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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 62
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International Baptist Church

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A hiker going through the Quebrada González will find improvements such as this small bridge and a well-defined trail.

forest close to home
A.M. Costa Rica/Steven Rogeers

This untouched forest is just a short ride from downtown San José
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Less than an hour from San José one the most accessible spots in the national park system allows a short hike through untouched forest. The Quebrada González station is just off the main Braulio Carrillo highway in the park of the same name.

About 45 minutes from the north side of San José, the park station is on the right about five kilometers past the only large bridge on the highway, over the Río Sucio. The bridge is just below a well-known spot where the river loaded with sediment from the north side of the Volcan Irazú joins a clear river. Both watersheds are almost intact.

On the highway, the continental divide is between the toll booth and the short tunnel. Fog can be a problem here usually later in the day.

At the Quebrada González station a trail goes up the creek away from the highway and the noise of the highway is quickly left behind. The trail is a circle 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long through pristine forest. The first several hundred meters are relatively flat before the trail starts up onto a ridge. The last part of the loop is steep steps down and affected by traffic noise.

To keep the hike manageable one can turn around at any point. Once on a ridge top where the trucks can be heard again, most of the nicer part of the walk is behind.

The forest here is an exceptionally wet foothill forest where clouds coming across the humid Caribbean lowlands dumps large volumes of rain. It can rain any time of year here, but during the January-March dry season and earlier in the day are better.

This habitat is home to many species of birds with colorful tanagers well-represented. Unfortunately for the casual and serious birdwatcher alike, the fanciest tend to rove through the forest canopy in mixed flocks that don’t pause much for observation. In the area of the trail, there are usually about three of these flocks which might be located on any given visit.

critter
A.M. Costa Rica/Steven Rogeers
The harmless sock-headed snake (Enulius sclateri), a typical inhabitant of the Caribbean jungles, is one of the critters found in the Quebrada González.

The trail is one of the better places in Costa Rica for species characteristic of this narrow band of wet forest, such as lattice-tailed trogon, yellow-eared toucanet, dull-mantled antbird, black-crowned antpitta, black-headed antthrush, sharpbill, pale-vented thrush, and ashy-throated bush-tanager.

More likely to be seen or at least heard close to the trail are orange-billed sparrow, white-breasted wood-wren, white-ruffed manakin, olive and tawny-crested tanagers (together), common bush-tanager, and black-headed nightingale-thrush. Large animals and snakes are rarely seen.

There is another trail across the highway but the habitat there is secondary as it was cattle pasture when the park was founded in the 1980s.

The entrance fee is $12 for international tourists and 1,000 colons for Costa Ricans and residents. The gate technically opens at 8 a.m. The rangers prefer you park up in front of the station itself.



Malicious spammer targets A.M. Costa Rica advertisers with zip file
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Advertisers and others with email addresses in A.M. Costa Rica have been targeted by a spammer who sent out messages Sunday using the newspaper name.

The messages contained a zip file that most certainly holds a malicious program.

The newspaper has been under attack by spammers for the last three weeks. This is the first time that the spammers targeted advertisers. The email addresses appear to come from ads running in the newspaper.

The email originated at this address: kdunham@new.rr.com. The path of the fake message passes through the Google server and may have come from Coudersport, Pennsylvania, via a Times Warner Internet cable. The real origin is hard to pinpoint because the spammers sent the message through various servers, including one in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The message was designed specifically for A.M. Costa Rica advertisers because it contained the newspaper's street address.

The message said:

"Please see attached for an updated version of the Project sales report, which includes a merits & transaction page. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask."

Although A.M. Costa Rica frequently sends out invoices in a .pdf attachment, it never sends zip files, and editors and other employees do not open zip files, regardless of the source.

Technicians at the A.M. Costa Rica server have said that there is no way to prevent such messages because they are sent from a computer outside the newspaper's email system.

The IP address from which the message was sent shows up on some blacklists.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Del Rey nighlife

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