We were still checking in to Hotel Bergerac at 3 AM (bothering a light sleeper on the second floor who got dressed to come down and inform us that it was late) but at least didn't have to get up until 5 AM. The van left for the Caribbean coast under blue skies, which we would eventually be grateful to have had. The road along the rugged slopes of the Central mountain range gave way to farmland with cattle herds and coffee and banana plantations. Our van stopped as a boom came down at a banana crossing so the bananas could take their zip line across the road to the processing area. Our first experience of the wildlife we would see was a sloth in a tree across from the gas station in Guapiles. Important lesson--the best way to spot wildlife is look for a tourist van that has stopped. The boat ride through the canals of Tortuguero to our destination at Turtle Beach Lodge was a chance to add crocodiles, caimans and emerald basilisks to our list.
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