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Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja

Amongst monkeys and fumaroles

overcast 27 °C

On Tuesday we visited another of Costa Rica`s super national parks, Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja - the old lady`s corner! Excellent park, one of the best we have seen. The weather was terrible - we are in the rainy season at the moment, which is how we are not having great difficulty in finding transport and accomodation. During the tourist dry season things are apparently very hard to manage as there are people everywhere. Already now we are seeing lots of tourists, more than we have in a long time, so we can just about imagine what the high season is like. Anyways, the rainy season is finishing but about two weeks ago it has rained so much that most of the Guanacaste region (where we are now, north-west Pacific area) has been flooded and lots of people have lost their homes.

So the weather has been pretty miserable with daily rain, and when we got to the park, the volcano could not be seen at all. In fact, they have shut the crater access off because of mud slides and other dangers. It is almost 2,000 m high and therefore a hike uphill of 8 steep km, which probably we would have not done even if the weather had been good.
We hiked around the Sector de las Pailas instead, the cauldron circuit, which was absolutely stunning.

The land here is very alive (Rincon de la Vieja last erupted in 1991) and the hike takes you through hot springs, surphur pools, bubbling mud pots and lots of fumaroles. The north-eastern part of the trail goes through dense forest with beautiful huge ficus trees and LOTS OF ANIMALS. We came across a large group of white-faced monkeys with babies which stayed around for ages - in fact, after about an hour of intense observation, we were the ones to leave the scene! Then we saw a large rodent of which we cannot remember the name, a beautiful white squirrel with a black line on the back, a smaller group of capuchin monkeys and... the coatis. The coatis turned up just as we were setting up our picnic, as they do. As soon as we spotted one coming towards us, we started taking out the cameras, not knowing that the coati had a plan... Before we realised what it was doing, it had been on the table and grabbed hold of our big packet of cheese and ran off!! After about 5 minutes it came back, at which point we started to feed it bread to ensure it would not get the rest of the food (we had 2 packages of cheese, luckily). Notices in the park warn not to feed the animals, but quite frankly we had no choice. Either we fed them, or we could have not had any food ourselves... they are quite ravenous and have big teeth and claws. Later we heard stories from the rangers saying that some tourists got scratched up and needed stitching for trying to retrieve the food back from the coatis!!

We almost forgot: in this park live the most vicious sand flies we have ever come across!

ANGOLO ITALIANO

Questi angoli italiani si sono quasi estinti perche`purtroppo non riesco a starci dietro! Ci spostiamo abbastanza rapidamente (specialmente ora che ci mancano soltanto poco piu`di due mesi) e scaricare le foto, selezionarle, caricarle e scrivere il blog richiede tempo - forse un paio di ore per capitolo? Dura quando si rientra stanchi da un giro e poi il giorno dopo si riparte subito... e la nostra stagionatura certo non aiuta...
Comunque!
Il parco nazionale `L`angolo della vecchia` e`un parco bellissimo. Una parte include fumarole e pozze di fango ribollente, l`altra una foresta tropicale asciutta con alberi vecchissimi e molto molto scenici. E in mezzo agli alberi e`pieno di scimmie! Abbiamo incontrato un gruppo grande di scimmie dalla faccia bianca, bellissime, all`inizio facevano le boccacce (cercando di spaventarci e farci andare via, immagino) poi si sono rilassate e sono venute anche abbastanza vicino. Poi abbiamo avuto un incontro con dei coatis (non credo ci sia un nome in italiano) che sono delle specie di procioni con il naso appuntito quasi piatto per annusare il terreno, molto carini e famelici. Uno ci ha fregato il pacchetto di formaggio e se l `e`filata!! poi e`tornato e per timore che si fregasse pure l`altro gli abbiamo dato mezzo pacchetto di pane. Tra un po`me lo strappava dalle mani!! Mazza questi animali selvatici...

insomma una giornata megagalattica, paesaggi nuovi e interessanti, ponticelli di tronco di albero, sentieri bellissimi, e le scimmie e i coatis a completare il quadro!

la costa rica e`davvero un paese ricco di animali, ne abbiamo visti piu`qui che in tutto il viaggio messo insieme (a parte le galapagos, chiaro). sono solo circa 30 anni che il governo ha preso la direzione dei parchi nazionali e dell`eco turismo, pero`pare che l`abbiano fatto in tempo prima che distruggessero tutto. I costaricani sono generalmente carini e gentili ed e`chiaro che prendono il turismo molto seriamente. Raccomandiamo una visita da queste parti a coloro che non sanno dove fare le prossime ferie! Magari combinata con il Nicaragua, che ancora non abbiamo visto ma che essendo qua attaccato dovrebbe avere anche lui parecchie scimmie e coccodrilli da offrire.

Ecco le foto:

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Posted by Flav-Greg 08:10 Archived in Costa Rica

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