I thought it would be fun to include some pictures from Mom and Dad’s trip to Costa Rica. They traveled with my father’s siblings and their wives. They joined 38 other people on Caravan Tours and had a wonderful time exploring the country (at a very reasonable
price). I’ll hand the computer over to Mom.
The best part about the trip was being together with Bill’s two brothers and their wives. We talked and laughed, played cards, shared childhood stories, and just generally enjoyed each other. This is our third time traveling together. Here we are on our last night. Standing–Steve and Debby; Sitting–Charlie and Debbie, Bill and Cindy.
Coffee is the main export of Costa Rica. We toured a coffee beanery, brought home bags of coffee beans, saw coffee plantations everywhere we drove, and drank many cups of locally grown coffee. Here is a statue of a coffee bean in the capital, San Jose.
We took a hike to the rim of an active volcano, Poas, it was cloudy and foggy but still beautiful.
The vegetation and flowers were amazing throughout the entire country. Everything was lush and blooming.
Bill kept saying, “I know I have this plant in my office–it’s only 6 inches tall.” Something about the Costa Rica rain and warm weather must give them an advantage!
One afternoon our bus stopped at a butterfly farm. The beautiful Morfo butterfly is unique to Costa Rica. When its wings open the color is florescent blue.
The butterflies feed on plantains.
We left San Jose and drove to the east coast, the Caribbean/Atlantic Ocean. We boarded a boat – the only way to get to Tortuguero Rain Forest. It rained hard each night but cleared up in time for us to get on a small boat and cruise the canals, observing wildlife. “Keep your hands inside the boat” – we saw many caiman along the riverbanks.
Spectacled caimans are small relatives of alligators and crocodiles. The body length (not including tail) of a full-grown spectacled caiman is about three and a half feet.
We saw three types of monkeys. The howler monkeys travel in groups of 40 or 50 and make a loud howling call that is very distinctive. We could hear them at 5:30 am every morning – who needs an alarm clock! The white face monkey is smaller and are friendly. They told us to be careful not to leave things out as the monkeys will come up and snatch “treats” for themselves. The spider monkey is even smaller than the other two and harder to see. This reddish monkey is a distinct type of howler monkey whom our guide calls “Blondie.”
We were constantly amazed by the beautiful plant life.
All the plants reach for the sun, so many of them will attach themselves to a tree and climb high. This is an orchid that is growing on the side of a tree.
On our cruise we drove to the edge of the Costa Rican border and viewed Nicaragua from our boat. There is much turmoil between the two countries and we did not go any closer.
We had fun using my mother and daddy’s binoculars from Texas, looking at the many birds found in Costa Rica. They were avid bird watchers – we have a long way to go to catch up to Nana and Grandaddy. In Costa Rica, we wanted to see a scarlet Macaw, but didn’t. We did, however, manage to see toucans, rose spoonbills, anhingas, Pied-billed Grebes, many pelicans, Neotropical Cormorants, Tiger-Herons, and many other exotic birds. Beautiful. Costa Rica has something like 850 different species of birds.
More to follow.