I’ve officially arrived to Costa Rica!!
Flew in this afternoon to popcorn clouds that put the rolling hills of the verdant land beneath us back and forth between shadow and light. Below me I imagined all the toucans, motmots, aracaris, macaws, monkeys, sloths, snakes, iguanas and all the rest of the rich biodiversity that awaits.
After standing in line at immigration for over an hour, I finally had my official welcome to the land of Costa Rica from the friendly (!) immigrations officer. I blissfully headed toward my new adventure, ready to take on the world. Unfortunately though, an empty conveyor belt at baggage claim had other ideas. I’d checked my large backpacking bag full of nearly everything I’d need for the coming high season back at BWI Airport in Maryland and somehow I guess the darn thing just didn’t get the memo as to where I was headed.
What made it even more fun was that I didn’t know what to tell them when they asked where to send the bag if it did happen to be found. Saladero Ecolodge doesn’t have a real address since it’s pretty well in the middle of a rainforest and you can only get there by boat. I’m so content in my denial at the moment, that I can’t say I’m particularly bothered by the situation. Mainly the denial is that my precious Swarovski binoculars might never find me again, but I’m not going to go there right now. Anyways, there’s nothing much I can do but wait and see.
But back to the real matter at hand: STACEBIRD HAS RETURNED TO THE TROPICS!!! Glued to my airplane window, my first bird from the air was none other than a black vulture soaring below the plane. Don’t you ever wonder why a certain everyday bird species with a range as wide as the BLVU would opt to be anywhere other than here? I feel bad for the ones that circle above the ho-hum suburbs where I grew up. I’d totally be a Costa Rica black vulture any day..
Didn’t see much else except for what likely was a tropical kingbird along with some boat-tailed grackles and snowy egrets from the taxi en route to my hostel. There I had to get situated and figure out food. The girls staying in my shared dorm room heard me asking the host about where to find coffee and suddenly I found myself walking through Alajuela on a gorgeous afternoon listening to travel stories from this pair of of well-travelled young women, one was from Hong Kong and the other from Norway. We enjoyed coffee and the all-day desayuno (breakfast) option at a cute open air cafe called Delicias located a few blocks away.
Staying in hostels is the best way to meet the most fascinating, intrepid souls. Finding a cheap place to stay off the main tourist circuit can be hit or miss on cleanliness (or even sketchiness, based on where they might be located), but I’m pretty thrilled with the one I found. It’s called Lajuela BnB & Hostel, and I must say, I’ve only been here a few hours and I already highly recommend it! The staff is wonderful, it’s clean and comfortable and has a very cool, laid back crowd. Not to mention the vegan/vegetarian breakfast option in the morning before I head out on the final leg of my travels!
So tomorrow I’ll be headed deep into a rich, fantastical, lush avifauna wonderland, so stay tuned for whatever is next..