Day 4 Sunday March 20, 2016

Today we went north  to Rio Frio (Cold River, which it is not), for a “wildlife jungle cruise.” Previously, the only ‘Jungle Cruise’ we had ever been on was the one at Disney World. There we spent an hour on line for a five minute ride through a man-made jungle filled with mechanical animals. Here we spent two hours in a boat seeing some of the most magnificent creatures on the planet on both sides of the river!

This bird’s wing was bitten by a caiman.

DSF_0900Early on, we saw a caiman,  a relative of a crocodile. Soon we saw a bird whose wing had been bitten by a caiman. We were told that may people have tried to capture the bird  in order to bring it to the rehab facility, without success. After that we saw a variety of locals  enjoying a dip in the water. We expressed great concern about adults allowing their children to be in the same water as a caiman that was visible to us, but we were assured that there had not been a caiman attack on a human in many years. That may be true, but still…

DSF_0926We “wandered into” Nicaragua, just north of the border.We saw a great variety of birds, as well as monkeys, iguanas and lizards. Then the captain took the boat just past the Costa Rican border into Nicaragua. He said that now we were all illegal aliens!

Our local lunch featured a variety of rice and beans called Rice and Beans with Chicken. We also had fresh papaya and yucca. I was developing a taste for the food! After lunch, Cinthia suggested  that we go to the  supermercado (supermarket) to pick up snacks for the next day’s long bus ride. It was disheartening to see the locals buying three liter bottles of soda and Pringles!

Capuchin monkey, like cappuccino, brown body and white on top.

I tried to find something remotely healthful that would hold up in the heat, and I settled on granola bars. The one I ate was definitely the worst food of the entire trip! Fortunately Dawn had brought along fresh ones from home for us to share.

On the way back to the hotel, Dawn and I compared notes about our hotel rooms. We agreed that although they were gorgeous, there were some features that we would change. I said I’d have liked the room to have a chair. Also, The  door opened inward rather than outward, so we couldn’t keep the drapery closed while we were out.  Dawn had the same negatives on her list. She said, “You are definitely my aunt.”  True, and I’m so grateful that we were able to spend the Costa Rica experience together!

Back at the hotel, we headed immediately for the pools. They included a traditional swimming pool, a fresh water pool, a children’s pool, a jacuzzi, and a hot spring. Except for the children’s pool, we tried them all. Soothing, relaxing, and blissful are the first adjectives that come to mind. Arenal Volcano was visible from the pools.

Among the travelers  in our group were two couples in their eighties, “Ellie” and “Jeff,” and “Gloria” and “Phillip.” Ellie and Jeff  complained about the heat, about the bus,  about phone charges, and about missing Jeopardy. Gloria and Phillip were  lively, energetic, joyful, and great company. Guess which couple we want to emulate!

As soon as we learned that there was an Italian restaurant on the premises of the hotel complex, we made dinner reservations for the four of us. Yes, rice and beans and the other choices were okay, but how could we turn down this opportunity to eat Italian food? The four of us thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing dinner and conversation. David  recalled that the last time we were together, Dawn and I made Risotto Milanese together. We will have to get together more often!

We took about 5600 steps that day. On many days I didn’t keep track.