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From Bocas del Toro in Panama we flew to San Jose in Costa Rica before continuing on by little plane (below) to the Osa Peninsula for a pre-tour treat.

 

We needed to take a boat through the jungle to reach the secluded resort (below right) where we stayed for several days.

 

On the way we saw crocodiles sitting on the shore and waiting for something tasty (above)…

 

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The resort (Aguila de Osa Inn) is spectacularly situated in the tropical rain forest with views across the bay and access to beaches and nature preserves (Corcovado National Park).

 

At the right is a Windjammer cruise ship that stopped for a few hours one day. There weren’t many people, but we were glad when they left and the area was “empty” again.

 

Below are pictures of capuchin monkeys and toucans that are around the resort.

 

 

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We did a night hike with a naturalist and found interesting things like the gecko and the cicada above, both of which just shed their previous coats. The cicadas made incredibly shrill, loud noises during the day.

 

The animal on the left is a coati (related to the raccoon family) and is diurnal. It’s quite common in Costa Rica.

 

We did a snorkeling and hiking excursion to Cano island. Snorkeling pictures from there are in the snorkeling section of this trip’s website.

 

Back in San Jose we joined the Costa Rica “Ultimate Adventure Medley” multi-sport tour that was arranged by

Bike Hike Adventures.

 

Below are pictures of our support and travel bus. At the right below everyone is replenishing water after a long climb.

 

The picture below left is our reflection in the windows of the building opposite our hotel.

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Here is the group of 12 participants and one of our great guides (bottom right).

 

The group was lots of fun and very energetic.

 

Fortunately, we didn’t slow them down too much. We certainly were in the bottom half but not always last!

 

The scenery was spectacular and the food prepared by our guides delicious.

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After our first full day of biking we continued to the Pacuare River for a two-day white water rafting trip with class III-IV rapids. We covered 26 miles descending a total of 900 ft. The Pacuare River flows from south to north (into the Caribbean) and the satellite map on the left shows where we started (bottom left), spent the night in a fancy camp, had lunch the next day and ended the rafting trip.  

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Dining at the “camp site” was fun. They even surprised us with wine, which made everyone happy.

 

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We stopped at several water falls where most of our co-travellers did jumps (like above left) or went down natural slides (below right). Also in video for the entire trip.

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Zip lining is a highly promoted activity in Costa Rica (some 100 facilities). It is fun to do it once but that’s definitely enough (also in video).

 

We had zip-lined in Panama where the crew was far more fun.

 

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One of our favorite critters: leaf cutter ants.

 

They remind us of work…

 

(They are also in the video for the trip).

 

The Arenal volcano is very active.

 

We did an evening hike close to the bottom where we watched glowing VW-size boulders come bouncing down. They shattered as they tumbled down the steep slope sending glowing cinders everywhere.

 

In the daytime only puffs of white dust are visible; at night it’s like fireworks (need a tele to see well).

 

We captured it on video .

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After hearing howler mokeys for years, we finally saw them. The bottom one on the right is a female with a baby (also in video).

 

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In Fortuna, at the foot of the Arenal volcano, we spent an evening at a pretty fancy hot springs resort. Booze was included and they served a killer mixed drink that went down very easily. Everyone had a whole bunch of them.

 

 

Here we’re biking again. Several times we had to cross water which can be quite challenging. 

 

Here our SAG wagon (Stuff And Gear) was waiting on the other side. Our driver was part of the trip – a lot of fun.

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Below is a shot of Juergen who almost made it before crashing shortly after this photo and Yvonne having just crashed.

 

A movie of a crossing shows the action.

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At Samara beach on the Nicoya coast, we kayaked to the islands in the background.

 

Going through merging swells between the beach and the islands was quite exciting for us; staying perpendicular to the beach in getting back to shore was the tricky part.

At the island, there were jillions of hermit crabs. On the right, they’re finishing what’s left of a pineapple. Some of the crabs found pretty fancy houses (probably at bargain prices in the 2008 housing slump).

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In two days we biked 48 miles along the Nicoya coast (the GPS track is in yellow).

 

Biking along the coast wasn’t that easy since we had to bike up and down a fair number of hills (shown in the GPS vertical profile) on washboard dirt roads.

 

The stretches along the beach were absolutely spectacular. It was great riding on the hard-packed empty beach.

 

Below right almost everyone went for a swim – in their bike clothes!

 

 

 

 

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Our final stay was in Montezuma (a busy, touristy, back-packer place just south of Tambor from where we flew back to San Jose).

 

We hiked to waterfalls.

 

Again, three of our group jumped - this time 60’ down! Our guide decided to join them.

 

The picture shows our guide in mid-air.

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The end

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