A Travellerspoint blog

Magical Montezuma

The holiday within a holiday!!

Hi all, hope things are good with everyone.

We´ve not been on the net for a while as we've been in a tiny little paradise place where there wasn´t even a bank! We left Monteverde at 6am (ouch) as planned and had a long and very sweaty journey to Montezuma. So worth it though, as the place itself was complete paradise...


A tiny little town with a real hippy feel to it, sure there were a few folks there who arrived in 1965 and never left and we could see why! We stayed at a fab little hotel which as you can see from the pics below was quite rubbish!!




Kirst we took your advice about staying put in the places that you like so we decided to stay for a few days, six in fact!! We put in a good few hours of hard tanning, and also found time for such strenuous pursuits as rockpòoling and scrambling up a river trail to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole.




As you can see Rusty was very brave and swam right out and under the waterfall!!


The place was amazing we got woken up by howler monkeys in the morning and had to dodge Iguanas on the way to the pool! Loads of Birds as well sorry boys its of the feathered variety im afraid.



Also got to see a teeny tiny baby monkey! It was well cute and I wanted to try and get it in my bag!


As it was our anniversary and valentines day we decided to have a nice meal and the place was right on the beach lit by candles with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore total heaven!


Anyway after all this intensive lazing around we have had to leave to get back into the travelling feel! Off to Samara now! Miss you all loads and will blog again soon! Laters Potatoes. C´n´R XxX

Posted by russncath 09:17 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

La Fortuna to Monteverde

Volcanoes, Lakes and Bridges across the Jungle Massive

-17 °C

Word up Peeps,

After the chicken bus journey from hell! I have never seen so many people on one bus, we have arrived in La Fortuna a really cool little town that is totally dominated by the awe inspiring Volcan Arenal. It looks like a proper volcano you would draw as a kid, check it out!


The place is ace too has a really nice feel to it and we have a walk round, loads of cool little shops and bars and a big square of park in front of the church. Have an ace dinner in the Lava Lounge, lots of Lava puns abound round here my personal fave is Mr Lava Lava the tour guide! Anyway we are staying in a nice little Hotel with a pool which is proper bonus after that sweaty bus journey!


Mainly did quite a lot of relaxing in La Fortuna and lots of marveling at the volcano after our disappointing encounter with the last one! Anyway after a couple of days we set off to travel to Monteverde the scenic route which involved a shuttle to Lake Arenal, a boat across the lake and the bumpiest taxi ride ever up the hills the other side. Seriously you could hardly call this a road, but apparently it's the best way to get between the two places as the other option is really long journey all the way around the lake. As you can see it was very pretty and once again dominated by the volcano...



Monteverde was another crazy little town, basically perched on the hillside between two cloud forest reserves.


We found a cool little hotel and even managed to sustain a long conversation in Spanish with the friendly Tico owner (Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos)! Went to our first ever Ranario on the first day there. Ruth you would have hated it and we have spared you the photo of the giant cane toad we saw! Yes it's a frog place where we saw allsorts of frogs and toads of many shapes, sizes and colours!!

Next day its off to the Salvatura Park reserve to wander amoungst the Cloud Forest/Jungle. After another incredibly bumpy ride - this place is 4x4 heaven - we arrive and begin our walk through, they have put i a series of suspension bridges that allow you to walk through the canopy of the trees and get a monkey's eye view! They got WELL high at one point!!!


The forest was amazing, so green and lush and its good to see that places like this are fighting to preserve them that way!


Better go as there is a bus r

Posted by russncath 11:18 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

San Jose to Cahuita....then straight back to Alajuela

The Sunny Carribean with its totally tropical storms........lilt

Hi Ladies and Gents,

Arrived into Costa Rica in the middle of the night so didn´t get to see much of it when we came in. San Jose is..........well its certainly a city. Had some lovely bits though like the below Teatro Nacionale.


In general however it was rather sprawling with a bit of a seedy feel to it, altough they had just had an Earthquake hit the region a month or so before that might have had something to do with it.


Anyway we had a wander around and practised our flourishing Spanish by trying to post some things home. All went well, you will be pleased to hear. After spending a few days here we have decided that enough is enough and in a search for some sun we head to the glorious carribean coast........

As we are getting on the bus to Cahuita one girl gets on with a newspaper depicting a Bus being washed away into a river as storms have battered the coast for the pàst few days greeeeeeaaat! Anyway one wet and teeny tiny bit scary bus ride later the glorious town of Cahuita.


The carribean sea....


This is such a shame though as the place is awesome! Has a really cool vibe where 'everyting be irie' and the rum is cheap! Some naughty calypso rhythms being played and plenty Rasta's around smoking an ting.

We made the most of the place while we were there, taking advantage of the lovely cocktails and the very cheap Carribean food. But as it was literally pouring it down from the moment we arrived we decided there wasn´t too much point staying for more than one night. It was a real shame as we had intended to go further down the coast to the next beach town and then back up north to Tortugeuro which is supposedly like a mini amazon. As it is built entirely on canals though we were advised it wasn´t a good time to go as the water was just far too high.

So we got the bus back to San Jose the next day, our tans fading by the minute. We didn´t fancy staying in San Jose again so we grabbed a taxi (so cheap out here) to the next city along, Alajuela. This is the second city and is much nicer than San Jose, has a more cheerful feel to it, with a lovely park in the middle, looked over the the unusual alabaster Cathedral:


We found a lovely little hotel here where we were served brekky each morning on the pretty little courtyard by the friendly family who ran the place.


Anyway our main reason for stopping in Alajuela was to have a trip up to Volcan Poas, one of Costa Rica´s most accessible volcanoes. Unfortunately however the rubbish weather was clearly following us and we had only the bus driver´s word (and the nasty sulphuric smell) to convince us that there was even a volcano there. Here I am at the crater lookout:


And finally here is Rusty overlooking the Lagnua Botas, a beautiful clear volcanic lake at the end of our little walk through dwarf cloud forest (cloud being the operative word!)


Tee hee!! Anyway we are having a good old laugh as you can see and have travelled on again today further north to La Fortuna (more about that next time). Lots of love to you all and glad to see that you celebrated William´s birthday in the usual lairy Leic crew way!! Miss you all, big hugs, C&R xxxx

Posted by russncath 14:30 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

LA Baby!

Freaks, fitness and Superbowl Sunday

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all doing a suitable amount of sledging back home, and making the most of your snow days!! Well after our last couple of days in New Zealand we were sad to leave but excited about the next leg of the trip. We had the most rubbish flight to LA (mum, em, gib you would have hated it). It was basically a really bumpy ride for the whole 11 hours so no sleep for us...which meant most of our first day in LA was lost to jet lag.

Anyway we did manage to get out in the evening and explore the area we were staying in, we were in a cool little hostel right on the front of the Venice Beach boardwalk. This part of LA is a really strange mixture of 'interesting' down and out types, and loads of fitness freaks enjoying the terrible winter weather!! As you can see from the pics below, which show that famous bit along the beach where everyone rollerskates and cycles, and the actual B Ball courts where White Men Can't Jump was filmed (Dad and Dan take note!)



We were really glad we stayed here as there was loads to see within walking distance..and that's saying something as normally people in LA don't walk anywhere it is so huge (so thanks for the tip Jenn!) Also sure it was right where Romeo and Juliet was filmed, check out the shot below...


Day two and as the City is a sprawling behemoth we decide to take a guided tour of all the best bits! Well pleased we did because our tour guide is an absolute legend! Check him out below!


I tell you man, he is the man, I tell you guys he give a tour like no one else give a tour. Anyway we see the Marina Del Ray which was the home for many years of the highbrow entertainment series Baywatch then we head to the lovely and clean Santa Monica which is beatiful but well expensive!!!! Drove through Westwood and Beverly Hills had a quick stop on Rodeo Drive where we looked but did not buy anything! Then hit Hollywood saw the famous sign and the walk of fame and had a pic next to the most famous star that there has ever been placed on that street!



Anyway this tour took place on Super Bowl Sunday and we could not finish the day with out watching the game, we didnt really get what was going on but we did see the longest play in Super Bowl History (Craig check me out with my knowledge of the game) and the atmosphere was awesome. I cannot discuss what happened after this suffice to say we met some Americans and carried on 'partying'... AH you would of loved it ;)

Our last day obviously started off a little bit later than usual, but we did manage to make the walk along the front to Santa Monica and watch the sunset from the pier.


So there you have it. It was dark when we got here last night (San Jose) so this internet cafe is really the first thing we've seen so far, is very different from NZ though!! Will write again soon, keep the comments and emails coming (worst your bison|fish comment made us LOL!) loads and loads of love, and keep those jumpers on!! C&R xxxxxx

Posted by russncath 09:42 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (4)


Roadtrippin- Bay of Islands to the Kauri forests...

Easy now Kiddywinks!

We awake bright an early and pick up our lovely little hire car, which is a bright white Toyota. First off we head off to a place called Goat Island, not famous for goats oh no, it is infact a gorgeous marine reserve!


There are loads of rock pools on the beach and its really shallow so can snorkel and see all the fish swimming around its ace. We see Prawns and Purple Crabs and some weird Blue fish that im not sure of the name of!


After this we head further up the coast to Pakiri Beach, after a well scary run down the worst gravel roads known to man we come upon the quite crapness of the below!


Its amazing, it goes on for miles of these golden sands! We cant resist and even though the swim suits are in the car its down to our pants and into the sea whoohoo!

Back in the now rather damp car we drive north up to Pahia in the Bay of Islands where we settle into the sleepy coastal town (if you can call it that) and get ready for our boat trip round the bay tommorow. Up nice and early and with a tar like coffee in hand we get on the boat for a trip round the Islands ( Captain Cook counted 144 islands). Some of these islands are just beautiful like the Twin Lagoons below.


Some are also privately owned by some lucky bastards! One guy has a ten level holiday home with space for his helichopper! We then head out to Cape Brett and see the Hole in the Rock at Piercy Island (Pissy Island if your a bit deaf like Cath) It's quite impressive but it's too rough to sail the boat through today.


We have stop off on Okupakakpakakakekuahieeehuauhheeii Island (or something along those lines) and we get onto a part boat part submarine to go out and see the fish, its well cool and some of them are bison!


Back on dry land in the Port of Russell, oh yeah got my own Port out in NZ! It used to be the Hell Hole of the South Pacific back in the good old days of the 1800's because of all the Pirates, but now its a simply beautiful little town! (There were many jokes made about Cath being 'in' Russell here fnnarr fnnarr & also check out my bad ass pirate look)


After this we head across to the other side of the North bit to the sleepy 1/16 horse town of Omapere which has great views over the Sand Dunes and...........well great views over the Sand Dunes.


Does have really nice hotel though and there we sit on the verandah and watch the sun set into the sea. Tafe.

The next day and we're up and off again early (quite glad we've not done the whole trip in a car as think there's more pressure to pack loads in when you've got your own wheels!) Anyway we have heard about the Kauri forests on the west coast of Northland so we decide to make a few stops today to see some of these giant old trees. First stop is to see Tane Mahuta (named after the Maori god of the forest) which is the tallest living Kauri at an impressive 51 metres!! As we take the short walk through the forest we keep thinking we've spotted him but nothing quite prepares us for the sheer size of the thing when we finally get there- it is quite literally the most ginourmous living thing you have ever seen, more like a building than a tree!! To illustrate, see if you can spot Rusty in the pic below...


Next stop is to take a longer walk into the forest to see the Four sisters (a stand of four mature Kauri growing out of the same root stem) and then finally to Te Matua Ngahere 'Father of the Forest', the oldest living Kauri, which has a trunk diameter of over 5 meters and is over 2000 years old! Yes that means he was alive when Jesus was folks!!


The forest was an amazing place, very tranquil and quiet, with a sort of peacefulness about it, which seemed to come from the trees; which after all have been around for quite a while! Anyway just after he took the above pic (and as we hadn't seen anyone else for ages), Rusty decided he would get down on one knee and make our engagement official!! He had even managed to buy me a lovely New Zealand greenstone ring and everything!! I said yes of course and we're thinking of having a short engagement, so if anyone's free on May 3rd we thought we'd have a party!!!

To celebrate we carried on a little bit further down the coast and found the very unspoilt Kai Iwi lakes. The pics below are of the biggest lake, where there is a lovely little campsite under the pines and a sandy shallow shoreline which makes it the perfect place for swimming.


So after a crazy day we made it to our last roadtrip stop at the 1/32 horse town of Ruawai. Seriously when we first arrived at the hostel we were a bit scared as it was all a bit chain saw massacre (think empty old clapboard house, with a sign that says 'office next door' where we find an old dude in a wheelchair who can't really understand what we're saying!) It all turns out fine though and we make friends with the old couple who own the hostel and their giant dog!!


There isn't a huge amount of nightlife here, so we settle down in the O Bar inspired lounge for a spot of jigsaw mayhem, assisted by a little kiwi boy who arrives at about 10pm with his parents and refuses to go to bed!!

So that's about it for this enormously long entry folks. The last day of our road trip we made a stop off at the Kauri museum which was cool and had loads of beautiful furniture, a strange exhibition of polished Kauri gum and loads and loads of machines...(Russ here - Dad I am slowly turning into you as became fascinated by all the different types of machines used by old time loggers, see pic below as one part of the musem was set up like an old Saw Mill with working engines you could have spent days in here - Love Ya)


Just to show you again how big those Kauri trees are, here is Rusty pointing at a drawing on the wall of the Kauri museum which shows the diameter of the Kauri trees we saw. The outside circles represent the circumferences of the largest Kauri trees on record (which are no longer alive).


So after this it was back to Auckland for some down time before our flight to LA on saturday. We have absolutely loved NZ and all its amazing scenery and landscapes, but we're ready to shake things up a bit and try our spanish out in central america (after the delights of venice beach obv!!) Hope you are all well and good, and keep those emails/facebook messages/blog comments coming, is lovely to hear from you all. Miss you all heaps, from the soon to be mr and mrs, C&R xxxx


Posted by russncath 15:19 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (7)

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