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Hooded Mergansers

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Palo Verde National Park

Bill & I had talked about things we wanted to see in our last month here and taking a boat trip on the Rio Tempisque in the Palo Verde National Park was high on the list.  As it happened, Steve and Ann, our long-time friends also were interested in that tour.  We all signed up for today's tour....

The travel agency we're both dealing with has had some turnover in personnel, and to make a long story short, Ann and Steve had to flag down another Plus Tourist Bus...  then direct them over to where we live...  or we'd never made that trip today.  

So, our 7:20 am pickup was at 8:00....  and that bus transferred us to another up the road just past Communidad.  Despite all that, someone had radioed ahead and the Palo Verde bus was waiting for us.

It's kind of a harsh drive to get to the Park...
We went through Filadelfia....  we might even want to take the bus back there sometime just to hang out in the city park for a while.  The roads are rough...  there's even some construction along the way.  It's mostly rural...  lots of sugar cane fields...  some cattle....  but it definitely has a beauty of its own.

We got to the area where the tourist boats are docked...  just as we arrived, our group immediately boarded our excursion boat...
 Looking out the front....  
The Rio Tempisque is a river that is affected by the tides.  It's so close to the ocean that it has brackish water...  a mix of salt water and fresh water.  Twice a day the elevation of the water changes as much a 6'-8'.  
Looking out the back...
As we were on it, the water was about 4' below the high stage.  

There's a lot of wildlife to be seen along the banks of this river and all day long the tourist boats chug up and down... pointing out whatever is to be seen at that time.....

Most folks want to see the crocodiles...
This tour boat was just ahead of us.......  and, you can see a fairly large croc...  about 4' from the boat.

We saw maybe 7 or 8 crocodiles altogether...  one was sunning himself on the river bank...  he was a 2 year old, measuring about 6' in length.  Since Bill & I saw so many crocs...  and such huge ones...  when we were in Costa Rica a couple of years ago, I'll admit I wasn't really impressed with the crocodiles we saw today.

One more shot of a croc...
Just a head shot....  ugly, isn't he?


Of course it was the birds we were interested in....

This Wood stork looks like it's headless....  not to worry...  just a bad photo.  

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
A big bird...  30' in height......  he hung around long enough for everyone to take a shot of him...

The Green Kingfisher....
Only 7" in length...  it's the tiny, but oh! so colorful, little guy we see also see at the Rickety Bridge.

There were other birds.... kiskadees, social flycatchers, mangrove swallows, a few others....  but none that were new to our life lists.

Most people were more interested in the monkeys...
We saw several Howler Monkeys...
Doesn't this little guy look like he's disturbing Mama's nap?  

And we saw the White-faced or Capuchin Monkeys...
Totally different species...  and different in nature and habits.  The Howlers are vegetarians, the Capuchin are omnivorous.  Lots of other differences as well...

How about the "Jesus Christ" lizards?
 Honest! The locals really do call them by this name because they walk on water.


We saw many, many iguanas...
In fact, our bus driver made a special stop in the town of Filadelfia so we could all get out and see them in the city plaza.  I counted 6 in this tree.....  this was the biggest guy.  Seems it's mating season now and the males are quite protective of their turf.  If I remember correctly, they might have 5 or 6 females in their group (harem?) and are quite aggressive if they feel threatened.

Of course there's more than the birds, monkeys and crocodiles to look at.....
This Spider Lily just stood out and wanted us all to look...
Last time I saw one of these was in a wetlands area in Louisiana, so of course it was a welcome sight.

After our river boat tour, our bus took us to a restaurant that was waiting for us...
We were all served "family style"...  a delicious salad, red beans and rice, chicken, beef, some kind of squash, tortillas, and the best fried plantain I've ever had.  There was even ice cream for desert.

After lunch we boarded the bus and headed back to Coco, where we arrived somewhere around 2:30 or so.  The poor bus driver wasn't the same who'd picked us all up this morning, so he had quite a time figuring out where we all needed to be dropped off.

Bill & I got home around 3 pm....  quite tired, but so happy to have had such a great day.

That's All For Today!


9 comments:

  1. That looked to be a fun outing. The boat seemed almost too small for all the people in it. Love the bird photos you captured. I'm assuming the Iguanas just leave people alone?? LOL

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  2. What another fun day of sightseeing, thanks for taking us along.

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  3. A thirty foot tall heron would have had me back pedalling! ;)

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  4. Now there's a National Park that we've never been to! Thanks so much for sharing all the interesting photos. We probably won't ever get there to see it in person, but having shared it through your eyes was quite the experience.

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  5. That looks like a great boat trip. Birds and Monkeys and Iguanas, oh my!!

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  6. This looks like a very interesting day tour and one that you could go back and try again. It seems like you only just got to this condo and now you're starting to look at the end of your stay..

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  7. What a wonderful day! The iguanas look very big & cranky! Loved the heron--what beautiful feathers it has. My guess is that you just scratched the surface in this national park. Thank you for taking us along on your journey!

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  8. I could have sworn I commented on this ... but then I guess I was wrong.. because I said ... I didn't know Iguanas climbed trees. I did comment ... where'd it gooooo

    I know nothing

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