02/11/2015 32 °C
Day 9 Feb 11,2015
Sleep seems to be an ‘optional activity’ on this tour. No roosters but traffic which is surprisingly loud since we’re in cabins in a jungle setting. So awake at 5 a.m., up at 6:30 a.m. for a simple but deliciosu breakfast of homemade bread, eggs, and fresh fruit for both us and the resident birds.
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is a small riverside community located in the northeastern corner of Costa Rica, less than 20 miles south of the Nicaraguan border. The town lies at the base of the Cordillera Central Mountain Range and is quickly becoming a popular eco-tourism destination for both wildlife enthusiasts and thrill-seekers including white water kayakers and rafters on the near by rivers.
4 of us from the group went rafting with an additional tourista joining us and 4 guides. It was a lot of fun flying thru rough rapids, getting wet head to foot, bumping and twisting down the river. We also got to jump off an cliff and float for a while during our break. The highlight of the trip for Fred was when he got to use the white water kayak. He admits he’s not as good as he thought saw some of the river upside down.
Gail opted for the less adventurus choice going to La Selva, a 3900 acre ecological reseach statioin that gets over 13 feet of rain a year! Fortunately it wasn’t raining ( the guide said they have a rainy season and a less rainy season) so we went for a walk and saw iguanas, sloths (who knew there were so many sloths), howler monkeys (ditto), a variety of birds, and peccary (think pot bellied pig crossed with tapir).
The afternoon’s word was ‘Toucans”. Having been skunked on 2 previous vacations, Toucans were a goal of this trip. The owner of our accommodations is an avid birder He loaded us in the van and off we went off the paved road and up into the foothills where he has an area where he rehabilitates wildlife. Alex was focused on birds and could pick a small bird out of a wall of vegetation. First sighting was Toucans (not a popular bird amongst birders as they eat other birds). We were delighted but he figured we wanted to see the Fruit Loops variety so off we went through the jungle with instructions not to touch any vegetation and to watch out for the man-eating ants. Alex, the guide, was one of the more interesting aspects of this hike. After we saw hummers, cocoa plants, non-gmo pineables, bright blue birds, parrots and yes, Fruit loops style toucans, we headed back to our lodgings.