Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 1: Liberia

(at left: morning in Liberia, Costa Rica)

I flew into the Liberia (Costa Rica) airport Sunday, March 29, and caught a taxi into town, where I stayed at the Hotel Boyeros. At left is a view from my room -- the next morning, of course. It gets dark around 6 pm in Costa Rica, being only about 10 degrees north lattitude. So the days are about 12 hours long year-round, give or take a half hour.

I intended to spend some time poking around Liberia, but it was so hot and the city was not very interesting, especially compared to Canas, where I would soon be enjoying a float trip down the Corobici River.

A block from the hotel, I saw this horse in a bare dirt lot. He looked sad and bored. A bit further up the road, a Tico remarked in Spanish on my photographing the caballo. He then warned me to walk only into the city center, to the left, and not to the right. He pointed to my expensive camera and made a gesture of his throat being stabbed by a robber. "Entiendo, gracias!" I replied ("I understand, thank you.").

Even in the hot, dirty, dangerous city, however, there were photo ops that I could not pass by.

Below: Great-Tailed Grackle; Unidentified flycatcher:

I was pretty happy to get out of town, catching a bus across from the hotel (which faces Rte. 1, the Pan-American Highway). The driver did not know where the Rio Corobici was, which was to be my landmark. And so I missed my destination by a half kilometer or so, and had to drag my 50-pound suitcase, 40-pound camera pack, and daypack, back along the road, frequently stepping off onto the gravel shoulder as large trucks zoomed by. Had to chase my hat more than once as the gusts from the trucks whipped it off my head.

Below is a picture of my first destination: Safaris Corobici. My wife Tina and I took a float trip with them in 2001. This time, I would rent a casita from them for two nights and spend a bit more time along the river in addition to taking a half-day float trip with one of their guides.

With temperatures in the nineties Fahrenheit, being by the river was essential but still not adequate relief. Whether due to the heat, my intake of Costa Rican coffee, or general excitement, I got only a few hours' sleep each of my first nights in Costa Rica. As I write this, four days later, I'm only just beginning to catch up.

One form of relief from the heat: these little girls were delighted and delightful as they swam the rapid currents of el Rio Corobici:

Here are a few more photos to tide you over to my next installment, which will cover the rest of my two days by the Corobici. Below you will see a pair of Boat-Billed Herons, an Anhinga, an Iguana, and two Capuccino (White-Faced) monkeys:


Paulette said...

Hi Marc,
Thank you for the story and photos. Especially love the Boat-billed Herons.

elisabet harth said...

hi marc,
hope it is cooler for you up in the mountains.. it is hot down here are the beaches as well but the surf is good , the breeze a life saver, monkeys plenty and life is great:)
pura vida

Christian said...

Whoa! Love the crazy Anhinga. ALmost like a winged lizard or something! ISn't evolution fascinating. Also love teh boat billed herons. I assume they have long heron-like necks?

So jealous! Wifey will join you down there in a week! (Panama actually.)

RMEC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RMEC said...

Stay safe Marc! I'm glad you got out of the city ok.

If you get the chance, can you describe your camera setup? -Tim

Christian said...

Dude, that is one long day down there! Any updates? Pretty parrots?