We were sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch of our rental house in El Castillo, deep within Costa Rica’s tropical rain forest. It was early morning, and the porch faced Arenal, the iconic cone-shaped volcano which towered over the smooth glassy lake before us. Coffee cups in one hand, binoculars in the other, we scanned the lush foliage for Toucans, one of our elusive must-see birds. It was here, in Arenal, that Toucans lived. It was here that we’d have our best chance of seeing them.
No Toucans so far, but then we’d only just arrived. We’d tumbled in the night before, tired from our long drive from Monteverde up in the mountains, to discover a kitchen full of tiny black ants, pots and pans covered with thick furry mold which no amount of scrubbing could entirely remove, an empty propane tank, and a dry swimming pool.
Oh, and a flat tire on our car.