Sunday, February 10, 2013

Costa Rica Day 3

Friday February 8

We had a good nights sleep and woke up without an alarm. This morning will be at leisure. I forgo the 6:20 am nature walk but James goes to meet Nestor and whoever from the group.

On the way to breakfast from our room. We are in the rainforest area and it shows! Lovely!

Rice and beans, of course ... at every meal.

After breakfast a quick check of email. But the internet is a challenge for patience. You can do only the most necessary things.

Then we take a stroll around the hotel grounds.

You can't see it in the photo but we are so happy that we see a lizard in the middle of the leaves.

I cropped the photo but you probably still can't see it. It was bright green and about a foot long. Then it quickly went up a tree ... and blended in perfectly there. If I am not mistaken, this is the one they call the Jesus lizard because it can walk on water.

There is also a butterfly house.
The butterflies are being fed. They all looked brown to me here but when they are flying they are bright blue. First I thought there were two kinds but no. I could not catch a good photo with there blue side because they never sit down open so I took a video and you can see how fast they were flitting about.
Of course we had to walk down to the river so James could see how the water was.

Then all boarded the bus and we went on the white water rafting adventure. You have no idea how nervous I was ... but determent. First we had lunch at that place though. With view of the Sarapiquis River we had lots of entertainment by hummingbirds and butterflies and other birds while waiting for the food. It was included and we had a choice of three different dishes.

Can you see the hummingbird in the middle close to the upper edge?

Here is the cropped part. So much fun.

Oh yes, here is the proof. I did it. We were told not to bring our cameras, even if they were waterproof, because you can't take photos and paddle.

Our guide was Miguel. I think he was very good. He spoke excellent English. I could understand him very well. Of course the commandos are easy: forward, backwards, stop, lean in!
The itinerary had changed from morning to afternoon because the upper power-station had starting to release water at 10 am and it takes two hours for it to arrive. Well, it was definitely there in my opinion. It was rated with 2s and 3s (whatever that means).
 Of course these photos were taken by a "paparazzi" and you could purchase them.
No photos of our break halfway through. While we were at the shore the guides went into the woods and came back with two different poisones frogs. These ones were not deadly but can give you a very bad rash. We were told if you kiss them you don't need botox treatment on your lips. They were quite tiny, bright colors and very cute.
One was the blue-jeans poison-dart frog.
At the halfway mark those who wanted could also go into the river and float ... which of course James did. But I got totally wet even without going in, ha-ha

I must say that I really enjoyed it but my heart rate definitely went up. I wonder what my children think about their mother? About time?

After this we were brought back to the lunch place were our cloths were in lockers and we could change again.

Back to the hotel.

After dinner at the hotel we went out again to a nature study center which is part of a hotel nearby.
We had a lecture about bats which was very interesting.
Don't worry I can't repeat everything but here he had a skeleton of a bat encased for us to see that they are related to primates.

They catch the bats to study in the evening and then release them quickly again.
We were shown three different kinds.

We were shown the wings ... so delicate.

The lecturers were so enthusiastic. I like things like this.

* * * * *
The official OAT itinerary for today:

Day 3

Arise early this morning to discover Tirimbina’s abundant birdlife on a daybreak nature walk, if you wish. After breakfast at our lodge, we'll enjoy a little leisure time.

We'll regroup and drive to the nearby Río Sarapiquí. Flowing into the San Juan River and the Lake of Nicaragua, the Sarapiquí is one of several rivers that run down from Costa Rica’s mountainous central highlands, the Cordillera Central. The surrounding land varies in altitude from 112 to 9,500 feet, which is a big reason so many migratory birds congregate in the region—more than 300 species of them at last count. Here you have a choice: rafting on Class I-II rapids of the Sarapiquí, or searching for rare flora and fauna with your expert naturalist Trip Leader during a walk along its banks.

Costa Rica is a destination for rafters from around the world, and we surveyed several of its rivers before selecting the Sarapiquí for the quality of its rapids, which are sporty enough to be fun, but mild enough to be enjoyed by first-timers. Those who opt to raft will get a complete introduction to river safety from our professional boatmen, before we board the raft and enjoy the ride while witnessing the diverse wildlife—including green iguanas, monkeys, and sloths—that dwells along the riverside.

For those who prefer not to raft, our Trip Leader leads a nature walk through the jungle and pasturelands that surround the Sarapiquí, during which we’ll have the opportunity to spot some of the region’s more elusive animal species, and to view the rich flora of this verdant environment up close. Both the river rafting and the nature walk last about two hours, after which the two groups come together for lunch at a local restaurant, where we can relax in the mid-day sun and compare notes about our morning's discoveries.

After a lunch together, you can choose to join us for an optional visit to a local, organic pineapple finca. On this excursion, we’ll enjoy an in-depth look at the finca's fields and facilities, learn about pineapple cultivation techniques throughout history, discover how the Sarapiqui region’s fertile, volcanic soil nurtures these tropical plants, and enjoy a taste of the "Fruit of Kings."

Tonight, after dinner at our hotel, we enjoy a presentation on Costa Rica’s bats. We’ll learn all about these unique flying mammals, which represent more than 50% of the country's mammal population, and have the chance to acquaint ourselves with some live specimens, captured humanely by the research center’s nets in the evening and then released back into the wild.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! And so wild that it is hard to believe that it is so close to the US!