Nicoya Peninsula

We had only barely arrived in Costa when we already found ourselves in the rain forest – high trees, birds chirping, and short, but heavy rain showers gave rise to the feeling of being right in the middle of the jungle. Since we had made arrangements to meet up with Tanja‘s sister Natalie, we didn’t have much time to explore the jungle and had to continue on southwards. We picked Natalie up at the Four Seasons Resort and were invited by Tanja‘s uncle and aunt, who were vacationing there, to enjoy a break at the pool. Freshly relaxed, we looked around for a lovely beach, and the five of us spent two days there before we dropped off Natalie at the resort again and had more fun in the sun at the pool with everyone again. Here a few private pictures of our time there.

Our next stop was with Sibylle and Jochen at Playa Junquillal, where the two of them have a guest house with two small cottages in a beautiful location directly above a lovely sandy beach. When Tanja was at her cousin’s wedding in Costa Rica several years ago, she discovered Sybille’s place by chance during her search for a place to spend the night, and now we were invited by the two of them to spend a couple of days there. To our great surprise, we got a fantastic place to park between palm trees on a small hill above the beach which, thanks to our off-road suspension, we had no trouble getting to. We enjoyed the peace and quiet, the wonderful view and Sibylle’s delicious meals (potato salad!) von Sibylle, and I was finally able to install the eagerly awaited battery booster (which Natalie had brought us) into our Bremach. Many thanks, Sibylle and Jochen, for the great days with you!

Our trip continued around the Nicoya peninsula. According to Lonely Planet, it is one of the last great off-road adventures for those seeking the great adventure. Well, it’s a wonderful gravel track with three harmless passages through water, which explains the large number of rental cars along it. With a bit more ground clearance than for a normal car, there is no problem driving along it. This raises the question of what Lonely Planet writes about the tracks in Baja California … Along the way, we found lovely, diversified beaches and enjoyed the beautiful views of the Pacific. At one of the beaches, we had our most spectacular encounter with a wild animal so far – Carla discovered a snake on the way from dinner to the hammock and came running back to us quickly to give a report on it. Shortly afterwards, this snake slithered by a few meters away from us, and we watched it intently. Could it be poisonous? Oh yes indeed, it turned out to be a Fer-de-lance, one of the most poisonous snakes in the world and one which, in contrast to other snakes, is very aggressive. Luckily, it wasn’t very interested in us, and our interesting experience with it remained a safe, distant one. While lots of animal lovers desperately search for this snake in the wild, it came by to pay us a little visit here. At a different overnight spot, we were lying in bed in the morning and saw the tops of the trees swaying back and forth vigorously: several huge scarlet macaws were having breakfast there. How great it was to see these magnificent birds at ease in the wild! At night, the children especially loved seeing the hermit crabs swarming all over and letting them crawl around on their hands. After a week of adventures driving along the tracks, playing on the beach, and observing animals, we took the ferry across the bay of Nicyoa to the mainland of Costa Rica. The passage turned out to be unexpectedly difficult since no US$ 50 bills were accepted at the counter, which meant that we had US$ 1 too little for the crossing. We tried everything, but even the surrounding shops didn’t want to change a bill for us and we were told to drive back to the bank in the nearest village. Hmm, if they don’t want our money… Luckily there was a second ferry a bit further north which cost US$ 2 less, which made it possible for us. Very annoying and not very customer-orientated at all.

On the mainland, mass tourism hit us full force in Jaco – with a completely overpriced, ugly campsite, unfriendly hotel employees, and masses of tourists. We ended up at the beach, where you can spend the night beautifully and where the police even patrol at night. Thanks to wireless and water supplied by the neighboring beach club, we were able to have a much better spot than at the campsite or at a hotel parking lot. The tour we had planned to the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio fell through when the full parking lot and all the busses in front of the entrance scared us away. Later, we read in our travel guide that this park is especially popular with tourists and that more people than animals can be observed there. Instead, we drove on to the quite village of Uvita, where there is a great campsite and we happened to meet up with Marina and her family again. There is also a national park here which protects sea animals. We took a boat tour to look at these animals and saw a mother whale with her huge baby, lots of dolphins, the beautiful coast – and I even got to see another sea turtle when I was snorkeling. This is where we say another farewell to the Pacific and drive up into the mountains. We’ll write again soon, maybe from the Caribbean!

As always there are private pictures of us here at the end of this post.

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