PART 2: ALL IS GREEN AND GOLDEN IN PARISMINA
Most of our time this trip is spent at the Green Gold Eco-Lodge on the outskirts of Parismina, a small town bordered by the Rio Parismina and the Caribbean Sea.
The Green Gold Eco-Lodge is far from luxurious. But it doesn’t need to be. It is clean and safe and serviceable. It is well-built, well-maintained, and well-run by owners Jason and Juliana. The food—typical Costa Rican fare—is fresh and delicious. There is running water but no electricity, except for a small generator that runs for a couple of hours each day to charge batteries for cameras and flashlights, and any other essentials.
It is refreshing to be free from the world of electronics. To live simply, if only for a short while. To disconnect from the devices and reconnect with nature and people—to actually talk face to face, sharing stories and special finds.
The Green Gold Eco-Lodge is unassuming and blends in with its surroundings.
Jason cuts open coconuts (pepitas) for everyone to enjoy some refreshing coconut water after a hike around the property.
Best of all—it is so quiet and peaceful. There are no other lodges, buildings, or houses around. No cars, no phones, no TVs, no tourists. Just us. And we are surrounded by nature. You swing in a hammock looking out and the wildlife is everywhere. It comes to you. White-faced capuchins watch you curiously from the branches a metre or so away. A pair of olive-backed euphonias use an old oropendola nest to raise their new family of chicks. Geckos dart around on the metal roof above. Hummingbirds zip around the flowers chasing one another. Colourful butterflies float by. A hundred different calls all mix together like a symphony. A symphony of bird song…nature’s music…music to my ears.
The view from a hammock: A white-faced capuchin peers down at me, while the olive-backed euphonias flitter in and out of an old oropendola nest.
And ever-present in the background is the surge and roar of the ocean, which is just a short distance down the trail from the lodge. The black volcanic sand beach stretches for kilometres in either direction.
Waves crash endlessly to shore; pelicans cruise above the crests; sandpipers scurry in the surf; morning glories decorate the beach; and crabs poke their heads up from the sand.
The sand contains many stories: I wonder what has been going on here…
The ocean is warm, but it is also very rough. The dangerous undertows and rip tides prevent actual swimming but it is fun to cool off in the surf.
Our fisher. Our swimmer.
The boys in the surf…content doing the things they love.
Every morning, before the sun rises, we wake to the eerie calls of the howler monkeys, signalling the start of a new day. Welcome to the jungle!
Our hot and humid days are busy with morning walks on the beach and beach trail before breakfast; hikes in the rainforest before lunch; downtime in the shaded hammocks during the hottest part of the day; late afternoon explorations of the property around the lodge; and after dinner night hikes.
The beach trail offers lots of discoveries including a sleeping three toed sloth, lineated woodpecker, and sour cane, a tasty, edible flower.
A typical rainforest hike reveals tent-making bats, leaf cutter ants, casqued-headed lizards and eyelash vipers.
An afternoon rain shower has awakened the forest. It has brought everything to life. The air feels washed, fresh, and the colours are vivid.
After the sun sets, darkness moves in quickly. But just because it is dark, doesn’t mean it is time for bed. The night brings the nocturnal to life. Our flashlights reveal so many amazing gems, including an hour-glass frog, whip scorpion and brown vine snake (night photos ©Liam Rosborough-Feltham).
On our last day at the Green Gold Eco-Lodge, we head into town after lunch. We buy some great souvenirs and gifts from the Artisan Fair; enjoy delicious fresh fruit smoothies at Soda Olga’s; have dinner at Amelia’s Restaurant and cap the night off with a boat cruise along the river.
James enjoys a visit with Tereza Ching, one of the artists at the Fair; names our new sloth “Edward;” savours his mango banana smoothie, and gets excited when Josh catches a caiman for everyone to see up-close during the night boat cruise.
Stay tuned for Part 3…