Saturday, July 02, 2016

South America 2016: On to Manuel Antonio

30 June and 1 July 2016
Monteverde to Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

On our last morning in Monteverde, we took some time to enjoy the hammocks before hitting the road. 

one of the many buggy friends in our room. this one was pretty!
We stopped at the Monteverde cheese factory on the way out of town for a scoop of guanabana ice cream--it was like a sorbet, very tropical tasting. Sweet, sour, and fruity!

Stopped for gas (full service!) and got to see some cows

Beautiful scenery along the drive

One of the sights to see along the way to Quepos is the crocodile bridge. The river is a natural habitat for the crocs, and we walked out to see them.

We also took a detour to Jaco beach, where Rick had been at surf camp. 

the red-roofed bungalows are where Rick stayed
Jaco Beach
It was rainy almost the whole what to Quepos, which was an adventure in and of itself. We drove for a few more hours before we made it there. 

We met our Airbnb host Thomas in the town, and followed him up to our accommodations. The photo is blurry because it was so bumpy!

In Manuel Antonio (Quepos), we are staying in a tree house. Rick found this place in an article about the top 5 most unique Airbnb listings. Our time in Costa Rica is planned around when we could stay here--you have to book a year in advance! Must be nice to have a property that is in demand 365 days a year!


Dinner that night was at Soda Sanchez, for casados and patacones. Delicious! We also stopped at a local market and a bakery to pick up a few things to have on hand at the house. 

The next day, we made breakfast and then went off to Manuel Antonio National Park to hike and swim.

a sloth!!
Lunch was in the town of Manuel Antonio, at a falafel place. Pretty great falafel if you ask me!

The afternoon was rainy, so we spent time lounging in the treeshouse. I blogged and caught up on bills and photos. 

When the rain died down a bit, we walked down the trail from our house to the small viewing platform near the river. You can see monkeys from here!

The big farmers market in Quepos is Friday night and Saturday morning. Despite the rain, we wanted to shop and pick up some fruits and veg for dinners and snacking while we are here.

reading the surf
Although we couldn't get the grill to start, we managed to put together a pretty delicious meal!

my sous chef

Friday, July 01, 2016

South America 2016: Monteverde

29 June 2016
Monetverde, Costa Rica

Day two in Costa Rica! We woke up around 8am, and headed out for breakfast. Because Casa Batsu is an actual Airbnb, we had a delicious meal prepared by Carlos. The dining/common area is beautiful, and when Carlos spotted Rick about to take a photo, he was happy to help!

fresh fruit to start each meal

"if you hold it up high, it looks like a selfie!"

potato taco and mixed veg omelette

We decided to explore the cloud forest a bit more during the day, so we drove up to Reserva Santa Elena. This is the least popular of the reserves, and we did not see many other tourists along the way. We hiked two trails, encircling the reserve, which took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

driving into the clouds

bromeliads growing wild
made a new friend on our way out of the reserve
We stopped for a post-hike snack at Orchid Cafe (highly recommended by Carlos). We weren't disappointed! Rick opted for some plantains and queso with a mocha iced coffee, while I had gallo pinto (rice with beans, a traditional Costa Rican dish), a lemonade with mint and ginger, and a "Turkish" cappucino with nutmeg and cinnamon.

In the afternoon, we headed off on a coffee tour. Costa Rican coffee is famous, of course, and we wanted to learn more about the process. We took the tour with a company called El Trapiche, which detailed coffee growing and roasting, sugar making, and chocolate processing. We had a blast on the tour, asking lots of questions of our guide, Jayro. We learned a lot!

the cows at Casa Batsu
sugar cane growing on the farm
our tour group

looking out over the coffee plantation, you can see the Pacific Ocean

Jayro showing us how coffee is sorted and roasted
that dark blob is a sloth :) 
turning boiled sugar cane juice into sugar
tasting the coffee at the plantation
When we got back to Casa Batsu, we spent some more time relaxing in the hammocks, and I caught the end of a beautiful sunset. A great end to a great day!

We capped off the evening with a trip into town for a beer :) Perfect!