Ever since we left the Andes, the landscape has changed completely. We don’t mean the absence of mountains or the Pacific along which we’ve been driving on the Pan-American Highway for hours already. It’s the barren and dry desert landscape that we are amazed about.
We are extremely happy when we meet our American friends Leah and Karl shortly before the Peruvian border and we all decide to drive the next few days together through the remote mountains of northern Peru.
A finch jumps across the ground in front of us, almost as happy as we are. The shape of its beak is a little bit different than the beak of the finches we know otherwise. Charles Darwin noticed this many year ago and therefore this sparrow is also called Darwin Finch.
Ecuador! The name says it all, this country is divided by the equator line. It’s not clear why the “Mitad del Mundo”, the middle of the world, is here and not in one of the other countries through which the same line runs.
We just come back from a hike through the valley of Cocora. In the “zona cafetera”, the area of Colombia where most of the coffee comes from, grow also the famous and very tall wax palms.
We are in Panama, marveling at the huge container ships that sail with precision through the narrow canal. However, our feelings at the sight of the immense freighters are mixed…
“Pura Vida” is used in Costa Rica to greet each other, but in this small Central American country, this is not just a phrase, but rather a philosophy and lived reality.
Curve by curve we slowly drive into higher and therefore cooler regions of Costa Rica. We are at lake Arenal, which takes its name from the volcano that sits on its shore. The nights are pleasantly fresh and we can finally sleep again without sweating.
We have been watching the spider monkeys above our heads swinging from branch to branch for a while now. We are in the very north of Costa Rica and stand under a huge tree that is the living room of these little circus artists.