Feed on:

The Costa Rican Adventure

Click to Enlarge

Neena at the beach

Closure of the Pan American – Water shortage – On the road to Corcovado – Luna Lodge

“No hay paso”. The Pan American has been closed since the tropical storm “Alma” wreaked havoc in Costa Rica. After losing our water again in another lodge (although briefly) we filled up ten gallons at the friendly police station close to Alajuela, which is a suburb of San Jose. The concerned police offered us showers too. We have been dragging those ten gallons all over Costa Rica with us just in case the water does the disappearing act again.

After a few days in San Jose to visit the hospital (minor stuff), get the car window fixed (Toyota dealerships are great places to surf the web, by the way, a minor compensation for having had to visit them in the first place) and carry out several minor chores that seem to dog our days, we assumed that the Pan American would be open. Our police friends had radioed ahead and found out that the road was supposedly open. No such luck. An hour outside of San Jose, we were turned around and advised to take the coastal road to bypass the closed section of the highway.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge




The road was actually pretty good, including the non paved sections. The drive was simply stunning. Costa Rica is, in my opinion, one of the most verdant and beautiful countries of Central America. Unpaved roads force you to go slowly, thus taking in the vistas unfolding beside you instead of blowing past them. The trucks, a plague of the Pan American, were no problem here as the road was wide enough to pass them easily. One lane bridges forded most of the muddy rivers. After the turnoff to rejoin the Pan American, however, the road suddenly deteriorated into a mess of potholes. We were on our way to the remote Osa peninsula.

Click to Enlarge

Scarlet macaws

Corcovado National Park lies in the Osa peninsula, a remote corner of Costa Rica. There are no paved roads leading to here and even the bridges disappear after the town of Puerto Jimenez, leaving you to ford the rivers in your trusty vehicle. Luckily for us, the rivers were quite low and the FJ had no problems. The drive is beautiful, starting from Golfo Dulce on the east to the Pacific coast on the west. On the way the rainforest reveals its immense diversity and you can spot monkeys, raptors and colorful birds flitting across the road. Nestled on the hills at the end of road at Carate, lies Luna Lodge.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Luna Lodge

Grasshopper on the bed

Luna Lodge is a calm, tranquil place in harmony with its surroundings. The cabins are delightful indoor/outdoor places giving the feeling of living in luxury outdoors. For some the euphoria was a bit dampened by finding preying mantis on their bed or a jungle cockroach in their room. My personal brush with the class Insecta was a large green grasshopper settling on my shoulder. Shreesh was on a mission to actually find them. Armed with our Steripen (that uses UV light to purify water) he wanted to confirm an article that scorpions glow in UV. He returned downcast that the scorpions of Osa wouldn’t oblige.

The lodge is surrounded by rainforest and as such an amazing variety of birds and insects can be spotted right from the comforts of home. And if its too hot, you can take a shower in the waterfalls of the river Osa right on the property.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

White faced monkey



For more pictures of Corcovado, click here.

We soon found, however, a storm waging under the serenity. A right-of-way dispute with a neighbor over the road to the lodge was just settled, although both parties seem to have a different understanding of the ruling. Apparently this acrimony has been going on for five years, showing how even a remote place as the Osa can hide the same human conflicts as a major city like San Francisco.

4 Responses to “The Costa Rican Adventure”

  1. jonathan says:

    hi guys,

    i haven’t checked your site for awhile. it looks like you are having the adventure of a lifetime. the quality of your posts and the overall site continue to amaze me. i’ll be watching from here in sf and thinking about you. be safe out there.


  2. Vinay says:

    Very cool photos!

  3. Bill Ficklin says:

    Marilyn and I enjoyed your company while in Oaxaca. It is great to see that you are still heading south. Be alert in Columbia and have fun. We are off to Maui Saturday for a couple of weeks, then on to the John Muir Trail for almost three weeks. Bill Ficklin

  4. Shreesh says:

    Hi Bill,

    Looks like your travel schedule is busy and you are really enjoying yourselves. The fact that you are doing the John Muir trail means that you got all the issues related to a horse supported trek sorted out?

Leave a Reply