gela - about a half hour south of Cocoles - this place was not azania bungalows - not roadside - it was IN IT! http://www.villatoucan.com
gridguy, not constant companions, but we could hear them daily from 4:30-dawn, and again at dusk, or if weather was coming. once dawn broke, the toucans & hummingbirds came out for an hour or two, followed by the parrots. everything siestas between 10 and 3, and it starts all over again. sunset starts by 4 pm year round. it was pretty cool. one thing we clearly noticed was - there was wildlife all around us, and none of it even noticed us, unless we got too close. every critter, large & tiny, are just very busy doing their own thing, and humans appear to be inconsequential to them.
ok, now, the drive from SJ to punta uva was 5 hours total (without stopping once) and brutal, to be honest. SJ itself is nuts - streets twist, people cut you off constantly, and there are no street, highway or road signs. this time we actually PAID a guy $50 to lead us to the gas station, then the highway (worth every penny). once out of the city, the road east is paved, but this paved portion was much more treacherous than the poorly paved road south. the E/W road is only one lane in each direction, and Ticos drive like insane people - very aggressive - like no where i've ever seen. the rule is to PASS everyone, at any cost, at any speed, regardless of conditions - pouring rain, uphill & around a curve, passing 3 trucks at the same time, even if someone is coming at you in the opposite direction - if you leave 8 feet between you & the car in front of you, you are fair game to be cut off. i was white knuckled for 2 hours, and bruce did great! once you get on the road south, the road surface deteriorates significantly after Cahuita but has way less traffic & is just gorgeous all the way south - beach after deserted beach with not a house or condo in sight - nothing for miles and miles. in fact, we never saw one single condo between Limon & punta uva. that part is deal-able.
that said, southern CR ain't AC, or anything near it. that would be the pacific side, like jaco, i guess. this was remote, mellow, jungle-y, more like how i picture the outskirts of punta gorda (never been) must be.
believe me, gela & laurie - i was thinking about you two taking the punctual buses instead, but we chalk it up to adventure, and would probably do it for a 3rd time too.
pics to come later today...if you're interested.
ps - and Ry - that was the closest thing to a compliment you've ever directed at me!