Meet the world’s cutest animals

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, Facebook.

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, Facebook.

By Larissa Ham

Can you fall head over heels at first sight if the object of your affections is considered lazy, dirty and only goes to the toilet once a week?

The answer – clearly written across the charmed faces of our group at the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica – is a most definite YES.

“It’s very easy to fall in love with a sloth,” confirms guide Jeff Rochte, clearly himself smitten with the slow-moving, ever-smiling animals.

Rochte, an American who has lived in Costa Rica for the past nine years, is here to help carry on the legacy started by his grandparents – Alaskan Judy Avey-Arroyo and her late husband, Costa Rican Luis Arroyo.

* Published in Traveller, Fairfax Media. To read the full story, click here.

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Meet the Costa Rican miracle couple

SarahScottiSurf

By Larissa Ham

It’s a wild old day when I meet Australian Sarah Trinler and her Swiss-American husband Scotti in a small surfing town on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The tropical rain is thundering down, and we’re trading shouts to make ourselves heard. The town’s main, dirt road is turning into a sloshy mud bath.

Powerful things seem to happen in this part of the world – surfboards are snapped in two by unforgiving waves, rivers flood, kaleidoscope-coloured sunsets put on a nightly show and crocodiles swim among stand-up paddle boarders.

But last year something completely unexpected struck at the heart of everything the Trinlers – a world-travelling, thrill-seeking couple – loved.

* First published in Fairfax Media on October 13, 2014. Click here to read the full story.