Page 5 of BRWesty Travel Blog Posts

Geo: 9.88667, -85.5722The last 24 hours or so seem to have been devoted to reptiles: snakes, iguanas, lizards. This morning when we woke up there were a couple small crabs in the kitchen. Currently they are sitting in plastic cups on the sink while Mike evaluates their utility as bait. It sounds like they may get a pardon since they are small.I also attended a bird party a little after dawn. I got some nice shots of at least 4 or 5 different birds, including some parrots, and saw a few more. If anyone has IDs for these guys, that would be a big help. In a few minutes we are going to walk down to Samara. We think it's about 5K and includes a river crossing. Mike will probably ferry Alex over, but everyone else ... read more
Flower tree outside of school
Handsome parrot
Alex strikes a pose with his new hat

Geo: 9.74892, -83.7534Some photos of the local flora... read more
Flower beauty shot 1
Hanging lobster claw
Same as red one, but pink

Geo: 9.88092, -85.5698We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise and Alex scampering toward the pool. We spent an hour or two watching the local wildlife and making a fruit salad with mangoes, tiny bananas and the world's best pineapple. After some pool antics we suited up for a walk to the beach.We had an entire cove to ourselves, with the exception of three Tico surfers who stayed well away from us. The waves were just right; not too large, not too small. We bounced around in them for a while. Alex mostly stayed where the waves rushed up on the beach, playing in the sand. After the first initial rush of excitement to be at the beach, Mike took off with the fishing pole he made with a couple pieces of wire and a stick and ... read more
Fishies, take a close-up
Dad's catch

Geo: 9.88092, -85.5698We had more than enough time to get ready in the morning, so we ended up waiting around for a bit for Victor to pick us up. A couple quick "good-to-know" points about Costa Rica: Many places have only cold running water, but they have electric shower heads that will heat some of your water just before it hits you. We've heard them called "Costa Rican Suicide Showers." They are safe if you don't play around with them while they are running. The water is just fine for drinking from the tap. You can use dollars or colones just about anywhere most people don't bother to track exchange rates. For all practical purposes, $20= 10,000 colones. The only time any kind of official exchange rate comes into play is at the ATM (carjero automatico).After ... read more
Infinity Pool
Monkey mom and baby
Josh tries Nestea plunge

Geo: 10.3041, -84.798We woke early so we could make our 7:30 reservation for a guided tour at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. I say "early," but every day is an early rise here. The sun comes up around 4:30. We gathered our rain gear just in case. We've been very lucky with the weather so far, but you are almost guaranteed at least some rain in the cloud forest. Cloud forests get their name from having clouds parked in the forest a good chunk of the time. It makes for interesting microclimates and ecosystems. We met up with our guide and two other people in our group. Steve and Cindy hail from Maryland. Cindy is a biologist for the Smithsonian: we were impressed.The guide was able to answer all of our questions and offer us so ... read more
Hummingbird through binoculars
Costa Rican Turkey
Alex enjoys Chocolate Frio

Geo: 10.3041, -84.798Richard offered last night to walk us around the property today, but he lost interest by morning. So we ended up following some trails he pointed out around the property. One led to a large stream with some good waterfall action. Another took us to an open field that had a plantain tree in the middle of it. We were also able to identify Guyaba trees and some little plants that retract their leaves when they are touched by animals or wind. They are very sensitive and we enjoyed playing around with them. The next trail took us onto either a small farm or a large garden, depending on your perspective. We walked through, around and out and found ourselves back on the road where we had met the small dancing dog two days ... read more
Bird of paradise?
Down by the stream

Geo: 10.3041, -84.798Wow. What a day! This will be a long entry because it was a day jam-packed with activity. We started early because we told Richard, our house caretaker, that we would be ready to go by 7. He offered to take us to a local adventure park called Selvatura ( where he gets a 10% discount. Richard drives a Suzuki that is an adventure experience all its own. It has half its windows, no seatbelts, the gas tank sits inside the passenger compartment and it has to be hot-wired to start. Combine this with six people trundling up a road that looks like it is washed out regularly and you have an unforgettable ride. We found out afterward that Richard's car is actually illegal so he has to be careful not to drive it ... read more
Kate arrives at Selvatura park
Alex on the Zip line
Alex loves the zip line

Geo: 10.3041, -84.798Day Two: The interior of the house isn't especially well insulated, so everyone woke up when Alex started scooting around. He and dad went out on the balcony to check out the morning activity. They soon had a visitor. There is a resident cat. This seems perfectly natural given the large number of free-roaming dogs we saw trotting around the streets on our way to Monteverde. The visitor reached the second floor balcony by jumping up onto the screen on the window next to Mom's bed and scrambling up. This activity rousted mom who needed to find out what mid-sized animal was slamming itself against the side of the house. A monkey would have been more interesting, but the cat is friendly.We had eggs, sausage, bread, coffee and tea here for breakfast, but Mike ... read more
Dad trying on borrowed pants
On the horses in the stableyard
A view from the ridge

Geo: 10.3041, -84.798Two quick, on-the-fly entries from the internet cafe before dinner: An assortment of random notes from the Big Travel Day.Alex's favorite part of the day was arriving at the house in Monteverde. He was struck by the green tiled floor, the spectacular view and the swallow-like birds swooping around the roof.Dad's tongue-in-cheek favorite part of the day was the microwave cheeseburger on the airplane from Houston to San Jose.Josh saw cows with long ears like lop-eared rabbits and dewlaps. They decorated the sides of mountains, roamed in fields and munched weeds in ditches by the side of the road. Usually they were white. Sometimes they were close enough to touch as we drove by, if we had opened the windows and leaned out a bit. Josh heard (herd) his sister making up songs in ... read more
Mountain stream
Farewell and birthday celebration
Kate's birthday cake

North America » United States » Virginia July 10th 2011

Geo: 38.0694, -78.7008After a short night of sleep we decided that we needed a better breakfast than we would find in the cafeteria and we decided to head south down Rte. 16 to Biscuit World. Biscuit World is just the cat's pjs. First off, we followed the cops into the driveway, always a good sign. The staff was smiling and friendly and while you order at the front counter, they bring your biscuits to you at the table. The artwork was an interesting combination of paintings and pictures of period memorabilia. We decided that if there was a theme it was kind of a Tea Party sort of place celebrating traditional "American" ideals with an undercurrent of distrust of authority. Interesting. The biscuits were awesome. Mike ordered two, but he didn't need them. These are meals ... read more

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