Breakfast at 6.30am and at seven in the boat. This was a more comfortable boat with separate seats versus benches.
A long boat ride to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui (not Puerto Veijo de Talamanca where we were before). Puerto Viejo means Old Port.
On the way we saw crocodiles again; a very large one and a small baby cayman - very impressive animals.
We went through the Colorado River, then the San Juan River which is on the border with Nicaragua. For a little while we were in Nicaragua and had to stop at the border coast guard. The guards wore military uniforms, looked very stern and we were not allowed to take pictures. There was an outhouse up the hill which most of us used. Fortunately some of us (including me) had toiletpaper with us. We were also presented with a piece of coconut! The next river we went through was the Sarapiqui.
We arrived in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui at 12.30 pm. We took taxis to Horquetas where the base camp for Rara Avis is. We left our big bags there and had lunch at Soda Tica Linda. It was raining by then and we sat under a kind of awning while eating.
By the way, restaurants mostly do not have walls or windows. It is nice to have a breeze through the place. Bugs are not a big problem. There are two seasons here: wet and dry and always warm. The rain comes down quite straight so why have walls! Houses do not have windows very often, just screens. In the more wealthy neighourhoods they do have windows; I assume they have air conditioning.
Back to our trip!
At base camp we got into our covered wagon pulled by a tractor. We were equipped with rubber boots - a very necessary item we learned! There were benches on the wagon.
Then we were ready for the ¨Tractor Massacre¨as the 15km trip to Rara Avis is called.
We compared it to sitting on a Mechanical Bull in a western bar. Holding on to the railing was essential! After 12km we had a peebreak at El Plastico and then another 3km. almost in the dark. The trip took four and a half hours. Sometimes we cheered when the driver succeeded in making another muddy, slippery hill covered with huge boulders. Three times we had to get of the wagon because of too much mud and crossing bridges that would notsupport all 16 of us on the wagon. We had a lot of fun during the ride believe it or not! Sometimes the ¨road¨was so narrow that the sides of the wagon scraped the sides of the dugout path. We arrived at Rara Avis at 6.15pm. and needed our flashlights to walk to the lodge. There are no lights outside the lodge and only a kerosene lamp in our casita. Our total travel time today was approximately 10 hours
We had a very nice dinner in the (open walled) lodge with bare wood tables and benches. Of course the menu consisted of rice and beans, then fresh fruit, salad and meat.
After the dinner we went to our casitas (small cabins). Brian and I shared a cabin with another couple. We had two bunkbeds and the cabin was about 8 feet wide by 10 feet long. Again, bare wood, no windows; just screens and a big spider on the wall. We left it there - they do not bother anyone. We slept a little. Brian was snoring very loudly at one point so I had to wake him up because he kept us all up including our neighbour on the other side of the wall. We had a semi you see.
George (our roommate) woke up with a startle during the night because he thought that his flashlight beside him on the pillow on the top bunkbed was a snake!
Lots of fun!