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Potholes and hummingbirds

Why come to Costa Rica? Wildlife and rainforests, volcanoes, coffee and chocolate. Don’t come to Costa Rica for the nightlife or smooth roads! Our drive to the region around Mount Arenal was long and winding and included a fair number of swerves to avoid enormous pot-holes. It reminded me of travel in the Irish Republic in the 1980s! But our trusty like steed got us to the ear-popping heights where we intended to spend the next few days. Our itinerary was varied: 1. taking in the breathtaking view - check; 2. observing some of the stunning birdlife - check; 3. bathing in volcanic springs - check; 4. white-water rafting - check; 5. hiking in the rainforest - check! What we didn’t expect was t

Butterflies and razorwire

Aranjuez is not far from the city centre and our hotel is a real gift! An old set of houses knocked together in a rabbit warren of nooks and lounges, Hotel Aranjuez [https://www.hotelaranjuez.com/] is cool in every sense. I always love travelling in the tropics because you get to see your house plants at the correct size and it leaves you feeling like borrowers! We only have to step out of our room and are immediately confronted with the largest bird’s nest fern I’ve ever encountered. One of the difficulties I face on holiday is the question of breakfast. At home, my stomach doesn’t wake up until about 10.30 and only needs some porridge or yoghurt to keep me going until lunch. Each morning o

A quick coffee in Costa ... Rica, baby!

Holiday, day 1 - coffee stop number 1: Cafe del Barista, Aranjuez, San Jose. Cafe con leche ... mmmmmm This is my/our first visit to Latin America and it's difficult to say what my expectations are about coming to Costa Rica. it is one of the few countries without an army and which has tried to maintain a policy of cooperation with its neighbours for the last 50 years or so. It doesn't allow its President to serve more than one consecutive term. President Arias in 1987 won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in trying to bring peace and stability to a region suffering Cold War and American neocon interventions. Costa Rica is also one of the few countries in the world to have a border dispute

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