This morning we arrived in Costa Rica which literally translates to rich coast. Today's tour, the mangrove eco tour, was to meet at 6:15 am which meant that we had to get up at 5:30. Wow, was that early for us. Good news is that we gained an hour overnight, so it was only 6:30 to us. We went by the Lido deck to grab a quick bite and then off on our tour. Somehow we managed to get on a small bus with only 20 or so people. The weather this morning was cloudy, humid, and in the upper 70s. We wore layers since we're going into the rainforest, and you never know what you might get. Our tour guide Alfonzo provided us a lot of background on our way up the mountain. Costa Rica gained it's independence from Spain in 1821 and since then has prospered due to it's thriving fruit, melon, coffee, and cashew industries. However, their largest industry is microchips, thanks to Intel. We traveled quite some distance, including 15 km on gravel roads. We saw some unusual trees including the mimosa, which has fruit before it flowers, and the peeling tree, which has green photosynthesizing bark. Just before arriving at the river, we pulled over as we spotted several scarlet macaws. I know we've seen them in the zoo, but seeing them out in their natural habitat is something entirely different. They are stunning. We soon arrived and boarded a type of pontoon boat that was designed for 50+ passengers, so we had lots of room to jump up for photo ops. The overall scenery was gorgeous. It wasn't long until Mom spotted a crocodile in the water who was having breakfast. I happened to catch a sot of him as he enjoyed a catfish!
Further down we saw blue herons, kingfishers, ospreys, snowy egrets and the list goes on. We also saw even more crocodiles, some of which didn't even look real, well that is until they moved into the water. We also saw an iguana and what they call the Jesus Christ lizard, since he can walk on water. After an hour or more we returned and enjoyed some music and fresh fruit. The fruit here is amazing and we even took back a couple of bananas for the bus trip home. The trip back was about and hour and a half with lots of rain. Fortunately the rain cleared as we returned to the ship. We were both ready for some lunch today especially since we'd gotten up so early. We went to the QG for lunch and had a wonderful panini. Mom went back to the room to rest while I went back into town to find some internet and so a little shopping. They have interesting pieces of wood art and so many other types of souvenirs. It was getting late and all aboard was at 4:30. I knew Mom would be getting a little nervous, but I did get back about 4:15. We discussed the day as we sat on our balcony for the sail away.
Dinner was casual, but we still needed to wash the day off and get ready. We made it down about 8:00 and both enjoy different fish dishes for our dinner, and of course we had spinach with it! We tried to decide what to do after dinner and decided it was best to head back and call it a night since we arrive in Nicaragua tomorrow morning and have another full day of exploring ahead of us. See you soon!