December 14, 2009

Pura Vida

I looked out the window to the coastline at Puntarena, Costa Rica.  It was a bit of a hazy day - but I was so excited about our Eco Tour that I didn't even care!  We hurried thru breakfast and were all ready with hats, water, and great spirits.  I have read so much about how beautiful Costa Rica is!  As it was a somewhat organized chaos as everyone wanted to be the very 1st to get where they wanted to go.

The first thing our excellent guide told us was "Pura Vida".  He said it was the Costa Rican equivalent of  "don't worry, be happy".  It literally means pure life but don't worry, be happy works for me!

He was a great guide too.  Nice, charming, sweet, and smile - oh boy did he smile!-  I'll bet he smiles when he is sleeping.  We were very pleasantly entertained with many, many, many details of Costa Rican life, economy, education, the rivers, forests, industries, and all about all sorts of things.  He (and I can't remember his name!! so I'll call him Eco) was very well trained in bio-diversity.  I don't know that there is any detail of anything eco related that he wouldn't know the answer too.

The beaches were awesome!  I can't even begin to spout all the information he came up with like - Very often Costa Rica gets confused with Puerto Rico by the tourists.  Computer chips is the main export. The national currency is the colon but any vender, restaurant, hotel, etc will gladly accept the American dollar instead - it holds it's value better (haha)! Crocodiles like brackish water the best.  There are rainforests almost from the seashore of the Atlantic clear to the seashore of the Carribean Sea. 

Can you see the crocodiles in these photos?

We spent the entire morning on the Tarcoles River.  Eco and the boat driver showed us birds, fish, cattle, crocodiles, and everything else that could possibly be shown.  And narrated every detail a person could ever want.  At one point they pulled up close to shore while an adult crocodile came right up to us!  A baby wasn't to terribly far behind - and soon there were several birds hanging around!  Eco explained that while this behavior was not instinctive - it was caused by human intervention.  Many times people would feed the animals so they look for the signs of the boats.  Of course, when the big croc is indulging - smaller pieces float and baby crock gets food too - and the birds pick off anything that floats beyond that.  So I happily recorded the entire event (along with Eco's real name) on the camcorder and just had a great time!  We got back on shore to be served a snack of local fruits - banana, guava, mango, pineapple, and lots of water.  We were definately being well treated by Costa Rica!

After leaving the river, we headed to Carara Biological Reserve for our lunch of gallo pinto chicken, beans, rice, and fruit.  Costa Rican style!  I think maybe they Americanized it a wee bit - but it was an excellent lunch.  After finishing up and resting a bit we headed for the gondolas

We had a different, not quite so entertaining, guide for this portion of our expedetion.  We rode up thru the 'middle' layer of the rainforest as the trees, birds, plants, waterlife, and impacts were outlined.  It was a great experience but, in all honesty, I think our Northwester forests have this rain forest beat hands down in beauty!

After reaching the top of the mountain we rode around the turnstyle and headed back down.  But we didn't really go down very quickly.  The return trip concentrated on the canopy of the rainforest.  We saw a huge bright red Macaw heading somewhere very quickly and many more beautiful sights - complete with live explanations! It was a quite exhilarating day - it was hot, it was humid, but I wouldn't have forgone this experience.  If you get to Costa Rica - it is definately a must do - especially the river portion!  This fellow appeared to say goodbye to the huge group of intruders!

And then it was back to the ship for a 1830 all aboard!  Food, (after all we haven't eaten for an hour!), a short nap, and Monday night football!  And then we find out that it doesn't even start until 2030!  That time change stuff can really mess a person's tv schedule up! Hahaa!!

No comments: