Blog #3: Arrival in Costa Rica

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© C. Moreau
Aerial View

Prior to our expedition to Costa Rica, I had scheduled a short trip to Portland, Oregon, then planned to meet up the rest of the group from Chicago in Houston, Texas. Because my plane did not leave Portland until 11:48 p.m. with a scheduled arrival of 5:44 a.m. in Houston, my goal was to get some sleep during the flight. However, it was the bumpiest ride I’ve ever had, which gave me no chance to even close an eye.

Thank goodness I made it to Houston all right, where I was really excited to meet the group: Corrie, Alexandra, Arista, Ben, and Max. Fortunately, the next leg of our journey from Houston to Liberia was smooth, and gave us great view over the ocean, beaches, and even some active volcanoes (see above photo and Photo #1 below.) The humidity and scent of the rainforest immediately enveloped us as we stepped off the plane—I just love this about the tropics!

Beth Pringle, from the University of Michigan, was also currently at the Santa Rosa Field Station in Costa Rica and met us at the airport. She has been working in Costa Rica for many years and knows her way around quite well, so she acted as navigator and escort for our entourage of vehicles as we headed back to the science station.

Soon after leaving the airport, we realized that we’d missed lunch and it would be some time until dinner. So we decided to stop at a restaurant along the road and get something to eat (see Photo #2 below.) The menu presented itself with some traditional Costa Rican dishes, which included some great rice, bean, and avocado options for the many vegetarians on our team. On top of that, we ordered some delicious fruit smoothies that were among the best I've ever had (see Photo #3 below.)

Our next stop was an ATM machine and a grocery store. We all stocked up on cash as well as lunchtime basics: bread, peanut butter, jelly, and banana chips. Then, we drove to the Santa Rosa Field Station, where we’d be staying for the next two weeks. On our drive, we enjoyed the beautiful landscape—soft hills, covered by grass and remnant rainforests. Even though this is a highly disturbed landscape, it still has some beauty to it (see Photo #4 below.)

At the entrance of the station, welcome signs (see Photo #6) greeted us, making us eager to being our fieldwork!

More soon,

© C. Moreau
Costa Rican Coastline
© A. Tischner
© A. Tischner
Fruit Smoothie
© A. Tischner
Mystical Landscape
© A. Tischner