Early the next morning, Karen and I grabbed our suitcases and headed down to enjoy a nice breakfast before meeting our tour group. I sampled plátanos or plantains for the first time and I was hooked! I made it my mission to enjoy some at every meal and for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.
With full bellies, we met our tour guide Carlos and our favorite traveling companion, Miss Bliss. She was an elementary school teacher traveling alone from San Diego and the three of us hit it off like we had been friends for years. We were soon joined by two older ladies who we deemed the Biddies. It became the caravan of Carlos and the Women and I don’t think he would have had it any other way.
We headed away from San José and climbed through the heavily wooded mountains of the cloud forest on our way to Tortuguero. The sky was a stormy gray and Carlos warned us that though we were visiting Costa Rica in the wet season, we wouldn’t have rain all the time, but short showers here and there. We didn’t mind. The rain and humidity were what made the landscape so lush and green. Not something we see too much in the desert of Southern California.
Unbeknownst to us, we would be stopping for breakfast in Guapiles. Karen dubbed this “second breakfast” and by the time we got there, we were ready to eat again. And what a beautiful place to have a meal.
Missing Jake, I was lucky to meet Diamonte. A very sweet and well-mannered dog eager to be pet by new friends.
After second breakfast, we managed to catch a glimpse of a toucan before we were back in the van for a bumpy ride down to the river where we would catch a boat to our next accommodations at Mawamba Lodge.
Our boat was filled with a larger tour group and their very funny guide, Pierro. He was knowledgeable and hilarious as he told jokes and pointed out animals such as a laughing falcon, macaws, and monkeys (though I was on the other side of the boat for the monkey sighting and didn’t see any of them).
With a long day of traveling behind us, the girls and I were eager to explore our new digs. Iguanas ruled the resort and were just as common as the tourists who stayed there. Everything about the lodge was designed to disconnect. We couldn’t access the Wi-Fi in our room and it forced us to get off Facebook and the internet and really enjoy each other’s company as well as the nature that was all around us. I was particularly excited to see the Caribbean Sea since I’d never seen it before.
After a quick shower and change of clothes, we headed back to the boat to explore the town of Tortuguero. It was a quick ride down the river and we found even more wildlife after we docked and headed into the small village.
I met another friendly dog (it became a theme of the trip) while Karen and I sat in rocking chairs while ice cream melted down our cones. The day was incredibly humid and hot, but we were happy. We were in Costa Rica and we were having a great time.
Once sun went down and dinner was over, we tucked into bed with our Kindles and read until we fell asleep and the rain fell in heavy buckets over our little cabin.
And it didn’t stop until well into the next day.