November 5, 2008: Back at the Sanctuary

I was a bit anxious all morning regarding the boat ride. The water looked rough…stormy. I loaded up on my natural homeopathic anti-puke meds. We met Mike at 9:00 and discovered there were 9 other people coming along. Too bad for us who thought we would get a private tour, but yah for him, who surely could use the extra $$. While waiting outside his building, we heard Howler Monkeys! He told us where they were – just up the driveway behind the new towers that were under construction. We had been here all this time, and I didn’t even know the monkeys hung out there! Supposedly if you rev your engine, the Alpha male howls – the Alpha is the monkey with the biggest kahunas. We saw at least 10 monkeys and a few were transporting babies on their backs. Oh the joy! I took lots of photos, of course.At San Juanillo beach: Mike, Paul and Ann (2 Reps), their adult son, Charles and his girlfriend, Laurie. She had lived in San Francisco. Laurel and Rick from the other night, Dawn, Miller and their 3-year old, Momo. Jose the turtle seeker and a boat captain. We were a motley crew. We rode the Phoenix after taking the little boat (Spoiled) out from the dock. Laura, Rick and I were the near chummers. I actually hung in there the best, I think. I held out. It was tough.Yes, we saw several Olive Ridleys gals swimming about. They were looking for mates and several of them scored. Choppy choppy was the water. Motion sickness simply sucks. Part of this experience was too distressing for me to share, so I’ll leave it at that.

As the only boat out there, our situation became problematic when we blew a fuse. The captain had to mickey rig it to work. I was hoping that part would go faster so we could get back to shore. I tried to relieve my mind of the current sense of raucous nauseousness by thinking about the 2 pirate ships lost in those waters and what I would do with the treasures.

Olive Ridley Watching

SO happy to be back on land! I could tell Scott was disappointed too. Not just about spending all that money but by the unnatural way in which we saw some of those turtles. I learned interesting things about mating turtles and saw some of those beautiful creatures swimming about and doing their thing in the absence of our human hands. Not worth the 150$$ however. Lesson learned. In the future, I would rather not see nature if it depends on an unnatural engagement. We have lucked out so many times while traveling. We just have to trust that we’ll see that which we are intended to see…naturally. Back on the sand, I went shelling with Dawn and got me some awesome shells. She was quite cool to hang with.

The best cultural experience of the day happened while searching for the orange-chinned Parakeet. We saw two flying around this morning and discovered they steal termite nests (Mike told us that). There are massive nests in the tress. These are made from termites. Supposedly, the termites rip to pieces (you can see the lines) trees surrounding their nests yet the tree housing the nest remains untouched. How interesting is that? They destroy their surrounding environment yet leave their home intact. Sounds a little human-like in behavior.In search of Wild Loras: Mike told us to turn right after the bridge, find a little bar, and ask for the Loras (?).

The bar was a rough, outdoor place with about 8 stools and bottle caps strewn all over the ground. Orion would’ve had a hayday here with his bottlecap collection. The bartender had a lazy eye or was drunk. No English. He was very slow. He got some man who also spoke no English, yet he didn’t hesitate to hold down a conversation with us. Well, must have been a miscommunication. He walked us next door to his home and showed us 2 beautiful Parrots. One yellow…and in a cage. The other green and hanging outside. Both resided in a backyard farm housing chickens and a lot of poo. There was a woman and child and another man eating lunch. They seemed relatively undisturbed by our intrusion. He had a beautiful green parakeet that we surmise, by piecing together a word here and there, came from the empty termite nest in the tree on the ‘road’ outside their house. It, too, was caged, yet he took her out and she hung on my arm for a while. As much as I don’t appreciate the captive animal part of that experience, it was quite intersting to hang at a private residence of complete strangers. Meanwhile, Scott fell in love with a beautiful puppy that willingly nestled in his arms. Sweet. Still…no wild Loras.We left, walked back over to the bar all the while talking with Eduardo and having no idea what he was saying. His other dog almost bit my hand.Sat at the bar and felt oblicgated to support the owner. We purchased 2 beers for 1400 Colones. That’s about a buck each. It wasn’t even noon yet…yikes.

Julia Butterfly

Julia Butterfly

The bartender – not your typical. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist and eventually turned on the tele to watch his Tico stories (soaps). This place felt like it was almost in the jungle. Beautiful mango trees abounded, lots of interesting bird sounds and some beautiful new butterflies. One was (what I think to be) the Julia Butterfly, which was quite orange. I know this because I bought a butterfly and bird guide while on the Peninsula Oso.We drank a few sips of our beers, and I left him a tip equal to the tab. Off we were back home and still no pictures of wild parakeets. We did, however, pass these adorable children hanging out with their dog. I asked, “Puedo tu photo por favor?”. They seemed delighted to have theri picture taken. Soon another little one joined them to have her photo taken as well (it’s a bit too blurry to put on this blog). Got home. Showered, ate some Papas.

712_too cute for words

It poured this afternoon. It rains here in the rainforest…even though this place (Sanctuary) seems less like the rainforest then anywhere we’ve been so far. We passed numerous ranches on the way here – contributors to the deforestation, surely. Fortunately, our pantry was well stocked. Scott and I stopped off at the Mega Super in Santa Cruz and another store on the way to Azucar. We’re set with cervesas, Papas, Juice, Leche de Soya and a few other essentials. Sadly, I left my mustard at Sugar Beach Hotel where Scott left his toothbrush…ew.I walked into the office this evening and Fabio said, “Where have you been?” As if he wasn’t able to start dinner, because of my absence. We had a nice talk while I was waiting for the computer. It was very slow loading, so there was lots of time to talk. We were talking about the turtles – the turtle eggs. He told me how they sell turtle eggs by the truckload. Mike (yesterday) told us the reserve lets villagers take the eggs that don’t have a black dot (meaning there is no turtle inside). This supposedly appeases the villagers and their cultural beliefs. Supposedly, they become more protective of the eggs from poachers with this strategy. Anyway, my discussion with Fabio led to veganism. He was curious about it and asked a lot of questions.

Our Sanctuary Home

Lazy night. Scott and I just got some salsa at the restaurant. We already had chips, so we hung out. Passed out at 9:30 from exhaustion. The last picture is of our ‘hotel room’ at the Sanctuary. Yes, it’s a townhouse. Pretty damn nice!

If you’d like to follow all the Costa Rican posts, click click click away and enjoy!

Post #1:  The first days of our Costa Rican Honeymoon here
Post #2::  Little Grape Big Grape here
Post #3:  First Monkey Sighting here
Post #4:  Spazztacular Sunset here
Post #5:  Looking at Lava with my Lovah here
Post #6:  The Sanctuary here
Post #7: More of the Sanctuary here
Post #8:  Playa Pan de Azucar here
Post #9:  Yes We CAN!  here
This is Post #10:  Back at the Sanctuary here
Post #11:  Adios Sanctuary!  here

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