Tag Archives: Earthquake

Going Extreme…

I’m what you normally call an office rat. I dont lead a boring life, but sometimes quite quiet.

However this trip has been all about the extremes whether that be sports or other extreme experiences. The only extreme experiences I miss out on this time are Bungee Jumping and River Rafting and with all the other action from this trip… I’m happy to pass on that!

I had a lot of exiting adventures during these 5 weeks in Costa Rica:

Like the Earthquake that reached 6.0 on Richters Scale where we were less than 100 Kms from the epicenter. Thankfully it only lasted 15 seconds and hence no big damage was done. However it was quite exiting while it lasted !

Swimming in Tropical Waters – with Sharks, Whales, Sting Rays, venomous JellyFish like the Portuguese Man o War  – (Thankfully febuary is off season for the man o war, but watch out in june / july when you are swimming. I was actually hit by one of the Portuguese man of War back in 1999 and Man do they hurt. 2 hours of intense pain. Imagine a kickboxer kicking you straight in solar plexus with all the force in the world and that pain stays for 2-3 hours before fading. On top of that the venom will make you feel nauseous and dizzy. The scar from the tentacles lasted 9 months).

Tree Climbing – At Hacienda Baru with Rapelling to get down. This part was really cool, but I was tired before I started and just wanted to sleep :D

Extreme Canopy with the Tarzan Swing, Rappelling and the 1 km Superman flight to top it. This was just amazing. Really awesome.

Night Hikes in the Jungle – Meeting some of the most poisonous snakes in the world. They say that you never see 99% of the snakes hiding in the jungle. On this trip I have seen 6 snakes. This means I have walked past a minimum of 594 other snakes … Only God knows how many of them were poisonous. And then to top that venomous spiders, frogs, scorpions and lots of other creatures!
Night Hike in Monteverde.

Driving in Costa Rica is in some areas quite innocent, but then you get to more metropolitan areas and you just realize you drive like them or you die.
You honk the horn, you drive on yellow and red lights, you squeeze in front of other cars (or they will never let you have your turn and the people behind you will honk their horns angrily at you).
Apart from this in most areas the roads are really bad.

As if Driving in Costa Rica is not extreme enough – try Driving in Costa Rica at night !
Why is this so extreme? Try driving on roads that has no markings in the road, no lights to show you where the edges end and cars driving towards you with their lights blinding you and suddenly you realize 3 cars on a row comes towards you in your lane passing the 4 cars in the other

And just to push it up a few step: Drive a car in the Metropolitan areas: AT NIGHT!  Man I was scared shitless. But again. A thrill out of few.

Heredia to Liberia
Volcan Poas
Sierpe to Heredia
Hacienda Baru to Sierpe
Manuel Antonio to Hacienda Baru
Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde
Liberia to Fortuna de San Carlos
Playa Potrero

WHAT  A THRILL !!!

I need to reconsider my normally quiet life in Norway :D

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Getting to know Bahia Drake

After having spent all morning hiking in Corcovado National Park we just wanted to relax and get to know the city where we are staying currently, Bahia Drake or Drake Bay in English.

Drake Bay is a tiny village. It has 3 small supermercados. One of them doesn’t even have a door. Wonder how they keep people and animals from stealing stuff after hours…

There is a main road through the city, but its really not a lot of stuff along it. A few hotels, lodges and hostels as well as a few restaurants and a souvenir shop. Not really too much to look at, but perfect for a visit for a few days.

Bahia Drake Main Street.

And most importantly – Bahia Drake has an Ice Cream shop. My gosh was it good to relax (and cool down with an Ice Cream). We live relatively healthy during this trip. We try to have our share of fruits – hence we have a Banana Split a day. It contains Banana, Strawberry Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream and Fig Ice Cream (or at least mine did) and Cream on top and everyone knows that Milk is healthy for you :D

After the Ice Cream we went down to the beach and walked along the beach to find our way home to our hotel. During our walk we ran into Angela (the Swiss girl that we met in Manuel Antonio) and she told us she is also going to go snorkeling at Isla del Caño tomorrow.

Once back at the hotel we watched another gorgeous sunset.

For dinner our Chefs at the Mirador Lodge served a delicious soup as an entrance, then we got Arroz con Cerdo and Chocolate Flan. Sooo delicious. I was lucky enough to get the recipy as well!

We also found out that the earthquake that woke us up this morning had its epicenter just 44 km south of quepos and 100 km north of Bahia Drake. The quake measured 6.0 on Richters scale. No wonder we woke up by shaking and squeeking beds and stuff falling down.

Sirena Ranger Station @ Corcovado National Park

This morning we woke up at 4:55 by our bunk beds squeeking and stuff falling down.

At Mirador Lodge in Drake Bay (Peninsula Osa) we are in a dorm with 4 beds and sleepily I asked Magnus: “Do you know if we have any new guests in the room?”. Just as sleepy he answered “No. It must be the wind!” And my first thought was: “Inside at this hour?”. And then we both woke up a bit more realizing that we must have been hit by an earthquake.

Our alarms were set to 5:15 so it’s not like we missed out on a lot of sleep and breakfast was ready for us at 5:30. At 6 the boat came to pick us up to go to Sirena Ranger Station inside Corcovado National Park.

It takes about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes in a boat ride to get to Sirena Ranger Station and we were taken quite a bit out at sea because the waves were less angry there than closer to shore. Still we had waves up to 2-3 meters. However that was a very good deal, because we found a group of birds hunting flying fish and where they were we also got to see Spotted Dolphins. One of the Flying fish almost flew into the side of the boat, but thankfully it managed to slip into water instead and become dolphin food…

Just as we arrived to Sirena I saw 2 huge animals at the beach walking away from all the arriving boats. I told Magnus I told they were Tapirs, but he didn’t see them and neither did the guide – hence we docked and got on shore.

Ready for new adventures. Me and Magnus with Jerker in the background (His name really IS Jerker, thats why he calls himself Jack in English).

As soon as all the groups were ready we split up and some groups went to the left and others to the right. We went to see a gorgeous river and on our way there we saw a Tapir, sleeping in the ground. It was well hidden among the branches but we could still see it. Pictures did not turn out well though. However walking on we heard lots of Macaws (but due to the density in the forest, we were unable to spot them). However we saw lots of lizards, spiders and a few spidermonkeys.

From the river we went back to the starting point and then we moved to Sirena Ranger Station. I was surprised lots of people were setting up tents there and someone told me that with enough time you could request set up tents and stay overnight at the ranger station.

At the ranger station I saw an Agouti. It was walking just behind the toilets and once someone flushed it ran off into the forest. Soo cute.

From the ranger station we walked towards the other river to see if we could spot crocodiles and sharks in the river. Unfortunately we got there low tide and all the sharks were gone, but someone else had seen a huge salt-water crocodile just a tiny while ago.  Everywhere there was huge signs telling us not to go swimming, not to move off the trails etc. due to the sharks, crocs and snakes.

We had lunch by the river and it was nice to have a small break.

We had enourmous luck and got to see an ant-eater walking along out path in search of food

On our way back to the ranger station and the boats, we saw lots of spidermonkey groups and Howler monkeys. As I was looking up – I saw something coming at us and ran to avoid it and thankfully it worked out. However – the others did not have the same luck. The howlers had peed on them… When Howlers want to get rid of humans sometimes they pee on them and sometimes they throw poo on them. :D Nice huh?

Just before we got to the boats we saw another Tapir. This one was also sleeping, but much, much closer to the path and it was easy to see it without disturbing it.

One of the other girls in our group also told me she had spotted the two Tapirs in the morning and now we were 2 confirming and hence our number of spotted Tapirs was in a total of 4 for today.

The mighty (but sleepy) Tapir !
Tapirs can become up to 250 Kgs and when with young they can be highly agressive.

To reed more about Tapirs see these two stories by Jack Ewing:
Threats to the paths of the Tapir Biological Corridors
The Tapirs of Sirena

On our way back we had higher waves still and at one point the boat was driving so close to shore and some really rocky cliffs that it seemed that we were going to hit the cliffs.

When we got back to the hotel we took a shower and went for a walk.

Animals spotted today:
Tapir, Anteater, Coati, Flying Fish, Spotted Dolphins, Spider Monkeys, Mantled Howler Monkeys, Black Iguanas, Spiders, Birds, Insects, Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Agouti, Jesus Christ Lizard

Starting work after the holidays

partlycloudy.gifWeather seems to have no intention of getting better any time soon and I find San Diego very cold compared to the other places I have visited during my trip here in the US. It was only +19C today and as the past week cloudy all morning and clearing up after 2pm. However it gets warm enough to be outside in the afternoon and thats nice :D

I started my first day working after the holidays today. However it was quite fascinating.
I spent most of the time in my room where I had a network cable and a good line to the modem – hence also a very good VPN connection to my work session which is always good. Working without interruptions is nice. During the day I felt 2 tiny tiny shakings that I wondered if may have been earthquakes.
There was nothing scary about them and they caused nothing but a feeling that the earth was shaking.

A good thing is that I have worked one day each week of my vacation – hence I dont have as many unattended emails. :D Thats always nice.

Carissa was working too so we didnt see each other until 4 pm when she got home, reading the news she confirmed we had had 2 minor earthquakes today. However. They are not really earthquakes, but after shocks from the big earthquake in Mexicali easter day. The biggest one today was 4,2 on richters at the episenter which probably didnt leave us with more than 2 or something.

For dinner Cindy (Carissas mom) made us all a delicious dinner that we had outside in the garden :D That was lovely. We relaxed with some TV and I went early to bed.