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March 31, 2012

As the weather in the mountains around the central valley remained cloudy we decided to skip going to Volcan Irazu and head South. On the way we drove through San Jose and had to stop at a big American type shopping centre called Multiplaza. It was enjoyable just to walk around posh shops with air conditioning for half an hour or so!

At the Southern end of the central valley the PanAm climbs up through mountains to a pass called “Cerro de Muerte” at 3400m. It then drops over the next 30km or so to the town of San Isidro. Before reaching the pass we decided to stop at small hotel called Mirador de Quetzales, which has a large area of cloudforest in its grounds.

We arranged for an early morning hike to see some more quetzals and any other birds their might be. The hotel was up at 2800m and the temperature got down as low as 5c overnight – amazing that only 50km away on the beach it would be 28c.

The Quetzal hike was bit disappointing as we only saw one of the birds and it was never very near. We decided to stay the whole day up here and went for an enjoyable hike through the cloudforest and in the evening  we had the novelty of wearing jumpers and sleeping under a duvet!

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