Playful Costa Rica - Sarapiqui, Sunday 2016 November 13


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Published: October 19th 2017
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(3:50 p.m.) I am sitting in a traditional rocking chair on the wide balcony of my room facing a drenching downpour accentuated by noise of water bombarding the roof and the garden plants. About ten metres from my balcony in the middle of the small lake on the edge of the garden is a medium-sized tree where lots of birds have gathered to wait out the storm. Some are fairly large black birds, some Turkey vultures and some cattle egrets. The tree is not at all protective, but since they all are perched on its outermost and barest branches, I presume they feel safe from predators there.

Our journey to the Sueno Azul (Blue Dream) Hacienda began with leaving Tortuguero Evergreen Resort on the boats, going down the river and the canal. The torrents of rain yesterday remarkably changed the trip. Rather than our former gentle meander up still waters, this morning we raced at speed through roiling waters. The banks were covered up to the grassy banks, almost no sand bars were exposed. Of course sand bars and broken trees were still under the water, but most of the time the boatman confidently dodged from side to side. The boats sometimes slowed
Banana flowerBanana flowerBanana flower

Tiny fruit forming under the petal
to avoid causing wake for other boats, and a few times our boatman stopped to show us a couple of Caiman and Iguanas.

At the end of the ride, we piled back into the vehicle and bumped along the rutted dirt road. Ollie stopped at the banana plantation with the road crossing to give us a good look and to show us the banana flower. I had seen them before and thoroughly enjoyed banana flower salad in Vietnam, but I had no idea how the bananas actually formed from the flower. He demonstrated on a flower that was twelve or fourteen inches long by carefully lifting the first and second petals. Under both of the thick mauve petals was a hand of bananas, each banana still only a bit thicker than a pencil.

Later, he pointed out Hearts of Palm palms, relatively short, probably shorter than an adult person. We ate Hearts of Palm for lunch in salad. Again, our lunch was at the Evergreen Restaurant, run by the Lodge where we stayed, and the home of the sloth, which had moved over to the Kapok tree. The gift shop was run by a glass artist, and I watched him
GlassblowerGlassblowerGlassblower

The only way to "touch" a Poisonous Red Dart frog
delicately make a thumb-sized frog, which I recognized as the Red Poisonous Dart Frog. At three for US$20, I bought that frog, a Red Eyed Tree Frog and a sloth pendant.

Some hours later, to get to our off-the-beaten-track hotel, we crossed two hanging bridges. Both were desperately narrow, barely room for the vehicle and the two teenage boys who didn’t care to wait. Both bridges crossed deep cuts in the land, with tumbling clear rivers far below. The second bridge was obviously more recently built and led to the Hotel’s extensive property. We were warmly greeted with a refreshing strawberry drink. Our rooms were in long cabins. The beds were four-poster and constructed from thick peeled logs. To my great satisfaction, there iswasa coffee maker that has provided me much relief with a pot of green tea.

(4:30 p.m.) The egrets have massed on the distant dripping tree, flying in flocks, possibly because dusk is falling. The other birds are holding their places, although annoyed squawking can be heard. Just watching the graceful flocks come down the stream to land together has been like sitting in a marvellous artwork.

A quick conversation with Ollie revealed that the black birds are cormorants and that the egrets fly every evening from the fields to this particular tree.

In spite of the rain, I walked a ways to the swimming pool. Since nothing dries in this humid climate, I didn’t cover up, and the rain dotting my skin felt just as weird as I thought it would. Shortly after I began swimming around the pool, lightning and thunder sparked quite close and loud. Not wanting to have my vacation shortened, I gave up and walked back under a covered walkway. As a nice substitute, I dressed and went to the bar overlooking the swimming pool and the gardens. This time I tried Bavarian Dark beer – tasty and not heavy.

Dinner: squash soup, fish with rice and beans, plantain and salad – a combination known as “Casado” (meaning married person) - accompanied by wide ranging table conversation.


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Canal boatCanal boat
Canal boat

Tourist boat (tiny) being past by a speeding local boat
CaimanCaiman
Caiman

Oh for a little sun!
Croton hedgeCroton hedge
Croton hedge

My favourite house plant!
Banana conveyor systemBanana conveyor system
Banana conveyor system

Ingenious, labour saving and effective
Banana haltBanana halt
Banana halt

The cars wait for bananas here!
I love the clouds!I love the clouds!
I love the clouds!

Ollie was astounded at me.
Suspension bridgeSuspension bridge
Suspension bridge

Suspenseful entrance to our hotel (pun intended)
Hotel Sueno AzulHotel Sueno Azul
Hotel Sueno Azul

Great room, even better balcony
CormorantsCormorants
Cormorants

Evening gathering
Birds in rainBirds in rain
Birds in rain

Do they care?


21st October 2017
Caiman

Costa Rica
Thanks for this interesting description of your time in CostaRica!
21st October 2017

Sarapiqui
We also stopped in Sarapiqui, our first night out from San Jose on our 1-week trip. We had no rain in the rain forest, but did experience the heat and humidity. Thank heavens for ceiling fans! What a delight it must have been to watch cormorants and egrets coming in to roost for the night.
28th October 2017

Birds flocking
The evening congregation of the birds was a highlight of my trip.

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