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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica

Mar 12, 2020 - Guayabo National Monument

John writing now. At 6:30 this morning there was a birding walk, which neither of us went on. We had a leisurely breakfast and then boarded the bus at 9 am for a short drive to the Guayabo National Monument, which contains a Civil Engineering World Heritage site. Before we started the guided tour (by Ellie), we saw two three-toed sloths high in the trees above us - check out the picture. The site was occupied from 1000 BC to 1400 AD by people who built a large aqueduct system that still functions today! In addition, they built a stone road...

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Mar 11, 2020 - Full Day in Turrialba

Lois writing again, since John was busy editing the 180 photos he took on the 11th It was a very full day, starting with breakfast, loading the bus at 8 AM, and not returning to the lodge until 5:10. Quick showers, then a lecture at 6, followed by dinner, checking email (we have internet, but it’s sloooow), and falling asleep at 9:30. So I am up early the following day to write this up. We will remain at Guayabo Lodge for 3 nights, touring the Turrialba area. The name of the town comes from “white tower”, since high above the valley sits...

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Mar 10, 2020 - Central Valley

Lois writing tonight. Today was our first full day on the Road Scholar program here in Costa Rica. Our group of 15, plus guide Katherine and driver Oscar, fit comfortably on a tour bus that will take us everywhere during this trip. We headed east from the capital city of San Jose, towards the Cartago province, and to the town of Turrialba. Once we left the city and surrounding suburban areas, the scenery was green, with mountains all around. We had 3 stops during our morning drive, at a basilica where mass was taking place, at the Uharra...

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Mar 9, 2020 - Downtown San Jose

Lois writing now We slept well, and once again, were glad that we planned to arrive a day before the tour group meets. Last night we met one other couple (from upstate NY), and today shared a cab with another (from Victoria BC) who will be on our tour, and also came early. It's nice to have time to find our bearings and acclimatize to a bit of altitude. San Jose is at about 4000 feet. Our room in the Rincon de Valle Hotel is fine, though the breakfast was so-so. At about 10 AM, we headed downtown to explore. It's another gorgeous day, about...

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Apr 15, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 5

This morning we went to the ancient village of Guayabo, a national monument since 1963. It was home to indigenous people of Turrialba from almost 2000 years ago. Their homes' foundations, walking paths, and aqueduct were built with stones and rocks from the nearby volcano. The booklet we got for the trip said we would see petroglyphs and tombs, but I didn't see any of those. We walked the short path in the park, not the long one and maybe that's why. The aqueduct still functions, although we didn't see water running from the entry pool down...

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Apr 14, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 4

We got up before the crack of dawn to go see birds eat bugs off a sheet for breakfast! Barb, Judy, and I snuck a peek earlier than others so we could see the bugs on the screen. The screen was close to our rooms and others met down at the lodge to walk up together. then we all stood around waiting for a myriad of birds. Only a few came, compared to what we were told. They light up that screen all night for special occasions, like all us tourists - not every night. After breakfast we went for a walk in the woods to look for birds. It is...

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Apr 13, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 3

I was hoping not to have an entry for every day of this vacation, but so far, there are so many pictures to share that I just have to! This is our last morning at Sarapiqui and the rain has stopped, so we had to explore more of the area around the lodge. Erik called it a time for staged sightings of amphibians and crawly critters. After I saw the first staging event, I went on a walk through the nature trail with Barb and Judy. We saw 2 giant iguanas and other good things along the trail. About 10:30, we left Sarapiqui to go to our next...

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Feb 28, 2010 - We’re in the tropical RAIN forest

We awoke to rain that started last night and continued through most of the night. We’ve probably had more hours of rain in the last 36 hours than Colorado gets in one year! Due to the rain, we stayed in bed until 5:45am and met the others birding again from the balcony. No new birds from yesterday and those present were somewhat water soaked. We attempted to do some birding along a river and a road finding only one new bird….a Fasciated Tiger-Heron only to return to the bus absolutely soaking wet in spite of all the rain gear. Another...

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Feb 27, 2010 - Rancho Naturalista

Today, we drove exactly zero miles and that was fine with everybody. The bus is a bit short on legroom. We birded from the balcony of the main lodge building as the sun came up. Volcan Turrialba was off in the distance, steam rising, reminding us that this volcano is due to erupt at any time according to Max. Cali, a local guide for Rancho Naturalista was added to our cadre of bird guides. We birded on a walk on the rain forest trails. We birded on the lodge grounds during and after lunch. We birded along the long driveway/access road to...

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Feb 26, 2010 - A reluctant goodbye to Savegre and the quetzals

Today we met Max at 5:45am for our last official birdwalk before departing quetzal territory. We first found the Torrent Tyrannulet in the rushing river that runs by the hotel. Afterward we made a last visit to the Emerald Toucanet nest hole. After wandering the grounds with Max a bit more, Marilyn and Dave opted to leave the group, return to the dining area and eat a rushed breakfast. The rush was due to the fact that we had to leave the lodge and make a certain distance on the valley road before the road was closed for the day for...

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Feb 25, 2010 - A RESPLENDENT day in Costa Rica

Most of the group met Max, our guide for 6 a.m. birding. Our hotel, the Savegre Mountain Hotel, is in prime habitat for the Resplendent Quetzal. This quetzal is relatively rare and is arguably the most ornate bird in the world. It is the most sought after bird in Costa Rica (the country being approximately the size of West Virginia and having about the same number of bird species as North America.) It was not a close look, but by breakfast we had a male quetzal fly over. After breakfast we again chased the quetzal and everyone had views of...

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May 20, 2008 - Turrialba - excitement on the Rio Pacuare

The Rio Pacuare is the foremost white water rafting river in Costa Rica with rapids from grade I to IV. As first timers we experienced a steep learning curve when, at one point, the raft became lodged and then half submerged against a large boulder in one of the rapids. Abandoning the raft by climbing on to a rock in the middle of the river was our only option! We continued our 20km journey without further incident, enjoying the adrenaline rush of the rapids. A grand day out through stunning scenery.

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