We can all do with a little happiness in our lives, so it made sense to include Costa Rica, 'happiest country in the world', into the itinerary. San Jose would be the final destination for our epic Central American adventure. The place where we would say farewell to the travelling crew that we had spent the past 33 days with, 6 countries, 8 chicken buses and countless miles.
We rallied the troops, put our party dresses on, and made our way to the salsa music was pumping and hit the dance floor. We gave this farewell the epic send off that it deserved.
Come morning, and as our fearless CEO, Isik, departed for the airport I couldn't help but be amazed at what he had accomplished. 18 different people; different personalities, different languages, backgrounds, maturity levels, travel experience, ages and expectations of what this tour would offer.....and he managed to successfully get us to bond as a unit and guide us around Central America. It was a mammoth challenge and he did it. Hats off to you my friend. I hope our paths cross again.
We decided to spend the remaining time in San Jose visiting the Toucan Rescue Ranch. In 2004, the Toucan Rescue Ranch was established by Leslie Howle, an American lady who followed her passion for helping animals in need all the way to Costa Rica, and Jorge Murillo, a kind hearted man she met passing through customs who is now her husband. Primarily established for rescue and rehabilitation of Toucans, due to the rescue centre stellar reputation, it has quickly expanded to include Sloths, Owls, and other Costa Rican animals.
Through charitable donations, hard work and strong work ethic, Lesley, Jorge and a handful of staff have developed a rehabilitation program that aims at returning injured, confiscated and orphaned animals to the wild. They have also commenced a repopulation program for Toucans to help rebuild the population in Costa Rica. We visited this place because i had not curbed my excitement by seeing a rainbow toucan, and i did not not want to leave without seeing one. I not only got to see one toucan, but i left with a greater understanding of the efforts these mavericks of Costa Rica are accomplishing. Already emotional from the TRR, I was then faced with saying goodbye to my 'Thunder buddy', Briony. It might have been accidental or fate that brought us together but she has been a super friend to go travelling with. I will miss the early morning HIIT sessions and mutual appreciation of movie quotes. Stay cool and enjoy your next adventure!
If you would like to make a donation or support the Toucan Rescue Ranch please visit their website or volunteer your time.