Monthly Archives: August 2015

Costa Rica, Part 2

As I write this, seven months later, Costa Rica seems like a distant memory. These pictures bring a lot back, and hopefully they give you an impression too. In part 1, we left off with us in Manzanillo, a town on the Gulf of Mexico, literally at the end of the road, and not terribly far from Panama.

One of the coolest things we did in Manzanillo was take a 5-hour forest walk in the Gandocca-Manzanillo Reserve with Francisco, an incredibly knowledgeable (and, just as important, patient and friendly) guide. The walk started in Francisco’s yard, with bugs and fruit unfamiliar to us.

Francisco, Zeke, yummy coconut

Francisco, Zeke, yummy coconut

We saw animals: chachalacas, pelicans, toucans, agoutis, sloths, howler monkeys, sucker-footed bats, caymans, eyelash vipers, bullet ants, leaf-cutter ants, padlock turtles; trees: ceiba, strangler fig, forest almond, cedar, guacimal colorado; and flowers: heliconia, tatto fern, mimosa fern, tons more.

Eyelash viper, poisonous but (at this size and distance) also cute.

Eyelash viper, poisonous but (at this size and distance) also cute.

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Ask Zeke what this is.

Walking palm, which can, by putting down new roots and letting go of old ones, move (slowly) from place to place.

Walking palm, which can, by putting down new roots and letting go of old ones, move (slowly) from place to place.

Strangler fig, which puts vines on a host tree, eventually killing it off and standing where the host used to be.

Strangler fig, which puts vines on a host tree, eventually killing it off and standing where the host used to be.

What is this big tree?

What is this big tree?

It was a great reminder that, if you know where to look, there are a hundred stories to be told.

The next day, we took a bus up to Puerto Viejo to see life in the (relatively) big city. I could see PV being fun, but for us the chill-out of Manzanillo was much better. We took a bus back to Punta Uva, found a place to eat lunch, and then walked the coast back home, an adventure since the higher-than-usual waves and water level meant occasional jaunts into the jungle, well-timed dashes across narrow bits of sand, or how-much-deeper-is-this-going-to-get wading bits.

Waiting for a bus in Puerto Viejo.

Waiting for a bus in Puerto Viejo.

A few exciting miles along the coast to get from Punta Uva back to Manzanillo.

A few exciting miles along the coast to get from Punta Uva back to Manzanillo.

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