We began returning eastward. Our bus took us through cattle ranches, which we found fascinating. At home, all the cattle are of the same breed, while here, many different breeds of cattle graze together. On this very hot day, they were seeking shade under a tree rather than grazing.
Our next activity was a Jungle Safari Cruise on the Tarcoles River. It’s amazing how different our two river cruises were. This one featured crocodiles, lots and lots of crocodiles, birds, lots and lots of birds, but fortunately, no wading humans! If you love birds, this is the place to see them! The species we saw were: magnificent frigatebird, anhinga, wood stork, roseate spoonbill, yellow crowned night heron, little blue heron, great egret, green heron, great blue heron, tricolored heron, cattle egret, bare throated tiger heron, northern jacana, whimbrel, turkey vulture, willet, spotted sandpiper, black vulture, mangrove black hawk, mangrove swallow, green kingfisher, great kiskadee, turquoise browed motmot, great tailed grackle, barn swallow, and white ibis. Only I and the the two children in our group (the best behaved children I have ever met!) actually kept track.
Onward we went to the San Bada Hotel, which is adjacent to Manuel Antonio National Park. The views and the sounds from the windows of the upper floors of the hotel are spectacular. The hotel is set among trees that house many varieties of birds as well as several species of monkeys. Many of our fellow tourists saw and heard them from their windows. Unfortunately for us, our room was on the first floor, from which we had a view of the air conditioning condensers and the sound of them buzzing.
We were advised to meet on the 6th floor of the hotel for a Happy Hour at 4:30 PM. In addition to the bar and the pool, the 6th floor featured a very long window with many chairs facing outward for guests to observe the sunset.
The night was not completely clear, but nevertheless, the sunset was worth waiting for. Only one member of our group managed to fit in a swim, a shower, and a change of clothes before enjoying cocktails and the sunset, and that was our octogenarian friend, Gloria.
We were advised to use insect repellant, because mosquitoes can come out at dusk. Having heard about Zika virus before we left home, we definitely followed that advice. Only two of our fellow travelers, both men, were bitten.