Costa Rica: N P & T F

Day 8 - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Monteverde Cloud Forest; Overland to Manuel Antonio National Park; View Crocodiles on Río Tarcoles

Mother Nature woke us both up early with a touch of stomach concerns. As we took our bags out and talked to others in our group, we found that several of our companions had been very sick during the night.

One woman even had to be taken to a clinic and was treated for dehydration early this morning. Eddie was the star - he was up most of the night taking care and making sure everyone was OK. We felt very fortunate that we were just bitten lightly by this bug.

Our bags were out at 7:00 and we left the Monteverde Cloud Forest at 8:30. Our first stop was in town to get a few medications at the local pharmacy. Eddie’s home remedy for an upset stomach was a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, and a couple inches of water.

After leaving the dreaded narrow bumpy dirt roads of Monteverde, we headed south to the Pacific coast. Eddie caught us up on our daily Spanish lessons with particular phrases used in Costa Rica. We had a long driving day so he also began the topic of the Costa Rican Social Security System.

We made another stop at Restaurant El Sol in Gucimal to use the restrooms and to have a cool drink. After Samy had a break from driving, we were back on the highway and learned more about pensions, medical care, and abortion laws.

At the Tarcoles River, bordering the Carara Biological Reserve, Samy pulled over and let us out to walk over the bridge. Eddie explained the reason the huge crocodiles congregate here in this brackish water to bask in the sun. The majority of crocs were female, but one alpha male was supervising his harem.

Samy drove across the bridge and picked us up again on the other side of the river. Our lunch was at the Jungle Crocodile Safari. After being in the cool cloud forest and a morning of air-conditioning on the bus, the heat and humidity hit us as we walked down to the river.

The temperature was 85°, the humidity was 76%, and the heat stress index was 95. Did we mention our friends in Colorado are in the midst of a good old-fashioned blizzard with temperatures below 10° and almost a foot of snow?

Lunch was over at 1:15 and we continued to drive south. Samy and Eddie spotted a flock of scarlet macaws eating almonds in the top of a tree. What a discovery!

We all got out of the bus and Eddie set up his scope so we had a great view of these magnificent birds. About seven birds were eating and squawking and did not seem to mind the fact that we were all taking pictures and filming their every move.

We were able to stay there as long as everyone had a chance to see them in the scope and take all of the photos they wanted. Eddie and Samy are wonderful about making time in our schedule for these spontaneous discoveries.

Our next stop was in the town of Tarcoles to visit the Maravillas Artist’s Center. We met a self-taught wood carver, Arnoldo, who worked with a set of very simple tools, to produce the most beautiful works of art.

He often works with cedar, but today he was working on a Manger Scene and using beautiful rosewood. The shop had other Costa Rican souvenirs, t-shirts, and wood products.

Arriving in Quepos in at 4:00, Eddie gave us the schedule for the morning and our day at Manuel Antonio National Park. He also suggested several places for dinner and offered taxi service to the best seafood place in town.

We had plenty of time to look over our photos and to start the journal before dinner at 6:30. Taking advantage of being on the coast and in seafood paradise we went with Eddie and Samy to Luna Mar for an outstanding dinner.

Internet is only available in the bar and in the reception area of our hotel so after dinner we hiked up to the bar to check our mail and post the journal. We organized our gear for our trek in the park in the morning and then fell into bed – another beautiful day in paradise!

Accommodations: Casita Eclipse - Meals: B & L

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You may want to adopt Eddie and bring him home with you. Sounds like the perfect guide/nurse. I suspect that pint of tequila you had before bedtime probably did a lot to settle your stomach. Now the Doc? She was just too sweet for much activity. Up to 45 degrees yesterday and a little warmer today. Blessings.

David Barrett   December 21, 2012 - 1:57pm
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Magical Scarlet Macaws Eating Almonds, Tarcoles, Costa Rica

Magical Scarlet Macaws Eating Almonds, Tarcoles, Costa Rica (0:47)

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Eddie Talking to Our Group

Eddie Talking to Our Group

Tarcoles River Crocodiles

Tarcoles River Crocodiles

Scarlet Macaws

Scarlet Macaws

Macaws in Flight

Macaws in Flight

Master Wood Carver

Master Wood Carver

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