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Published: February 7th 2018
For today’s adventure we did the quintessential Costa Rica thing and took a 2 hour walk in the cloud forest on a series of suspended bridges. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. We had an extremely knowledgeable guide, Jorge, and the walk through the cloud forest was spectacular. We encountered a bunch of army ants on our trail that Jorge told us to run past quickly (you know, for safety). We saw a few birds, a tree that creaks and many a beautiful view. There were ferns the size of elephant ears - it was like something out of Jurassic Park (I’m pretty sure I saw a velociraptor lurking in there somewhere). We learned a lot - tons of info about the local flora (like which plants we could eat), that the things Tarzan would swing on are roots, not vines ), how dangerous army ants can be (see pick up and run strategy noted above) and that “Jorge” is the 7th most popular boy’s name in Costa Rica. All invaluable information.
At one point we passed another group going in the opposite direction and their guide told ours where some critters could be found. Lo and behold,
a few meters away we came across a hole with a wee tarantula! We all got to shine the flashlight and take a gander at his awkwardly placed hind quarters. Even a tarantula’s butt looks scary. Then another 100 meters or so further, there was another tarantula hole with a HUGE specimen lurking inside. Not satisfied with more photos of arachnid hindquarters, our guide decided to poke the critter with a stick until she reared up into battle mode. It did make for great pics, though. We also learned that tarantulas are practically blind and can live to be 30 years old. Still don’t think anyone should voluntarily provoke one (unless it is for a cool photo op - obviously).
We had hoped to catch a glimpse of a sloth, but none were about. Our guide told us that because sloths are so sedentary, their coats are full of bugs and fungus. Probably terrible cuddlers. Despite keeping our eyes peeled for howler monkeys, they were also elusive which may have been a good thing because they are apparently notorious poo-flingers and people haters.
After that resplendent excursion and a lovely lunch looking out over the mountains, we hopped
in the car for another slow slog to our next destination: Arenal.
T drove again over some slow and rough roads, but overall they were in better condition than the roads we drove in. It took us 4 hours to drive 132 km. I shizzle you not. Now, we did stop twice for photos of the magnificent lake Arenal with the Arenal volcano in the background AND again to snap some photos of a group of adorable coatis, but only for about 5 minutes each time.
The nature lodge where we are staying is a little bit further away from the main attractions than I thought it would be, but our bungalow has a jungle view AND there is apparently a resident sloth in one of the trees on a trail not far from us. Thumbs up for proximity to nature and critters.
Next up: Canadian soup and other delicacies
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