mural in the lobby which depicted the same historical scene showing the primary industries of Costa Rica as is illustrated on the 5 Colones note, which I received from our guide in 1995!

Our guide showing a giant ant hill Clouds scooting through the tree canopy of the Cloud Forest Large leaved philodendron
Hummingbird at the feeder Hummingbird at the feeder Hummingbird at the feeder
Shrimp flowers Orchids in the screened plant rescue centre Reclaiming the Cloud Forest by using black plastic to kill invasive plants
Orchid growing on a moss-covered tree 5 Colones note Mural depicting an historic scene - same as the 5 Colones note

Traffic jam on the expressway entering San JoseAs we head back to San Jose, there was the inevitable stop at Sarchi, but thank goodness it was only a half hour this time before we got underway again. I really find the shopping stops made by group tours to be boring and a waste of my time.  We ran into rush hour traffic as we approached San Jose, which made us late for our Farewell dinner. We all rushed through our hotel check-in, and managed to get to the restaurant before they cancelled our reservation. We went to a different restaurant than last week. This dinner was very pleasant - no band playing this time, so we could talk with each other, trading our impressions of the last few days' activities. I had to be the first to leave, since my flight tomorrow leaves at 7:45am, and I was told my pickup for the airport is arranged for 5am. That means I have to get up at 4am - a killer hour!

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