01/02/2015 I made it to country No. 54 (Uruguay) and will travel from Colonia to Montevideo today. This update is the last one from Costa Rica and the Corcovado National Park was actually my highlight of the overall a little bit disappointing Costa Rica.
We took the 5:15 AM bus from San Gerardo de Rivas to San Isidro and just barely made it there for the 6:30 AM bus to Puerto Jimenez; a five hour journey that would take us to one of the entry point of the Corcovado National Park. There were a few options to enter the park and we choose to stay with Bolita, which is basically a little wooden house in the middle of the jungle without any road connections. Their office is at Dos Bratos and from there it took another 45 minutes walking through a nice scenery to arrive at the hut. There was no electricity and the sound setting in the middle of the jungle was just amazing!
After a first quick walk around the area to a nice valley including Macaws and lots of other animals, we returned to Bolita in the afternoon to have enough time preparing the dinner while it was still light outside. The only source of light for later would be a candle because of the missing electricity. Six other people occupied the pleasant hut with us and instead of mosquitos (which are suddenly leaving the area in the darkness), we had lot’s of fireflies to look at. Finally we found ourselves in an actual real jungle without too many other tourists around, making the last days of Costa Rica the most enjoyable ones as well.
The next day was actually a really exciting one. Together with our guide Thomas, we would be the first tourists to enter a brand new hiking path called El Tigre, scheduled to officially open four days later. The new path offers a cheaper alternative to enter the park from another side opposed to the more remote corners, involving hours of transportation to get to the starting point. In our tour, we saw a great deal of wild life as well as plants. Thomas did a great job finding and explaining everything, the highlight being a very poisonous Coral Snake just 3 meters away that would leave you six hours to reach a hospital for treatment in case you get bitten. Besides that, we saw lots of frogs, scarlet macaws, tucans, howler monkeys, all kind of other monkeys, lizards and animals I won’t even know how to describe them. There was also a pretty cool tree that you could climb up from the inside. So overall the seven (!) hour tour was totally worth the 50$ we paid each, usually it would be 65$ but since the park was not officially opened, we could avoid the 15$ entrance free.
After the guided tour, we hiked back up to the Bolita hut to spend another night there, meeting some really interesting people during dinner. I was now getting used to the pretty loud jungle sound around me and could sleep very well in the second night to be ready for a very early wake up call at 4:30 AM in the next morning, hiking down the path in pitch black darkness with our head lamps. I was headed to Panama next after crossing the beautiful Golf of Golfito and heard about the pretty tough border crossings from Costa Rica. So thanks to tip of the owner of Bolita, I came very well prepared and presented an American Airline Ticket from Panama City to Frankfurt (which was just on hold and I did not have to pay anything for it, letting it expire automatically after 24 hours) as well as plenty of cash, leaving me with no problems whatsoever to enter Panama. 🙂