Friday, February 18, 2011

Some bad pictures for Sam

Heh Sam,

I hope these help. Tried to take with flash, but too much glare, even when decreasing flash intensity. Works better in daylight.

Oh Yeah - Happy Birthday to you!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our final days at Playa Grande

Alyssa catching a wave

Brianna up on her board (again)

On our way to the beach from our "home away from home"

I know I love it in this location and wish I could bring everyone I love to see this area. Bern is off to the airport taking Ted and Laela to catch their flight. We have a few more hours and I will be waking the girls in a few minutes so we can enjoy one last swim in the warm waters of Playa Grande.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tamarindo Estuary Tour

Howler Monkey
Our Estuary tour boat

red crab

We decided to show the girls what an estuary was like. We hired a local man to take us up the Tamarindo Estuary. We went close to low tide which ensured we would see some birds. The down fall is that many of the places were very shallow and with 6 of us on the boat plus the two guides we got hung up on some sand bars. This meant that either the guide got out and had to drag us over or, we had to reposition in order to get us over. Oh the excitement. We were lucky though, we saw all kinds of Herons (small blue and large blue), many white small herons, egrets, halks and other birds that I cannot remember the names of. We also got to see 2 american crocodiles. One was sunning itself, while the other was in the water. The fact that they were there made the guide in the water, dragging us along a little more exciting. We also saw thousands of different kinds of crabs. Ted got a great picture of the crabs that I will share with you. The highlight for me was the howler monkeys. We heard their haunting call and went to look for them. We got to see them crawling around the trees (at points we were less than 2 meters away from them). We also saw a porcupine.

The Vagabundo sail boat and Snorkelling trip

Wow what a wonderful day this was. We drove past Flamingo beach to Poetrero beach and embarked on a 5 hour tour. A very nice young couple from Belgium and Quebec too us up the coast to the north. Their were about 15 of us on the tour. We got on the boat first so we inhabited the bow. The sun was shining, the winds were brisk and we had a wonderful sail to a little beach which I don't remember the name of. We all got into the water and snorkelled for about 45 minutes. There was an above average number of fish and the longer you looked the more you saw. The waters were a little cloudy due to the wind and swell, but the visibility was still good. I really need to brush up on my skills of kowing what the different fish are called beyond the "Dori" fish from Finding Nemo and the irridescent blue ones or the black and yellow striped ones. After spending a bit of time jumping off the side of the boat we sailed South until the sun set over the ocean. It was a breath taking. These people kept our glasses full wht whatever we wished, they surved us fresh tropical fruit, home made guacomole and salsa while we watched the sun set. Then as a grand finale we saw a leatherback turtle swim passed our boat. These turtles are HUGE! What a day

Between Ted and Laela's camera and ours I believe we took 800 photos (650 of those were ours). Bri took my camera and had a blast. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

The wild animal rescue "Monkey Park"

spider monkey
Blue McCaws


After seeing so many animals in the wild, it is hard to go see them in cages. We heard about this refuge from the people who look out for the condo's we live in. I guess many animals need to be sheltered from what we humans do. Many are injured by cars or hydro lines. Others are captured as pets and then the owners no longer want them or get annoyed by them and so want to get rid of them. This park is filled with animals like this. It was neat to see the animals up close, but as my pictures depict, they are behind bars. The goal is to set these animals free again (according to the parks mission statement). I still prefer to see animals in the wild.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Playa Grande - Costa Rica

Brianna having some fun on the beach... missing friends back home
Great big waves crashing over the rocks

boogie boarding fun "catching the wave"

I have decided that Playa Grande, Costa Rica is my favourite beach in the world. Of course this is a very subjective statement, but alas life is full of subjectivity.

Why you may ask and I will give you the following reasons:

1. Long (3.5 km long) unspoiled white sand

2. Very gradual incline, so easy to walk on and wonderful to play in the waves

3. Consistant waves that are wonderful to boogie board on (and surf on)

4. Very few people to mar the beauty and get in the way of your boards

5. The fact that huge leatherback turtles lay their eggs here

6. Every day is sunny and beautiful

7. The water is warm