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Costa Rica: Drake Bay and Cano Island

«Costa Rica Overview San Jose»

13 – 15 March 2002

On Tuesday (12 March) we arrived early at LAX for our 7:40am flight to Miami. The flight was uneventful but we had major mechanical problems with the plane that was scheduled to take us to San Jose, Costa Rica. After about 2 1/2 hours of waiting we were told that we would have to spend the night in Miami and to be back at the airport at 5am the next morning. We took only the clothes on our backs to a hotel near the airport and got a few hours of sleep that night.

We returned to the airport as planned on Wednesday morning and finally left about 7:30am for the two hour flight to Costa Rica. Since we had informed the lodge of our situation so they rescheduled a plane to take us to Drake Bay as soon as we arrived in San Jose. It took us awhile to find the hanger for the six person plane, but soon we were off toward the Pacific coast. During the 45 minute flight we were able to view the city of San Jose below, rolling hills and then the Pacific coastline. As we neared our destination a dirt airstrip came into view in the distance. After making a smooth landing on the airstrip we taxied toward the ‘terminal’ building at the end of the strip, where a jeep was waiting for us. We got our luggage and boarded the jeep for a 10 minute ride on a dirt road, crossing two small rivers. The road ended on a beach, where a boat stood. We all loaded in and sped to the other side of the bay, where the Drake Bay Wilderness Camp stood.

We had two cabins next to each other in a three room building. Each had a bath and a two-speed ceiling fan and were located just steps from the water. After having lunch the rest of the day was spent relaxing by the ocean.

On Thursday (14 March) we left at 8am for a day trip tour to Cano Island. Located 12 miles off the coast, it was an old Indian burial ground and contained beaches, hiking trails and snorkeling opportunities. Our group of nine (including us) and two guides stopped on the north side of the island to snorkel in about 30 to 50 feet of water. It was very warm and we saw many neat fish, including a baby shark and a sting ray. We then went ashore to the main headquarters of the island, which is also a reserve. After lunch we had the option of snorkeling more or hiking. We all snorkeled and then Sandy and Darren took a short walk to a view point. We got back to the lodge in the late afternoon.

At sunrise on Friday morning Sandy and Darren took a short hike down the beach. We heard many birds as we walked along. We also crossed a swing bridge over the Rio Agujas. Looking up the river it was very serene so early in the morning. On the way back to our cabin, we ran into some Central American squirrel monkeys that live in the area. We spent most of the day relaxing and doing schoolwork with the girls. In the afternoon we all went kayaking and swimming on the Rio Agujas.

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