La Trinidad -> Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui -> La Virgen
One of the ranch hands at La Trinidad was something of an amateur ornithologist and the patron arranged for him to guide us on a hike. It’s standard to start out nature walks with sort of a disclaimer that a lot of wildlife is very difficult to see, and you just go out and walk and see what you can see.
The first thing this guide asked was, “which birds do you want to see?” I thought it was a joke. We weren’t at a zoo.
After about 15 minutes I realized that he wasn’t kidding, I could probably have pointed to any of the birds in Stiles and Skutch’s guide and he would have found it in a few minutes. He spotted over 40 species in a couple of hours of walking.
When we returned to Sarapiquí we phoned our friends and found out that the rendezvous for the beach had been postponed, and we had an extra day. We had heard that there was great whitewater rafting on the upper reaches of the Rio Sarapiqui, so we backtracked to La Virgen where there was a guide outfit that had been recommended.
White water rafting is a lot more fun in Costa Rica than Colorado, mainly because the water is about 40 degrees warmer. Forget the wetsuits, and you can just float alongside the raft in the calm sections.
The snacks are a lot better too.
About two and a half hours into the trip we pulled the rafts ashore to feast on papaya, mango, watermelon and pineapple and do some cliff jumping. We heartily recommend rafting or kayaking with David Duarte Soto at Sarapiqui Outdoor.
When we returned from rafting, we talked to our friends again, and found out that they weren’t going to Punta Cochles because the water pump had gone out at the house and they couldn’t get the replacement parts for a while.
We wanted to make it to the East coast but there is essentially only one road to get there. Highway 32 runs from San Jose to Puerto Limon and carries a lot of heavy truck traffic because nearly all of Costa Rica’s imports and exports pass through the port at Limon.
We decided that we would ride it, and since it was a Sunday, it turned out to be pretty light traffic.