Day 19: Back to San José

Even though we have already spotted a Quetzal ourselves, we thought it would be nice to just get out early and go together with a guide to see more of them!
So, here we are again, at 05:45 in the morning gathered with our gear to go out and find something.

Today, we didn’t have to travel far: we found an adult male Quetzal in the tree directly adjacent to the restaurant!his tail feathers had not reached their maximum length yet, as the male quetzals loose the long feathers during the nesting season and regrow them each year. The nesting season lasts until June, and this guy was clearly not done yet.
He was sitting in the tree, peacefully digesting his wild avocado and didn’t mind us buzzing around the tree trying to get a good shot in the difficult morning light. We hope it worked out well!

Right after this, the guide took us a few hundred metres down the road to an area where loads more fruiting wild avocado trees were, and we got lucky. Eventually, we encountered 2 more juvenile males, and two adult females for a grand total of 5 quetzals! If you ever want to see this bird: go to San Gerardo de Dota, it seems to be Quetzal Capital.

After returning to the lodge, we had breakfast and immediately went out again to find some more wildlife. The guide’s main interest were hummingbirds and smaller vocal birds, and boy did we see a lot of those! In total, we have seen about 25 different species, all with long unpronounceable names and who all have at least 1 different specie of bird which looks virtually identical! The guide could tell them all apart. (or pretended to be able to really well)

We then packed our bags, loaded up the car, had one more meal and went out on the drive down (literally, from 2200 to 1200 metres) to San José. Without any major setbacks, we handed over the car to the guy from the rental company who actually was waiting for us, about an hour early. The Toyota Rav4 has served us well!
In anticipation of tomorrow, we are now waiting for things to happen.

Tomorrow, the transfer will pick us up from the hotel at noon and will bring us and our luggage to the airport. From there, the journey back begins, and before you know it, we’ll be back home! Looking back on these three weeks was quite simply put amazing, Costa Rica is awesome. Pura Vida!

Day 18: To San Gerardo de Dota

Now, this was an interesting morning! Around 5am, we found out that a bat had inadvertently made its way into our bathroom! When we entered the bathroom, the bat would start flying frantically trying to get out.
It came in through an open window, but could not find its way out again.
This means that we had to open the door from the bathroom to the hotel room and both sliding doors outside to coax it to go away.
It did, three times actually, as the bat went out quickly, and probably didn’t like what it was seeing there as it circled around and went straight back in. It did so three times, and eventually we were too fast for him in closing the doors and away he was!
Quite an adventurous morning if I may say so.

After this, breakfast. Of course! No Gallo Pinto for me again, as they didn’t offer it today, but I was greeted by the smell of pancakes. Not bad!
The journey from Ojochal to San Gerardo de Dota is not very long, but there is a very distinct difference in height: we go from sea level to +2200 metres in about 100km!
This also means that the temperature drops quite significantly. We started out with about 30 degrees at breakfast, and arrived at the Trogon Lodge with only 10 degrees Celsius left.
As we were still wearing our shorts and flip flops, we were not quite dressed for the occasion as you might say.

We were met with a dinner, served as lunch. Two full plates of food! We quickly changed into something more appropriate as it was still only 13 degrees with rain. After this, we decided to walk to a nearby waterfall, which led to Kirsten finding her own male Quetzal! He was sitting just feet from us, and we took some amazing pictures.
The Lodge also has a nice balcony at the restaurant, where we pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon trying to take pictures of the resident Hummingbirds. Quite nice!

The Lodge itself it laid out very much like Hobbiton, only the houses are full sized and not built into the hills.
Tomorrow, we’ll go on a Quetzal spotting tour first, while after breakfast we will go find any other animals residing in these high Tropical Cloud Forests.
After that, we drive to San Jose already…