Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tortuguero to the End

Our accommodations were at the All Rankin's Lodge. There were plenty of high roller luxury lodges lining the canal around the village- but The Rankin's lodge was just what we were looking for.

Our little cabin just for the two of us.

View from the front porch. I could have spent days sitting, napping, thinking, or reading. Either there or in the hammocks next to the canal. The weather was perfect and the view spectacular. Again we were surrounded by butterflies, birds, water, trees, and flowers. Just on the other side of the last edge of trees was the beach. You could hear it from our porch. I appreciated how quiet and peaceful it was. More in the natural setting for the area rather than the fancy resorts.

I wish I could say I spent more time in that hammock than I did. But the few minutes were cherished.

Hammock, touch of sun, resting, book in lap, someone else preparing dinner- that is one definition of heaven.

The Caribbean- My first time on this ocean. I should make a list of all the oceans/seas I have touched. This is beach you meet just on the other side of the trees.

I could not believe how clear the water was! Look at how badly I need to fix my toenail polish!

This may look like a pointless picture until you learn that this is a turtle nest. These "pits" were all over the beach front. I was in awe of all the turtles they represented.

Those are turtle tracks! The turtles crawl out of the ocean at night, dig a pit and scoop out a precise sized, surprisingly, deep hole where they lay their eggs. Then they throw sand/dirt all over to throw off the scent and crawl back and disappear into the ocean. Want to know something cool? I saw it!!! The land is protected because it is the nesting site of the giant green sea turtle and it is endangered. You have to have a guide and there are no cameras- no exceptions. Saturday night we went out with Willis as our guide and saw the whole thing! I was two feet away from the eggs being dropped. What a miracle to witness! I think my favorite part was watching the turtle disappear back in to the ocean. It is a lot of work for those mothers. I really wanted to see the little turtles scamper from the sand to the ocean but it was not our luck for that. But we got what we came for and that was a lot.

This spider was amazing! I glad it wasn't moving because it might have scared me away. It was ginormous.

Walking to the village we ran into a few locals hunting coconuts. We, of course, had to investigate further.

The boy was a wizard with the machete cutting open the coconuts. The green ones are the ones with the milk. When they are brown and hairy they are ready to be eaten.

Amy had been dying to get her hands on a machete our whole trip- it's amazing what you can get if you just ask. I will say that our little friend was a bit nervous watching her.

Fresh coconut milk! I was hoping to like it better than I did. Not that it is was bad- just not delicious.

This is the Costa Rica dream- or at least mine. I wish I had one day just to fully investigate that scene.

Preparing coconut to eat for the long line of tourist form the resorts. I preferred our coconut experience.

Sunset on the canal. This is where/when the saying "don't take it away from me" was born. As we were walking through the village we reached the outskirts and I heard this noise. My mind couldn't wrap itself around it and I wasn't not able to identify it. So I came up with my own explanation. I said "It sounds like monkeys snoring in the trees." Amy gave me a look like I was crazy and was about to say something contradictory- when I said "I'm on vacation, don't take it away from me, it's monkeys snoring in the trees." It has since become one of my favorite sayings- don't take it away from me. We later discovered the source of the sound when we happened upon the biggest bullfrog I have ever seen.

I really liked how this picture turned out. It is all about the lighting. A slice of Tortuguero, the village, at night. Tortuguero is a really small village. It takes all of 10 minutes, at a stroll, to walk through it. A little longer when you're gawking. Tourism is their main trade and it is home to the scientists who come to study the turtles.

Our stay in Tortuguero was short- one night. I wanted to stay another day and take in the peaceful elements and rest from our labors- it was Sunday. But Amy was anxious to not waste a day and be off to see somewhere else. So we hopped on the "taxi" and started the long ride home.

And I mean long... the boat broke down. We had difficulty getting to this point- and we stayed here for over 2 hours waiting while they went to Moin to get oil. In a way we both got what we wanted. We left which is what Amy wanted- and I got some time to sit, read, play cards and relax on my Sabbath. Granted I would have preferred the hammock but lets just call it a compromise. The three hour trek turned into six.

While we were banked- we had some time to met those who lived nearby. I loved this man. Just look at that face. He cut up coconut for anyone.

But I would be careful to be on his good side...

The local kids were swimming the the canal and enjoying the attention of many stranded travelers.

Eventually the oil came and that got us- well, a little further. Far enough to stop at a hotel/bar along the canal that had road access to get back to Moin. Taxis were called and the next thing we knew we were being shuttled off to Pureto Limon. We actually wished we would have stayed at the hotel by the canal. Looked like a lot of fun there.

Tires are used as boat stops any where at boat might- stop. I loved the way my pictures of the tire turned out. Except, I can't decide which is my favorite- so I included all three.

And... I really liked the hanging bananas we saw everywhere.

Sadly enough there wasn't much more to our trip. Tortuguero was our last big hoorah. Pureto Limon was fun because we made it fun. We sat at the corner window table at the restaurant and flirted with all the guys that walked past. Some circled the block several times to see us- yet again. Pureto Limon isn't the safest place ever. He went out after dark to find someplace to eat and after 1-2 blocks looked at each other and said- maybe the hotel restaurant is the best option. So we made a night of it at the hotel. With Amy's blond hair and blue eyes we stopped traffic everywhere. It was interesting when I got home how I noticed that no one took notice of me anymore. It was kinda nice to at least help in "stopping traffic" and watch guys do a double take when they saw you. I couldn't help but think -it sure would be nice to get a guy's attention that easily in the states. Ah, well.

Monday morning we did a little shopping in Puerto Limon and then headed off to the bus terminal to return to San Jose- sad that our adventure was at an end. I, for sure, was not ready. Still so much I wanted to see and do- and really I did not miss work for a single solitary minute- was not anxious to get back. The bus ride was more entertaining because Amy gave up her seat to this "kid" standing in the aisle falling asleep. We was a chatter box!! He even admitted that he talks a lot. He strained my poor rusty Spanish. But one thing was clear- he (liked everyone else I talked to) thought Amy was beautiful. He told me to tell her- but not until we had gotten off the bus and he was gone. Then he shocked me by giving me a rare Colon. (Costa Rican money) Just because- and he told me to be very careful with it. Oh, and he was cute when we said we wanted to go dancing that night in San Jose. He became very protective. Telling me to be careful and to use my elbows. Apparently San Jose has a reputation...

My bus friend and the Colon he gave me.

Market in town.

Never fear- no need for elbows. We decided to spend the night near the airport, because our flight was so early, instead of in the city. We walked around town a little but didn't find much, no dance clubs, and that night was the worst for me. My cold had gotten so bad that I was coughing and miserable. So we settled for minestrone soup and pizza at the craziest little Italian spot. A gringo with the worst Italian New York accent- whose Spanish was just plain painful to listen to- owned the restaurant. But the food was good.

And then we were gone. The view from the plane- leaving our beautiful Costa Rica behind.


qb said...

Whew! What a ride. Thanks for posting your adventure.

Derek said...

It seems like you have endless pictures from your trip. I am so jealous.

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