Jan 22nd
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Costa Rica Adventure - Part V

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Postcards from you

Join Anne, Tarek and Kurt Kutay of Wildland Adventures (800-345-4453) and five other families, on a 10-day overland journey through Costa Rica.  Follow seven 1st and 2nd graders, one kindergartner, and a 6th grader through rainforests, past volcanoes, over highlands on their way to the Pacific Coast.  Watch as their adventure continues to unfold in upcoming issues...

        Tamarindo, Pacific Coast... It’s day 7 and we awoke to the soothing whisper of waves and the loud roars of howler monkeys dining on green mangos in the trees above our beachside bungalows. A hearty cup of dark roasted Cafe´ Brit in hand, we enjoyed our breakfast buffet surrounded by prehistoric looking iguanas.  They hoped for handouts!  Alert and bold, white-throated magpie-jays waited in standby. As soon as one of the kids got distracted by a monkey or iguana, the magpies would swoop through the open air restaurant on bombing runs to make their own buffet from unattended plates. I'm beginning to wonder if the kids will have anything exciting to report back to school. At this point in the trip they play together in the pool as if it's commonplace to have monkeys cavorting 10' over head and fearless iguanas so numerous you have to step around them to get your towel.
        You need at least a few days at the Capitan Suizo Hotel. Kick back. Let the kids run free between the beach and the pool. Read. Leave an open account at the poolside bar for tropical coolers. Then, on the second day, plan some activities once you have acclimatized to the heat. It's HOT! This has been the hottest and driest year in recent memory, and we were lucky; temperatures had dropped below 100o F just be-fore we arrived and they never dipped below 85o F at night. If you're going jogging, as some of us did this morning, plan to go before 6 AM or at dusk when the sun is not overhead. The best relief was dipping in the pool and also from the constant Guanacaste breeze. Even the ocean was 5 degrees warmer than normal because of El Nino's thermal currents.
    The hotel is located on the beach at the far end of Tamarindo, a dusty coastal town in that still innocent and awkward stage of juvenile growth, with surf shops and many restaurants and small hotels. The Capitan Suizo is considered one of the top distinctive small hotels in Costa Rica. Although it has a two-story building with air-conditioned rooms, we stayed in the spacious, ground level bungalows surrounding the pool, connected by sinuous trails through tall, lush jungle vegetation. There is very little glass in the spacious, red-tiled bungalows. Fresh air flows freely through large screened windows and doors, circulated inside by two overhead ceiling fans. Even in this heat, we slept comfortably at night under the fans. We shared our outside showers under the stars with the frogs. Sammy and Steve had to boot one frog out of their toilet bowl!
    This was a free and easy day. The kids loved the pool, designed as a natural pond in the tropical gardens, complete with a Tarzan rope swing from an overhanging tree. In the afternoon we rented boogie boards and unsinkable kayaks to play in the surf. We walked 10 minutes along the beach into Tamarindo and walked through town for a delicious seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

    "First I woke up and had breakfast.  Then I swam in the swimming pool at our hotel. We fed the iguanas.  After that I went snorkeling. It was fun!  We saw all kinds of fish--big purple fish with white poke-a-dots they were beautiful!. Then I went to the beach.  We surfed waves.  P.S. We saw and heard howler monkeys, they are “sooooo” loud."      --Lindsay Rohel, 8 years old

                Until next time...  Kurt Kutay     


Where is Alyx?

Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.


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