Mamadukes visits Costa Rica!

After dropping off Lauren’s Dad and Sister we prepped for my Mom’s arrival.

Originally the plan was to take her around in the 4Runner but after a hell-raising few days of dealing with a mentally unstable mechanic who will further be referred to as “Bill the Butcher”. We threw in the towel and got another rental car. More on that later…

We grabbed Mom and headed out to Dominical, Costa Rica. I have a long-lost Uncle who has been running the Bella Vista Lodge out here in the jungle since the mid-70’s. However, none of us had ever been.

We learned that he recently leased it out to another ex-pat named Bert. We arrived not knowing exactly what to expect.

What we found was a wonderful blend of the mountains, jungle, and the ocean. Basically, We found paradise.

View of the ocean from the lodge

Every sunset was matched with “Sundowners” of course.

Toucan’s would wake us up each morning with their distinct call. In the background, you could hear the howler monkeys hooting a response.

We spent a few days at Berts, relaxing, taking in the nearby beaches and doing some horseback riding through the mountains with my long lost cousin.

Lauren the horse-trainer.

Who needs a snorkel?

Some of the gorgeous Costa Rican countryside and jungle we rode through.

We parked the horses and started hiking out to a secret waterfall

We crossed the river via this crazy trolley my Uncle rigged up years ago

Mama enjoying the wild ride

Our reward for our hike. We swam in the crystal clear and COLD waters of the falls. It was a refreshing dip after a long ride and hike

On the way bike we found this beautiful Strawberry poison dart frog. It was about the size of a dime and BRIGHT red. Don’t touch!

Next day we headed out bound for Volcan Arenal. Along the way we stopped to do some more searching for the elusive QUETZAL bird at a working ranch.

We found no shortage of hummingbirds!

And finally after months of searching… We found our first Quetzal!! A female… but still it counts dammit!

We were almost trampled by run-away sheepz


Mama rented this cool treehouse as our basecamp for exploring the Arenal area.

We did a few dayhikes from the treehouse and were rewarded with plenty of natural beauty and wildlife.


Blue Jeaned Poison Dart Frog

You know what Panda’s eat?…

Baby monkey!

We even spotted Toucan Sam.

Ever seen Monkey balls? Now you have!

Pooped after a long but great day.

Next morning we headed out to see the actual Volcano. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and the whole thing was shrouded in clouds. We still had a great time touring the countryside around Lago Arenal.

The volcano is out there somewhere…

Next morning it was off the airport yet again. All good things must come to an end and we waved goodbye to my Mom.

3 weeks of family time has been great. It has been nice to share with them a taste of what we have been up too for the past 6 months. Together we experienced the beauty of Costa Rica and the ups/downs of overlanding coast-to-coast of this country. I think they have come away with a bit more of an understanding and appreciation of why we are doing this trip and living our lives the way we are.

Well I hope so at least!

Thanks for everything Moms and Dads. Without you guys none of these past weeks adventures would have been the same. We love you very much and look forward to seeing all of you soon in South America!

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