Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Costa Rican "Eco-Tour" Photo Album

Webmaster greencrow having a tropical drink
in Costa Rica

As promised, here is my Costa Rican Album of photos, videos and posts about our recent 10 day "eco-tour" of Costa Rica.  A week or two ago I wrote a couple of posts re Costa Rica and have added that material to the end of the album.

Eventually, I' like to do a "Spirit of Costa Rica Special Page".  Some may wonder why I was able to do a Costa Rican album but not a China or a Vietnam Album about my trips there during the last few years.  Well, I'm wondering the same thing.  Google has been most un-cooperative when I tried to upload my photos of previous trips...particularly the Chinese trip.

I finally gave up in frustration.  But it was oh so easy to upload these Costa Rican photos.  Perhaps it has something to do with the geopolitics of technology.  Or it could be just software upgrades.  Who knows.  In any case, enjoy these photos and videos...all taken with my iPhone.

Greencrow's Partner "the Captain" in front of
a Community School building in Tortuguero

Tortuguero "Turtle Park" Beach on the
Caribbean side of Costa Rica

Craft Idea!  Planter Made Out of Old Tire
in Tortuguero

Yellow Bird Common to Costa Rica

Blue Birds Common To Costa Rica

Bougainvillias and Hibiscus
Typical Tropical Flowers

Look closer and you'll see a Tarantula!

Large Snail Found by Guide

Jungle Canopy Seen from River

Mountain Garden in Central Costa Rica

Tropical Tree Roots along Riverside

Jungle River Tour with Monkey Sightings #2

Jungle River Tour with Monkey Sightings #1

Tourist Souvenir Item in Shop

"Tipical Food" Restaurant in Central Costa Rican Town

Tropical Flower in Costa Rican Town Square

Guide at Mountain Side Coffee, Coca and Sugar Farm

Worker Making Brown Cane Sugar

Brown Cane Sugar just made

Oxen Team are the traditional method of travel
and Farming in Costa Rica

The Ox Team Obeys The Master Explicitly
Costa Rican Ox Cart Driver
The Ox Want him in Their Sight
at all times. He's standing in front of them

A Typical Costa Rican Painted Ox Cart

Wild Sugar Cane - Delicious to Suck On 
Right out of the field

Flora along a Costa Rican forest path

Travel out of the Jungle by boat

Can you see The Sloth hanging from the tree?

Tiny Bats Lined Up beneath the Roof of
a Shed by the Jungle River

Two More Tiny Bats

Bananas in a "Soda" we stopped at
for lunch

Soda Lunch Stop

Arenal Volcano in Central Costa Rica

Artwork at Tourist Souvenir Shop
Artwork depicting traditional Costa Rican Farm

Final Stop Before Returning to San Jose

The Night Before Flying Out
We had some celebratory Drinks with
our fellow travellers - I had a 
"Blood Injection" - Cranberry Juice
Injected into vodka on ice

From my post "In The Land of the Howler Monkey"

"Hi Readers: Just a short check-in. I've been kept very busy lately with no time to blog. I'm on an "eco tour" in Costa Rica. We've been hiking in the jungle just about every second day when we're not bussing from one location to another. Our first big stop was Tortuguero, which is a peninsula on the Caribbean side. We stayed in very rustic cabins with only tin roofs above (to capture the sound of the tropical rain forest nightly deluges) and screens instead of windows so we could hear the sounds of the forests.

It was while attempting to sleep in our cabin in the jungle in Tortuguero that I became acquainted with the Howler Monkey. I never saw the local male howler...but I became intimately acquainted with him through his "vocalizations" If you look up Howler Monkey on Google you will find out all you need to know about him including an opportunity to listen to his vocalizations. The noise you will hear was what we were subjected to ALL night. There was no more than a few moments of silence from this creature. First, I felt he was located somewhere deep in the jungle, then closer by, then right outside our cabin. Then inside my head. Yes, he got into my head. I started trying to decipher his sounds: "Rip ROP RIP Rop RIP! RIP RIP RIP rop rop ropRIP!!! This went on all night, I MAY have slept an hour, I don't know. But certainly not more.

I passed some local Costa Ricans the next day. I heard them talking about a monkey who got into trouble for keeping up the tourists. I asked them about him. They politely switched from their native Spanish to English and informed me that he was a Howler Monkey and well known to the locals...who had nicknamed him "Congo". They said he was only about 2 and 1/2 feet high. Mon Dieu! I thought he must be about 6 feet tall according to his vocalizations!. After looking up the Howler Monkey on Google I learned that he was letting his fellows know where they were supposed to gather for the night. In his case, it was serious over-kill. According to Google, the Howler Monkey is the loudest mammal on the planet.

The next night "Congo" was much quieter. Perhaps he had been trapped and moved FAR away. But around 4:30 a.m, sure enough we could hear him again...much more subdued. But his vocalizations were no longer threatening. I had learned to love my local Howler Monkey!

Then I found out a travesty. The Howler Monkey is NOT the national animal of Costa Rica. That honour belongs to the "white tailed deer". How ridiculous! Having a creature like the Howler Monkey in your country and ignoring him for a white tailed deer...which is plentiful all over the western hemisphere!? For greencrow, Cost Rica will always be "The Land of the Howler Monkey!"

From my Post Update #2 - Costa Rica....

"...Regarding my recently completed "eco-tour" of Costa Rica I will say that the Costa Ricans are very conscious of humanities' overly large footprint on our planet. Unlike some other countries I've visited like Panama and Viet Nam, they do clean up their litter and street garbage. They have made their agri-industries like banana growing and coffee plantations as environmentally sustainable as possible. No more blue plastic bags clogging the rivers around the Banana plantations. All the remnants/husks of the coffee beans are re-cycled.

Costa Rican laws protect all animal species and highlight their work with the example of the endangered Green Sea Turtle. We went on a night-time excursion to the Caribbean beach where the female sea turtle lays her eggs. The guides were very careful not to shine bright white flashlights on the nighttime beach [using infrared instead] nor to get too close [closer than five feet] to the huge sea turtle as she laid her several dozens of turtle eggs in the hole she had dug in the sand. It was a spectacular sight and left us in awe of nature. But I found the over fifty tourists crowding around the Sea Turtle as she laid her eggs somewhat oppressive and, as a mother, I was concerned for the turtle's "mental state".

In my post on the Howler Monkey, I discussed my encounter with that incredible little beast that kept us up all night with his sonic boom vocalizations. In subsequent trips down the lazy jungle river on the north east coast of Costa Rica we also encountered the other varieties of monkey, White Face, Spider and Squirrel monkeys. We motored slowly down the river beneath the tree canopies while they lept from branch to branch above us, putting on a display that would shame Circe du Soleil.

While walking in the dark back from the beach where we viewed the Sea Turtle, our flashlights revealed a parade of tiny black ants crossing our path, each carrying a disproportionately large piece of a green leaf. Our guides warned us not to disturb these "leaf-cutter ants" which are also protected by the government. The Costa Ricans amusingly refer to them as "The Costa Rican Army". The real Costa Rican Army was disbanded many decades ago after a popular socialist uprising.

While in the Cosa Rican mountains we also saw some birds--such as the Toucan, the Turkey Vulture and many smaller birds like parakeets. Cruising along the jungle rivers we up in the tree canopies saw some three-toed sloths, which are considered almost the official mascot of Costa Rica. Along the banks of the rivers we saw small crocodiles, iguanas and caimans.

Travelling by bus from the jungles of the Caribbean North Coast to the Mountains of Central Costa Rica. We saw banana, plantain, coconut and coffee plantations. We went on farm tours and eco-hikes into the mountain forests. We returned to our home base in the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. Wherever we went we saw the people, humble and hard working. Unfailingly polite. They are proud of their tiny country and extol its political freedom. I filtered their pride through my understanding of the pervasive influence in Central America of the CIA and the infamous "School of the Americas". I saw their lack of an army a distinct advantage to the globalists. But, as my husband pointed least the military could not rise up and overthrow the elected government. True.

No matter what the current accomplishments of the Costa Rican government, it is still very much a Third World Country. The roads are very poor and full of pot holes. There are dangerously deep and exposed drainage ditches right in the middle of San Jose, which present a risk to even sure-footed pedestrians...of which I am not a member. The most serious indication that Costa Rica has a long way to go are the sewage systems. Everywhere, the sewage pipes are so narrow that they cannot handle toilet paper being thrown into the toilets. Everywhere, even in Five Star Hotels, the tourist has to adjust to placing the "used" toilet paper into small plastic-lined waste baskets placed close to the toilet. I didn't have the heart to ask our guide what happened to all the plastic bags that the used toilet paper was placed in.

I found this [health hazard] inconvenience strange, particularly when juxtaposed with the advanced state of the telecommunication system in Costa Rica. Huge Cell Phone Towers were ubiquitous throughout the land. Even in the heart of the jungle...there was a cell phone tower...not 50 feet from our cabin...which delivered at least 3G service to all our devices. I was subjected to the radiation from that cell phone tower while at the same time listening to the howler monkey. Are the Costa Ricans and their wildlife being treated as guinea pigs for the coming 5G?"


Penny said...

thanks for sharing GC.
Looks beautiful and lush. And colourful too.

Reading between the lines said...

Thanks for the virtual tour .Looks like it was a fun trip !

greencrow said...

Hi Penny and RBTL

It had fun moments but was a lot of hiking and schlepping around with suitcases for a couple of old gaffers. I think we'll stick to cruises pretty much in the future.


Anonypotamus said...

Very interesting GreenCrow, many thanks. I had to unplug for a few years to regain my sanity but I'm glad to see your blog is here and you're still going strong.

Speaking of infrastructure, I lived in Phom Penh for a couple years, 3G was being eschewed by law to preserve the wholesomeness of the young population, a move I feel was totally justified. Anyway, the wired telephone system is scarce and wireless is the norm. Coverage was near 100%, you could get cell signal everywhere, from the dense cities to the deepest jungles, but cell towers were so scarce as to be almost unseen. They weren't hidden, they just didn't require stations every other block or the megawatt power substations or even the multi-killowatt jumbo transformer boxes you see serving the tiniest of telephone pole antennae in the West, yet still managed to deliver digital voice & text at perfectly adequate service levels. Go figure.

greencrow said...

Hi Anonypotamus:

Glad to see you back viewing the blogosphere and thanks for your comments. Phom Penh. Is that in Viet Nam? I was in Viet Nam a couple of years ago and the electrical wires were ridiculous...bundled and hanging low from every utility poll. But, come to think of it now, cell phone service levels were very high.

Anonypotamus said...

ha ha -I'm guessing you saw something like this
Some places in India they literally black out the sky.
I only went to Saigon, I'd love to visit Ho Chi Minh City. But I fell in love with the french colonial atmosphere and red soil of Cambodia. The people in both are wonderful. It's humbling. You're doing some regular travelling to neat places, I'm jealous. Thank you btw for your hard work and perseverance.