Monday, May 14, 2012

Costa Rica - Day 7

We slept in a bit today and didn't get out for our pre-breakfast walk until 6:30AM (Yup, that's us sleeping in on vacation).  Once again we hiked up the main road and had good luck. We saw all 4 monkey species as well as coati, agouti, trogon and some Great Curassow.

Looks like housekeeping came early today

Female Great Curassow
Female Curassow

As we were enjoying our T and G for breakfast, Philip ambled up to our table and plunked something down right in the middle of the table.  At first I thought it was some sort of paperweight, but then I quickly realized that it was a snake all curled up.  Obviously, Philip knows us well enough to know that this was a fantastic breakfast treat and not something that would startle us.  I doubt he would do the same thing with all the guests.  The snake was an Orange-banded Snail Eater and it is the first that Phillip has seen in 11 years at BdC so it was quite a treat for everyone.  Naturally, we took lots of pictures and even some video of it.

Image this getting plunked down on your breakfast table
Orange-banded Snail Eater

Orange-banded Snail Eater

Orange-banded Snail Eater

After breakfast, we decided to do the Zapatero Trail for the first time.  The peccaries we saw yesterday were heading in the direction of this trail and other guests had seen peccaries on this trail.  So needless to say, the goal of this hike was to find some peccaries since we only got a small taste of them yesterday.  Well, our goal was realized early on.  In fact, we saw 3 different groups of peccaries on this hike.  First we saw a pair, then we saw at least 8 including some babies, and finally we had 3 more towards the end of the trail.  This was by far our all time best peccary hike in terms of numbers, but these pesky wild pigs are just so hard to photograph so I came away with no 'keeper' shots of any of them.  We did encounter some nice critters and a few mosquitoes (which were not bad at all the entire trip) and of course lots of sweat since the ocean breeze never seems to penetrate this deep in the jungle.

Doesn't this Whiptail know that he is on the wrong sign?
Four-Striped Ameiva and Cabina Sign

Pug-nosed Anole

The main road was once again the objective after lunch.  This is our 4th trip to BdC and never before did was have such good luck on the main road.  Of course another reason for hiking the main road was because we could wear our normal hiking shoes and not rubber boots which gave the feet a well needed break.  Once again, the main road did not disappoint since we saw 3 types of monkeys including a close troop of Spider Monkeys

Spder Monkeys Messing Around

Golden-hooded Tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager

Before dinner we relaxed on our deck and were treated to an aerial ballet by the local Brown Pelicans.  Another squall was brewing and the wind was whipping around pretty good so watching these big birds gracefully navigate through the wind was a real treat.  After a while, the wind became too much for even them and they started to land in the trees in front of us.  Many of them had to do a "touch and go" as they came in to land and didn't quite time it right.  But, a few did manage to roost for the night in front of our cabina.

The rain started soon after and didn't let up all night so we gave up on the idea of a night walk and instead opted for some cocktails and conversation with the other guests. Once again this trip we met so many great people with like interests.  Sharing stories at the bar before dinner with new friends is definitely a highlight of stays at BdC.

Finally, here is a picture of the toad that came to our deck each night.  I recently read a review on Tripadvisor from folks that stayed in Pizote last December and they mentioned a nightly toad visitor.  So, it seems like this one is a creature of habit.

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