Excuse the silence for the last couple of weeks, but I am back and rejuvenated from a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica. We flew into Liberia — a town in the northwestern province of Guanacaste with a more laid back airport than San Juan. We stayed in Playa del Coco, a beach on Papagayo Bay on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Playa del Coco is aptly named due to the dark brown, cocoa colored sands. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have stayed in this town, but we did have a lovely view from the balcony of the condo we stayed in.
We managed to walk over to a nearby, quaint little beach called Playa Ocotal. I fear development is moving so quickly that this beach will also be overrun with tourists soon, but for now, it is quiet and pleasant. I also met my favorite canine pal in this town. The dogs don’t generally live inside houses, and the ones I saw wandering around fortunately appeared healthy and generally happy. This guy came right up to me and put his head in my lap for a good ear rub. Then he laid down under this table for a nap.
Playa Tamarindo is a gorgeous beach. There were lots of tourists in this town, and lots of people who came to visit and just ended up never leaving. This beautiful calico joined us for lunch one day.
Tamarindo had lots of canine beach bums — some strays, some owned by locals and some owned by foreigners.
The highlight of the trip was traveling to the cloud forest in Monteverde. Here are some shots of the gorgeous countryside on the way from Playa del Coco to Monteverde.
Once we got to Monteverde, we spent the day in Selvatura Park. We started with a canopy tour of the rain forest. Had I known more about “canopy tours” and “zip lines,” I’m not sure I would have worked up the nerve to participate, but once I was up there, I was glad I did! After lunch, we walked through the hummingbird garden. What beautiful, graceful creatures! We ended the day with a walk on suspended bridges. Unfortunately, we really didn’t see a lot of wildlife. It seems that all the work to put in cable lines and suspended bridges, and all of the foot traffic, manages to scare the animals away. So much for pure ecotourism.
On the way back from Monteverde, we stopped in a town where some folks kept Macaws and other animals — including puppies! They were kind enough to let us into their yard to take some pictures.
On my last couple of mornings in Playa del Coco, I made sure to spend some time with some local animals, including the cat who frequented our breakfast hangout every day.
It is apparently not all rosy for companion animals in Costa Rica. But towns and vets are making efforts to spay and neuter the strays. In fact, Playa del Coco had an adoption and sterilization program. Although I didn’t want to see animals without homes, I was glad to see strays who seemed to be in decent health, and some even well off enough that they had time and energy to play. I didn’t have my camera handy one day, but one little canine beach bum in Playa del Coco took it upon himself to “adopt” many of the tourists and play in the sand with anything he could find!
As wonderful as Costa Rica was, and as friendly as the Costa Rican people were, we were glad to get back to Boomer and Sophie. Much thanks to our dog walker and dog sitter from Fur-Get Me Not! We could tell how spoiled the dogs were while we were away, because instead of going crazy when we got home, they just took it all in stride!