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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 1

Yesterday seems so long ago. We were in Virginia at 4 in the morning waiting for a cab.

The plane trip to Atlanta was uneventful but I had started having panic attacks the night before so a bit of Xanax helped.

On the next flight to Costa Rica, the Xanax had fully kicked in and I was asleep before takeoff. When I woke up, I thought we were landing.

Tom and I were seated across the aisle from one another which was ok but the woman to my left kept trying to talk to the man to tom’s right so I switched places with the man.

The young woman in the window seat made several bathroom runs. On the last one my tomato juice managed to spill on my white pants. Fast thinking from Tom got me some club soda and all was well. When the young woman got back I had the window seat,Tom was in the middle and she was on the aisle.

We got into San Juan and got our rental car. 2 others who were on Kirkland had bad luck with their car they had something smaller and it cost way more than ours so they were pretty unhappy. They were actually coming to the same place we are but a day later.

Thank goodness we got the GPS. We never would have found the place without it. We passed lots hikers in the road headed to San Juan. Turns out they were pilgrims headed to the cathedral for a very special holy day.

We got here and I posted last night’s balcony pictures.

Unpacked and had some wonderful food sent in for dinner. It was so good, chicken and rice, I could have it every day!

Today we went out for the orientation to see what was here. We had coffee and a fantastic juice mix of pineapple, banana, mango, guava and watermelon.

The person telling us about the place said there was an iguana here named Pancho who liked to hang out by the pool and sometimes swim. He recognized cameras and would pose nicely…but would chase you if you didn’t give him a tip of food. He likes hibiscus, especially.

A raccoon came by during the talk also.

We stayed in that same area for a nice breakfast. I had more of that juice mix.

Off for a shuttle to Quepos for groceries. I’m glad we took that. We never would have found the store. Thank goodness there were pictures on most of the products. My Spanish isn’t that great.

On the way back I took pictures of the “Oh, My God” bridge. It lives up to it’s name. Fortunately that’s being replaced.

Back home and to the pool. Then a long call to the states to clear up a little mess I’ll post about tomorrow when I have more energy.

Dinner at the place we got the takeout from. This time a Latin American grilled pork and pineapple. That restaurant is run by the same people who did breakfast. Just a different location.

No rum punch here so I’m trying lime ice tea and lime vodka. Not bad but I don’t think it will be a hit anywhere.

Bedtime soon. Hopefully tomorrow is more relaxing!

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