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Showing posts from June, 2008

Costa Rica: day 12 - Lapa Rios Night Walk

The night walk was pretty cool. There are simply so many nocturnal creatures in the tropical rain forest that if you only search for them during the day, you are really missing out! We saw lots of bats, some of them quite large. We hiked to a man-made fish pond in which we found a snake on a leaf, a tadpole of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, a HUGE bullfrog, and some other frogs. A Masked Tree Frog . Another. My eagle eyes (Nick will love that!) spotted a bird sleeping in a tree, which, I must say, is a very neat thing to see, that I hadn't seen before. We hiked along a road. Here you can see the bats quickly fly by you. Then we hiked along part of the Carbonera River. We could faintly see the Greater Fishing Bats that swoop down and catch fish in the water. Their wingspan must have been at least a foot. (See excellent National Geographic video of a fishing bat in Belize.) We saw a huge gecko on the generator building (you can't really see how huge he is in the picture) an

Costa Rica: day 12 - Lapa Rios Flora & Fauna

I woke around dawn but went back to sleep. I got up after 6. We enjoyed our lovely morning coffee on our deck. Then for breakfast we had the famous panqueques Lapa Rios . Nick had his con frutas tropicales ; I had banano y granola . The Lapa Rios staff are so amazing also. When you go to breakfast they come in and clean the place. When you go out for dinner, they come in and prepare the place for night. They put the "day" pillows away for you and leave the goodnight note. The story of Lapa Rios is really neat and inspiring. They are a model in ecotourism and sustainability . Apparently no - or maybe one? - trees were cut down in the construction of the bungalows. On the observation deck by the restaurant. I also noticed some interesting epiphytes . Particularly one that had a pattern of embossed dots, running in two parallel lines. Termite mound. As always, the walk back provided us with plenty of critters to see. Lizards, a spider, a lone bat roosting in the hut

Costa Rica: day 11 - Lapa Rios Lunch, Surf, & Dinner

After the hike, we had the juice of the day: guanábana - yummy, and the chip of the day: yucca - good. This guy wasn't on the menu, just curious... Another postcard view, on our walk back to the bungalow... * * * We washed up and had lunch: casado with tuna (below) and yuccassoise (the yucca version of French potato leek soup). Fruit for dessert. While having lunch, we saw a green snake with a blue tongue slither across the deck. We paged through a book on Costa Rican animals before going back to our bungalow to change for Nick's surf lesson. * * * The lesson was with Oldemar " Pollo " of Tres Peces Surf School at Pan Dulce at 3:30. We were told it's a 15 minute walk; however, just as we were leaving, the Lapa Rios truck that was departing backed up and asked us if we needed a ride. The family from Dallas we flew in with was also heading out for the surf lesson. This was a good thing, as I don't think we would have found the spot on the

Costa Rica: day 11 - Lapa Rios Osa Trail

Lapa Rios is more than a luxury ecolodge on the Osa Peninsula. It is a 1,000 acre, private, nature reserve, protecting Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rain forest. The reserve is mostly primary rain forest, meaning it has remained relatively untouched by human activity. * * * At 8:15 we hiked the Osa Trail, which, again, brought the Tropical Nature book to life. (There are sign-up sheets at the front desk where you sign up for the activities you want to do; they are all an additional charge.) Jason was our guide. One other guy also did this trail with us. He was the director for Sansa airlines in Panama, on assignment to figure out why people choose Nature Air over Sansa Airlines for their Puerto Jiménez flights. The hike was great. Very interesting... We saw the Sangrillo Colorado - a massive tree, found only in the Lapa Rios Reserve (not sure which picture this is). There were the "loco leaves" that move all crazy-like while the leaves around