The Roving Richards

A family on the move

Cano Negro

Monday, June 30, 2008

After breakfast today we were meeting our bus for the Cano Negro boat tour. Our guide was very personable and answered lots of our questions on the drive up there. He also was very surprised we had hiked to the Arenal lookout as apparently that is more dangerous than we realized.  Whoops! We even stopped at the Iguanasrestaurant to check out the resident iguanas (someone began feeding them 20 years ago and they know a good thing when they see one so they just all started hanging out there). The girls also got two cute puzzle boxes in the shape of a colibri (hummingbird) and a mariposa (butterfly). Then we drove the rest of the way to where the boat departs, in a little town just this side of the Nicaraguan border. We were the only people on the entire boat so I felt a little silly with our private tour but of course it worked out well for us because they totally followed our interests. The guy driving the boat was amazing, he spottedroosting nocturnal birds, sloths, caimans, iguanas and more all while navigating. Cano Negro is known mostly for birds and although we weren’t there during the height of the birding season we did see snake birds, kingfishers, parakeets (little parrots, not to be confused with what they call parakeets in US pet stores which are really just little birds). The guide really liked kids and was very impressed with ours and how interested they were in the wildlife. Genevieve in particular can not only spot but also identify all kinds of things. We “accidentally” slipped across the Nicaraguan border while the boat was turning around so we can put that on our list of countries visited. On our way back the sloth we’d spotted earlier was actually moving, you can see how “fast” it is going on this movie here. We had a bit of a disagreement with the guide as to whether the sloth was three toed or two toed. You can let me know what you think, but to us it looks just like the picture of the two toed sloth on our wildlife cards, even though the guide insisted it was three toed. We couldn’t find the albino howler monkey that is known to live along the river, but we did see a lot of other howler monkeys. I asked about them having a yellow tail and the guide had never heard of it so I guess it’s just common among the monkeys in Osa (I don’t feel quite so stupid about the earlier banana comment). The drive home was uneventful. Once back in Los Lagos, (check out the cool towel arrangement) the kids and Mark went into the pool while I took pictures, then hiked back to our room to change myself.  Whew!  That is one steep hill. We were right to keep taking the shuttle. I returned to the pool, and we swam for a while.  When the shuttle driver took us back to our room he kept saying “Pavas, pavas” and pointing at our tree. We checked out our cards and a pava is a crested guan, so another cool wildlife sighting. We went to the Lava Lounge for dinner which was good, and then returned home to find a raccoon in the garbage can outside. Just like home….

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