Costa Rica, Day Four: August 18, 2014

Palo Verde National Park.

Awake at 1:00 am to use newly restored iPad hotspot to do church work.

Up with the sun and hiked up the 4 flights of stairs to wait for the bus to pick up up at 7:00 am. We saw lots more damage from rocks falling in the night.

filadeflfiaWe rode for a couple hours until we reached the small town of Filadelfia. We waited outside the park for quite a while for 2 women and a young baby. They would accompany us for the rest of the trip.

On the way to our main event, we passed several soccer games and a LOT of sugar fields. We passed El Viejo Mill (Azucarera El Viejo, S.A), a Costa Rican company dedicated to growing sugar cane and sugar production. The company annually produces 50 thousand tons of sugar in the forms of raw, white, and special; by the industrial processing of half a million tonnes of cane grown by over 500 farmers in the Tempisque Basin. The sugar here in Costa Rica goes mainly to the Coca-Cola Company and for producing energy. I was very surprised that there was no rum production like in Barbados and other sugar-growing countries.

After many dirt roads, we stopped at the Palo Verde Restaurant and had juices and coffee while we waited for others to arrive. Since we were going to Palo Verde, I assumed (you know what they say about assuming!) we were close to beginning our trip. Well, no. Back on the busses. More narrow dirt roads.

Finally, we got to the Temique River and into our small boat. One of the women getting in commented to Michael that she had sat behind him in the plane from New York. Small world.

bats2Right off the bat (no pun intended!) we saw these weird little bats. They line up on a tree and pretend to be a snake, even moving slightly to simulate a snake writhing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

monkeyWe saw lots of white-faced capuchin monkeys – several came right inside the boat. The Capuchin monkey is named after the order of Capuchin friars – the cowls of these friars closely resemble the monkey’s head coloration. I’ll bet those friars are happy to hear this!

 

 

 

jclizardAlso, we saw Jesus Christ lizards, so nicknamed for their ability to run on water at an average speed of 8.4 km/h (or 5.2 mph), for about 10 to 20 meters.

We saw lots and lots of iguanas of various colors, in the trees, on the ground.

 

 

 

 

crocodileWe also saw something that looked like a hawk but were told it was a black vulture. We also saw blue heron, egrets, and of course, crocodiles. The crocks saw we were there and slowly circled our boat.

In the photos below, the guide is showing us a huge grasshopper with red underwings.

After our boat tour, we went back to the Palo Verde Restaurant for what is called a “tipical meal”. We had Casados (black beans and rice) with chicken, beef, salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. Casado, the name referring to the eternal “marriage” of the beans and rice.

A l-o-n-g bus ride and we were home again, ready to rest up for the next day!

My pictures:

 

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Costa Rica, Day Two: August 16, 2014

I woke up about 7:00 with a dream of my mother telling me if I didn’t wake up soon, I’d miss pickup Michael at the airport. Uh, no – he’s arriving at 1:00 PM.

I went out on the terrace to see if the internet connection was any better. No. I rebooted the router and modem. Didn’t help. Rebooted the computer. Also didn’t work. We decided to call for help. The telephone message said “Invalid Account”. Tom wanted to call the front desk using his phone and we decided it would cost way too much since it would be the same as calling from our house, an international call.

Our list of things that don’t work, or we think they should have, grows longer. There are lots of candles, but no matches. We WILL carry on, though.

I took some pictures now that it’s daylight, mostly of the rock that envelops half of our apartment, and possibly is blocking out our internet. Lots of little lizards running around on our front rocks and dirt.

We went to the front desk area and met Brian who heard our long “to-do” list. He claims that the internet is down for some sort of repair all over the area. While we were there, the internet came on for a few moments.

From there, we drove to the airport to pick up Michael. He was the first one out of Customs/Immigration! Headed home and got some lunch at “our” place. After short naps, Tom went back down and the offices were closed so we couldn’t sign up for tours tomorrow. Michael is only here tomorrow and Monday so we need to get some plans going.

It was a slow kind of afternoon and we decided to go back to the pizza place for dinner since they had been so helpful the night before. On the way, we got stuck in our elevator AGAIN. Tom tried calling the number in the elevator but no one answered. Finally it moved. We vowed to never take the elevator again, at least unless someone was on the outside to push the button from there.

The power went out but only momentarily. We need to get matches for those candles!

Since there was no internet, I decided to download some fun apps to play and re-download one which shows the stars.

Michael and I were playing games which meant I missed the notices that said I’d used 40% of my Global Data, 25%…5%… Poof!

 

Falling Into the “Do-It-Later” Syndrome

I am getting so lazy, just sitting around and reading.  I did finish that book from the last post, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.  I have started book #4, Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry.  I have a special bond with the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series because I first discovered it here at The Crane lending library about 9 years ago.

I haven’t taken many pictures these last few days since there’s not much happening.  I did take these of the coming rain…

I think that this day, Tuesday, was the day or the earthquake in the DC area.  Sounded pretty scary.

The rains let up in the afternoon and we went swimming.  That’s the great thing about rain here – it rains for a few minutes, the sun comes out and everything dries up again.  Just like The Itsy Bitsy Spider:

 

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

 

I took this picture of the little lizard trying to hide on the louvres in the bathroom:

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Not much else of interest.  This morning we had a meeting with some of The Crane staff, then off to Cutters for breakfast, Emerald City for more groceries then back to my chair for reading.

Cutters

It’s so relaxing here.  We’ve been here just under a week but it seems like nearly forever…

 

Mary

Falling Into the “Do-It-Later” Syndrome

I am getting so lazy, just sitting around and reading. I did finish that book from the last post, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel. I have started book #4, Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry. I have a special bond with the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series because I first discovered it here at The Crane lending library about 9 years ago.

I haven’t taken many pictures these last few days since there’s not much happening. I did take these of the coming rain…

I think that this day, Tuesday, was the day or the earthquake in the DC area.  Sounded pretty scary.

The rains let up in the afternoon and we went swimming.  That’s the great thing about rain here – it rains for a few minutes, the sun comes out and everything dries up again.  Just like The Itsy Bitsy Spider:

 

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

I took this picture of the little lizard trying to hide on the louvres in the bathroom:

Img_0901

Not much else of interest.  This morning we had a meeting with some of The Crane staff, then off to Cutters for breakfast, Emerald City for more groceries then back to my chair for reading.

Cutters

It’s so relaxing here.  We’ve been here just under a week but it seems like nearly forever…

Mary

I’m Already Falling Behind

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Watch on Posterous

… And falling literally but more of that in a bit.

Here it is Tuesday and I’m already falling behind.

Sunday, Tom got back from his meeting about 11 or so. Within 5 minutes some storm out to sea blew in a lot of rain at such an angle that it flooded about half the living room floor.

After getting that cleaned up we headed over to Emerald City to do our first grocery shopping of the trip. On Sundays they close at 2:00 so we wanted to be fast about that.

I had decided to get some nail polish but they were out of most colors. Only blue, yellow and green were left. I considered doing 1/2 blue and 1/2 yellow as a form of Cushie solidarity or something but decided against that. I got the blue. Looking at my hands now I’m hoping I don’t get rushed to the hospital. They might think I have cyanosis…

In addition to other stuff we got tutti fruitti milk and salt bread. I think I could live on a diet of just those 2 items for quite some time. I’m uploading a picture of salt bread. It’s more what we would call rolls, not salty at all but d that to distinguish it from sweet bread. It also has a sliver of coconut leaf on the top.

The rest of the day was uneventful. We went swimming about dusk and into the huge open air jacuzzi. We decided to have dinner by the pool at the Carriage House.

——

Monday morning I woke up early and went outside to take sunrise pictures. I also got a little video and some starling and lizard pictures while I was at it.

We got some more rain but not as bad as Sunday. I guess it’s Hurricane Irene out there we can see something out to sea but only the weather channel can identify some of these storms.

I was closing up the bedroom doors and slipped and fell. I hurt my hip pretty bad on the floor and my shoulder on the edge of the TV cabinet.

I spent most of the rest of the day not moving too much and so I finished book #1, Requiem for a Gypsy by Michael Genelin. Ive read all his books so far. I started the series because it takes place mostly in Slovakia and our son had spent a summer there teaching English so I feel a connection, however tenuous.

I started (and finished) book #2, Death by Honeymoon which I got because it was cheap and because the main action takes place here in Barbados.

I started reading book #3, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. I’ve read several in that series and will probably complete it before long.

Dinner at home while watching American Ninja Warriors.

Life is good!

 

I’m Already Falling Behind

… And falling literally but more of that in a bit.

Here it is Tuesday and I’m already falling behind.

Sunday, Tom got back from his meeting about 11 or so. Within 5 minutes some storm out to sea blew in a lot of rain at such an angle that it flooded about half the living room floor.

After getting that cleaned up we headed over to Emerald City to do our first grocery shopping of the trip. On Sundays they close at 2:00 so we wanted to be fast about that.

I had decided to get some nail polish but they were out of most colors. Only blue, yellow and green were left. I considered doing 1/2 blue and 1/2 yellow as a form of Cushie solidarity or something but decided against that. I got the blue. Looking at my hands now I’m hoping I don’t get rushed to the hospital. They might think I have cyanosis…

In addition to other stuff we got tutti fruitti milk and salt bread. I think I could live on a diet of just those 2 items for quite some time. I’m uploading a picture of salt bread. It’s more what we would call rolls, not salty at all but d that to distinguish it from sweet bread. It also has a sliver of coconut leaf on the top.

The rest of the day was uneventful. We went swimming about dusk and into the huge open air jacuzzi. We decided to have dinner by the pool at the Carriage House.

——

Monday morning I woke up early and went outside to take sunrise pictures. I also got a little video and some starling and lizard pictures while I was at it.

We got some more rain but not as bad as Sunday. I guess it’s Hurricane Irene out there we can see something out to sea but only the weather channel can identify some of these storms.

I was closing up the bedroom doors and slipped and fell. I hurt my hip pretty bad on the floor and my shoulder on the edge of the TV cabinet.

I spent most of the rest of the day not moving too much and so I finished book #1, Requiem for a Gypsy by Michael Genelin. Ive read all his books so far. I started the series because it takes place mostly in Slovakia and our son had spent a summer there teaching English so I feel a connection, however tenuous.

I started (and finished) book #2, Death by Honeymoon which I got because it was cheap and because the main action takes place here in Barbados.

I started reading book #3, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. I’ve read several in that series and will probably complete it before long.

Dinner at home while watching American Ninja Warriors.

Life is good!