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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Costa Rica - Part 3


Well, here we are in the middle of the rain forest!! Our guide Hernande comes along at 5:15 a.m. to make sure we are awake for the river tour. First up, we get coffee, we have found that you can NOT get a bad cup of coffee in Costa Rica, they grow excellent coffee here. Of course, you are wired on caffeine for the day.

We head out in a smallish boat, going back and forth along the river, or as they call it, the canal. We saw lots of birds, monkeys and one Caiman (a small crocodilian reptile living in Central and South America).

The shore as we saw it from the boat.

A bird on the shore but the lush vegetation in the background is awesome.

Monkeys swinging in the trees.

More monkeys, they are so high up, we almost missed them.

This bird is like a cormorant and could be one, but I can't remember the name.


The river ahead of us was still as glass.

We returned at 8:00 a.m. for a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, rice and beans, wieners and fresh fruits. There is always fresh fruit at each meal, papaya, pineapple and watermelon. We were quite surprised that we have not seen a banana served at any meal.

At 9:30 we donned our rubber boots and went for a hike through the rain forest. We were very glad that they insisted we wear their rubber boots, as the paths were streams of slippery, mucky mud.

This is one of the trees that you can not tell the age of as it has no rings.

Here is our guide Hernande, explaining to us about the trees, and the hummingbirds.

During our hike we learned some new things. We learned that some trees you can't tell the age of because they have no rings. The reason why they have no rings is that there are no seasons in Costa Rica, just like Belize, they have wet season and dry season and Another thing we learned was that an enormous amount of hummingbirds die of Cirrhosis of the liver. This is caused when people put out sugar water for them and don't clean the feeders every day. On the second day, the sugar starts to ferment and by the third day, the hummingbirds are drinking alcohol. Autopsies that have been done, have shown that they died of liver disease. The second cause of death for them is heart attacks.

Bob's boots after the hike.

After the hike we had lunch and then a 'free' afternoon. We were going to go kayaking, but I chickened out after learning about the crocodiles and caimans on the river. Since then, I have learned that the caiman keep the piranha numbers down. We decided instead to hang around the second pool that is a little ways away from the hub of the lodge. There were three of us, Bob, myself and a new friend named Cathy. We had the pool to ourselves and had a great time swimming, chatting and taking pictures.

While lounging around the pool, Bob got this shot of a Toucan sitting in the top of the palm tree. After a bit, Cathy's husband, Ellis joined us and we had a glass of wine. Then it was time to head back to the cabin to get ready for dinner.

We were a little early for dinner, so stopped in at the pool bar by the restaurant and joined Peter. The special of the day seemed to be margueritas, so we had one each, and then we had another one each. Then Gary told the band we were newlyweds so they played us a very special 'slow' song. It seemed like it went on forever. Then everyone joined in and we did the limbo, and a conga type of dance. It then changed to a huge circle of people taking turns with the maracas, shaking them and doing a little dance, then passing it on to the next person. It was a lot of fun, and after a while the band took a break and the leader came over to us. He told us he had a special wedding present for us. It was one of their cds, and it would only cost us $10.00 US.

After that, dinner was very uneventful and some of us headed back to the bar for more dancing. At one point, Bob and I got up and showed everyone how to "Punta", even though we don't know how. It was a great evening and we were sorry to see it end, but we had to be up early in the morning to catch a plane back to San Jose and carry on to the west coast.

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