Saturday, February 16, 2013

Costa Rica Day 7

Tuesday February 12

Walking back to the room after breakfast. The volcano Arenal is so good-looking. Nestor keeps telling us that it is unusual to have such good view. And ... you can see the steam escaping on the top.
A video here!

More info   about the volcano here.

The lobby/reception.
So much to see. Flowers, sometimes cute (ornamental baby pineapple) and sometimes just so beautiful.
Well, and off we are. We do a lot of driving today ... all the way  to the north to Los Chiles.
But of course we stop. Here is a fork in the road where there are huge trees next to a river and next to a bridge. Hundreds of iguanas!


Yes, and the restaurant is named for this place.
The next stop is a potty stop .. and we see the first rain. Oh how it comes down!

And then we board a boat for a ride on the Rio Frio with the promise of lots of wildlife. Here we just left the dock (?).
... in anticipation.

And not far, just across on the other side of the river, our first sighting: bats.

They are very little ... on the right trunk from top to bottom all lined up in a row.

The long-nosed bat 

Nestor shows us a picture of them (top of the page).

And underneath that tree an emerald basilisk (which is also called the Jesus lizard because he can walk on water).

Here I have to give a disclaimer: We saw a lot of things but neither my sony camera or my iphone5 are good enough to take pictures to really show all the incredible things we saw. I kept telling myself that I just have to commit it to memory.
I was amazed though how the captain of the boat and Nestor spotted even the tiniest birds.

We saw several anhinga.

Little blue heron.

More anhinga ... back

... and front.

Ha, first I didn't see anything here.
But then I saw the white-throated capuchin monkey.

More of the long-nosed bats.
James even sat there when it drizzled.
Howler monkeys.
The boat-billed heron (smack in the middle of the picture).
Oh, and how excited Nestor got here. A little down from the center of this picture (looking like a vertical stick): the common potoo = not seen very often.

And now it got really exciting because here is the great potoo, a very rare sighting. See the dead tree branch in the middle? On top sitting very still with the beak open never moving ... until an insect is close enough, just like his common cousin.

Number 5 in Nestor's book! (and #4 is the common potoo)

Besides rain, we saw also:
2 kinds of kingfishers
crested caracara
green heron
flying storks

(fellow travelers: feel free to add in a comment if I forgot something)

And then we were at the border to Nicaragua.
So, James and I can actually say that we were in Nicaragua, if only (very) briefly on the water.

And then the time was up. It had been great.

We drove to the place were we had stopped and the rain had started for lunch.

Then another stop at the iguana place again. This time some of us had an ice cream. I had this: pitahaya = dragon fruit

So purple!

After a while we came to the place of the potter's uncle. The potter could not be at the place where he would have met us days before because he had to go and find his clay. So he had agreed to meet us at his uncle's place. He explained a lot to us and it was all VERY interesting. Besides making a living making these beautiful vessels he also tries very hard to preserve the culture of his people, the Chorotega Indians.
His name is Johnny Sanchez Grijelba
He had learned from his mother who had learned from her mother.
If you are interested, I could not resist making videos because it was so interesting:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

Video 6

This is the piece we bought. He signs every piece on the bottom.
Dinner at our hotel.

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

Day 7

Early this morning, we can elect to join a nature walk led by our Trip Leader on the trails that surround our hotel. We have breakfast together afterward, then travel to the Río Frío, where we board a small boat to explore this complex inland waterway. We’ll likely see wading birds—like Northern Jacanas and Wood Storks—as well as many turtles and butterflies during our cruise. Keep your binoculars and camera ready—we might be lucky enough spot larger animals, like the spider or Howler Monkeys, sloths, and caimans that live by the river.

We enjoy lunch while on the river today. After our cruise, we head to La Fortuna, where we enjoy a little time for independent exploration in this picturesque town. Then, we return to our hotel, where the balance of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner is at the hotel tonight.

1 comment:

  1. I was waiting for the monkeys! They are my favorites, in spite of their bad press!