Monday, February 11, 2013

Costa Rica Day 4

Saturday February 9

Breakfast. I sat where I was looking towards the buffet and was surprised to see a nativity. I was told that this is a special time when family gets together to celebrate.
After breakfast the bus took us again to the Tirimbina Biological Reserve were we were last night. First we saw the Sarapiquis Archaeological Park. This old dwelling (probably 1500bc) was discovered when the hotel was built.

 Part of it was the graveyard.

 The Petroglyphs were very interesting too.

 I really liked this monkey.
The hotel then was built in the same style as the dwellings would have been.

Butterfly study.
 Then we walked along the Reserve's nature trail.

As our itinerary says, we first cross the nearly 860-foot suspension bridge over the Rió Sarapiquí.

 A look back. Yesterday we went under it in the raft. The water looked much different then. I think they have not released the water yet today.

Nestor explains a lot along the way. Here we talk about what I call the "walking tree" because I can't remember it's name. The tree can in its lifetime move something like 30 feet.  Fascinating.

The passion flower.

Passion fruit.

Right next to it: Hot lips flower. 

Nestor told us that a cousin challenged his brother to climb this tree. The brother was in the hospital for three months.
On the way back.

In the parking lot Zorro our driver spotted these two toucans. Not a good photo but we enjoyed seeing them.

Zorro is unbelievable how he can spot wild life while he is driving. The birdwatchers on our bus are very excited. Here on the ground slightly to the right of the middle.
 When the bird flew off he looks so pretty.
On the way to the next hotel we stop at a supermarket. Tour-leader Nestor divides us into two groups and gives each a shopping list (in Spanish) and sends us out to get it. There was a mini machete next to the plantains because you had to cut each one off the long stalk. 
We also could shop for ourselves.
Nestor also bought some Costa Rica treats he passed around in the bus.

Then we had to stop for a photo opportunity. The famous Arenal volcano.

The last road to our next hotel was something else but worth it. A beautiful place. We were greeted by a little green lizard on the walkway.

The lobby of the Bosques De Chachagua.

Walking up to the rooms.

 Our room.

Towel origami ... I think this is an elephant.

We so enjoyed sitting on our front porch for a little while. Above a panorama picture.

* * * * *

The official OAT itinerary of today:
Day 4
After breakfast today, we visit the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, an innovative education and research center devoted to the preservation of this endangered tropical forest ecosystem. We’ll enjoy a nature walk along the reserve’s woodland trails, where we may spot species like the Montezuma Oropendola bird. During our walk, we’ll cross the nearly 860-foot suspension bridge over the Rió Sarapiquí. Midway across the bridge, the river flows around a natural island, which we explore in search of local wildlife before continuing along the bridge to the river's opposite bank.

We have lunch at our lodge, then depart for our hotel in Chachagua, located on a private rain forest reserve. Along the way, we’ll stop to visit a local market, where we’ll discover some of the unique crafts and fresh produce from Costa Rica’s fertile Alajuela Valley. After arriving at our hotel, we’ll take an orientation walk around its lush grounds.

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