Costa Rica, Tom’s Pictures

Costa Rica, Day 7 and Home

Early, early wake up time.  We have to be at the airport by 5:00 am so we were up at 4:00 am.  We got things we had taken out repacked – mostly electronics we wanted charged.

Checking out, we were able to get free “breakfast to go” bags that included cereal bars, juice, bananas and muffins.  Pretty good.

The Holiday Inn had a 24/7 shuttle so we got on that within 5 minutes.  It was only about 8 minutes to the airport.  It was a good thing we were there early because the line to pay the departure tax was pretty long.  Luckily, we had gotten a porter to move our bags because he was very helpful in showing us where to go for the departure tax and how to fill out the forms – then where to check in.

We got through security in plenty of time and I got a few pictures of the mountains outside the departure gate.

I ate the banana and the muffin.  I should have had the juice since it was confiscated in a final security just before getting on the plane.  The bottle was all sealed up but they took it anyway.  Oh, well.

I was very happy on the plane.  They showed the movie Water For Elephants.  I had read (and shared with everyone) this book several years ago.  I was glad to be able to watch the movie but it did cut into my naptime.

We arrived in Atlanta on time and went through the whole Customs/Immigration ordeal.It wasn’t as bad as some places we have been through.  All our luggage arrived and that’s a good thing!

We stopped for a real meal at T.G.I.Fridays, then on to our gate.  We were there about 30 minutes, then the gate changed so we dragged our stuff up the hall to the new gate.  Boarding was pretty easy, then we taxied out for takeoff.

Then, we stopped.  The pilot said that there were storms in the DC area so we couldn’t land there.  He figured that the storm was colser to Reagan airport and those flights were probably diverted to Dulles (our airport) and Baltimore.  Whatever.

We sat, with the engines off, on the field.  No engines, no A/C.  They passed out ice water and told us to close the window shades to keep it “cooler”.  Right.

Finally, we were able to take off.  Although I could see that we passed through some thunder storms, the flight was fairly smooth.

Into Dulles, got one suitcase.  The big one is nowhere. Finally, that showed up and we got a taxi for home.  Then off to get our dog ant the trip was over.

There will be more pictures later from Tom’s camera plus the ones we took with the waterproof carmera in the Rainmaker rainforest.

Fairwell to

Costarica

Thanks for reading!

Costa Rica, Day 4B

We ended going out to breakfast here at Pueblo Real and I took the pictures of the flowers afterwards.

After exchanging our reservations since Michael can’t join us, we ended up going to Rainmaker Rain Forest. That’s a privately owned rain forest down a long gravel road.

On that road I took the picture of the cow/bull or whatever it was with the huge buffalo hump.

True to it’s name, it was pouring when we got to rainmaker. We decided to go inside anyway.

Because it was raining, we had to take most of our pictures with a waterproof camera, old-style that will need to be developed before uploading.

There was lots of climbing, suspension bridges, slippery places, rain. What fun!

I was pretty ok until we saw the red band around the tree that meant a worker had spotted a snake in it that morning. I don’t know if the snake has to move the band when he moves.

Tom went very quickly by the tree and didn’t see the snake. I looked into the tree and did see it. With the help of Wikipedia and google I identified it as a green vine snake when we got back. It’s venom was “serious cut not lethal” to humans.

After I saw him, what little adrenaline I have got depleted very fast and I had some trouble finishing the walk. This was the day (of course!) that I didn’t bring any extra cortisone.

Finally got home and took the cortef and Tom went back out for gas.

After he got back we got phone calls from our Thrifty friends who were off somewhere, in the rain, getting dark out…with a flat tire. Tom gave them phone numbers of the office here, Thrifty and others. He was thinking of trying to find them but they somehow got help from someone closer to the scene.

We went out to dinner and major rains, thunder and lightning. This is an open-ish restaurant so we had rain blowing in…and a crab wandered through.

Finally, we figured it was time to go and the ice restaurant folks lent us an umbrella.

Time to head to bed. Out early tomorrow for a sail/snorkel/lunch trip.

This is not my video but it’s a good one of where we were today.

Costa Rica, Day 3

This was the day we went to Manuel Antonio National Park. I’m only going to post some of the pictures from here and the rest later, depending on the connection.

Our shuttle picked us up at 7 and included the couple we met at the Thrifty on Sunday and the couple we met here for the Quepos grocery run.

At the park we got our guide, Andre, met up with us. He had a super high-powered telescope on a tripod so we could see lots of things would never have seen, especially on our own. Without Andre we probably would have seen nothing!

All of the pictures in a circular frame were taken through the telescope. We saw 2-toed and 3-toed sloths. Their differences were not just in the numbers of toes but several other things such what they ate. We also saw baby bats sleeping, several types of tree frogs, insects, frog larvae.

The frog larvae was interesting. I have 2 pictures. It looked like a gelatinous mass with lots of eyes…which moved. Eventually, the sac will fall off the leaf and into the water below. Those eyes will become tadpoles for a bit, then frogs.

We heard before we saw the howler monkeys. They were very noisy! Eventually one threw a tree branch down toward us, then a bit of monkey poop.

The monkeys are, of course, free to go wherever they want and some were getting killed in the roads. Or they would use the power cables as highways. Not a good idea! The people installed blue cables for them at the routes they normally took. The monkeys can see the blue, use those highways and stay safe.

We also saw another type of monkey, lizards and more.

After this part was over, we forded a stream and had a great fruit snack along with soursop drink. Mmmmmmm. On this trip I’ve had more fruit than a long time.

We went and sat on the beach for a bit, then back “home”.

After naps, there was a barbecue near the pool, then early bed.

Costa Rica, Day 2B (or not 2B…)

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After Tom’s conference call we went back by the pool for a bit until the thunder started and we decided to head home. On the way back we signed up for a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park (description below) which will happen tomorrow. So all our days are now filled with activities. I’ll need a vacation day when I get home to recover…

Tom took the picture of me today on our balcony. Which reminds me: they told us yesterday if we were on the first floor to be sure to lock our back patio doors because the raccoons had figured out how to open them to get food. Glad we’re on the second/top floor.

I was looking at some receipts. The money here is the colones, about 500 to $1.00. Our ATM receipt showed that we’re millionaires, just not in US currency.

The temperature at home was 104. Here, near the equator, it’s 78. Very strange.

Getting up in less than 6 hours for Manuel Antonio. Night, all!

Manuel Antonio…

With the establishment of ManuelAntonio National Park in 1972, the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas in the world. Although it is the country’s smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled.

Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. This beaches are the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forest, and the snorkeling is excellent too. The forest is home for sloths, iguanas, the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys and millions of colorful little crabs. And the trail that winds around Punta Catedral affords some spectacular views. The park is easy to reach, south of the town of Quepos, and is near a good selection of hotels and restaurants.

Visiting the park, one is treated to an abundant diversity of wildlife. Cathedral Point, with its forest topped cliffs was once an island, but is now connected to the coast by a thin strip of island. This land bridge now forms the spine separating the parks two most popular beaches, Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio.

The southern facing beach, Playa Manuel Antonio, is a picturesque half mile long, white sand crescent bisecting deep green foliage to one side and a private, secluded cove to the other.

Standing with your feet dug into the sand and watching the wave crash against the rocks on either side of the lagoon, it is easy to believe that you are a thousand miles from anywhere.