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Thursday, December 23, 2010

HIKING IN HUMIDITY

 Yesterday, Wed, we decided to have a light breakfast, then go for a hike on the property here. We walked down to the end of their property to the river, which was partly downhill in the mud, but we all made it without slipping or falling, so we thought it a great success. I'm not sure how far it is in miles...like probably not more than 1or 1.5, but it felt like much more, especially given the hunidity and the uphill walk on the way back.
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We really didn't see much of interest, other than leaf-cutter ants, which are huge and carry large pieces of plants which they then chew and make into an edible fungus. There are zillions of ants in Costa Rica and we saw many.  We did give them the right-of-way.  Here they're carrying flower pedals...you can't see the ants since what they're carrying is bigger than they are!
We've seen more interesting animals just by sitting around the pool or walking up the few steps to where the car is. They have white-faced monkeys who visit at least once a day to steal bananas while their horses roam (well, they're often in the stables, but if Bob and Bea are not home before they all get into the stables, they roam—which was a problem when they waltzed their way through their downstairs garage area yesterday and ate 6 mangoes, leaving gooey mango drops all over the floor). Toucans abound here too and they're interesting and noisy.
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  We rewarded ourselves after the hike:

And enjoyed a beautiful sunset:
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We ventured out for dinner to a local place which was on the water, so we made sure to get there for sunset.  The food was so-so--we're pretty spoiled.  I had tuna, which actually was good.
costa rica2 059The drinks were the best however.
So today we decided to venture into Hacienda Baru reserve for a hike, which is only about 4 miles from here. We figured they'd have some interesting birds and animals we haven't seen, so we were looking forward to the walk. We chose to do the $6 per person rather than the $35 one which included a hike up a tower for a view with an optional zipline. Instead, we walked through the reserve to the ocean, which took about an hour, but saw no animals and hardly even birds. Oh, we did see cutter ants again....
We walked back the way we came, which was all we could do, but then got to the divided path and decided to walk a ways into where the signs said we could see monkeys, coatis and caiman, which are like small crocodiles. We saw some coatis when we first started on the path, so we had high hopes, but after another 45 -60 minutes, we had only seen more f'ing cutter ants, so we turned around and headed back. By then, my feet were so done! But I did forget to mention the best thing we saw at Baru...fortunately, just before our walk, Matthew asked someone who works there about sloths, and he pointed one out way up in a tree in the front parking lot near our car. I also liked the butterfly farm they have there, which was before the long walk.
We decided to stop at the fruit stand on our way back to the house where we had coatis come up to us within a few feet to see if we had food.  We could have just stayed there all day and been entertained!   


beggar!
Matthew wants to drive 1.5 hours to another reserve tomorrow. Originally, he tried to sell us on a tour that starts there at 8, which means leaving here around 6:30 am and ends at 4:30. it does sound interesting since they take you on a boat ride in the mangroves, then to the reserve where no motorized vehicles are allowed. But after today, I don't think I can handle that long a day on my feet. He's now hoping we'll drive there and walk into the reserve instead of taking the tour. I haven't committed....but it's doubtful. I know for a fact I will not be wearing my hiking boots again on this trip.
We returned to the house after shopping for food and relaxed by the pool. The sky was overcast, and it didn't feel that hot, but we did have a beautiful sunset. We stayed in for dinner—Matthew grilled the other half of the beef we'd bought, Greg made 'smooshed' potatoes and sauteed mushrooms, and Connie made a salad. You guessed it...I stayed out of the kitchen till cleanup time.
The connection for Internet is weird for this computer—Bob says others haven't had problems and have actually conducted business online when staying here, so I have no idea what's going on. I can get onto aol, but not comcast. It does work better in the morning. Last night I spent hours trying to get my comcast to work....and it never did.  So no pictures right now....I'm sure you're dying to see the half dozen I took of the sunset.
Ah morning...couldn't sleep past 6 today, so now the computer is cooperating and I can add pictures and even read comcast. 
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