Saturday, February 23, 2013

Costa Rica Day 12

Sunday February 17

Bags out at 6:45 am
Breakfast at 7
Leaving at 8


But when we wait for everybody to assemble we take one last look at the scarlet macaw pair. 

My cropped version from the picture above actually turned out pretty well.

We are not going far but Zorro sees a road side hawk sitting on the power-lines.

Soon we arrive at a place where we board a small boat to cruise on the Rio Tarcoles, famous for the crocodiles and lots of other wildlife.
We were given a pamphlet with lots of numbered pictures of birds on one side and the list with their names on the reversed side. Nestor points out the wildlife all around us and we can circle what we have seen. That is really great.
 And there is lots to see.

Two pairs of scarlet macaws flying across.

It is beautiful and peaceful.

The mangrove swallows are flitting all around the boat and are very difficult to capture with the camera.

The above picture cropped. The little birds are so cute.

I must admit that the crocs don't particularly interest me. Obviously they are not interested in us either.
Amazing what you all see running around when you look patiently enough.

Most creatures blend into their surroundings just incredibly well.

 Yes, this must be the grandfather of all.

And then we are back at the dock.
William, did you see the crocodile? I am so glad that your grandparents kept me safe. Didn't want to be his dinner.
 Of course there was a gift shop and (good) facilities.
And we continue our drive back to San Jose. But first we had to cross the bridge where two days earlier Zorro was stopped by a policeman and accused of having stopped on the bridge which is not allowed.  Even though he had 16 witnesses that he had slowed down but not stopped, the policeman was quite nasty and gave him a ticket. Police feel almighty in CR and quite often are corrupt.

We stop for lunch which is not included so we have to make our own selection.

James and I share a "olla de carne" which is basically an un-assembled stew, a very typical meal. Quite honestly I like my stew better. This way it is definitely not spoon-ready.

The servers are very nice and patient with us non-Spanish speakers. It's body language because they didn't speak English either.

After driving a while we stop again to see a wood working shop. First we admire this flowering tree in the parking lot.

There was a sign saying "Tabebuie Rosea, pink trumpet tree" but I don't think that this was it. It looked more like a flowering cherry blossom.

We did see lots of the tabebuie which can be pink or yellow and like lots of other things here is quite medicinal.
This is rosewood which is stored to age. We were told that it can 8 to 12 years to season the different kinds of wood.
We were shown what they make

 ... and how they make it.
 The polishing machines.
There were lots of carved statues around. These two were for the purpose of photographing. Got to have fun.
 Look at this handsome fellow.

We had been given visitor stickers at the beginning of the tour. At the end I added mine to the coconuts as others had done before.
Above the view from our room in the Tryp Sabana Hotel in San Jose. We have a little time to relax and then it is off to our farewell dinner in a nice restaurant in the old city center.

An aperitif. How much do you want? 1 finger, 2  or 3?

On the long bus rides I tatted these hearts, one for each person/couple in our tour group. I think everybody liked theirs. I had borrowed a tray to pass them around. It was empty in no time.

I had promised to share where you can find the pattern: HERE

5 of this group are leaving tomorrow morning but 9 plus the guide will continue. At this point we were not sure who our guide would be which was odd. Nestor is a very good guide and we wanted to keep him. Well, good news later because it was going to be him.

* * * * *
The official OAT itinerary of today:

Day 12

Today, we board a small boat and drift down the Río Tárcoles, a partially tidal estuary that forms a border of the park, and Costa Rica’s largest habitat for crocodiles. Our naturalist Trip Leader will give us an introduction to these “prehistoric” animals, which can be up to 20 feet long, and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for them as the river carries us along. The mangrove forest of the Río Tárcoles is also home to many other creatures, and the birdwatching here is among the best in the country. Scarlet Macaws are sometimes seen here flying overhead in pairs, and we may also spot egrets, osprey, Frigate Birds, Roseate Spoonbills, and White Ibis during our journey.

Then, we depart for our return trip to San José, enjoying lunch on our own en route, then stopping again in the afternoon to visit local artisans at a wood shop and a leather-working factory to learn more about Costa Rican handcrafts. In the evening, we’ll say adios to our Trip Leader and traveling companions over a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant in San José.

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