Monday, June 17, 2013

Resplendent

Saturday

For our morning resplendent quetzal tour, we drove 8 km back up the highway to Parque Nacional Tapantí. Our guide walked along carrying his large scope and calling to the quetzals. He shortly spotted a female and let us see, then walked us around and we got a really good view of her.

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Then we walked further up the hill and spotted a young male. He was flighty, never staying in a single location for more than a minute, so I never got any really good pictures of him.

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As we continued walking looking for a quetzal, we spotted an emerald toucanet.

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To get really good, close-up pictures of the birds, he took our camera and put the lens against his scope. It actually worked pretty well. I tried the method myself, but I wasn’t as good at it. I was very thankful my sensor was dust-free for this opportunity.

DSC04195 This is an old quetzal nest (no eggs or anything) of which I took a photo using the lens to scope technique.

DSC04210 Our guide with his large scope trying to locate a male quetzal who shortly alighted in the tree ahead.

It was a short hike in a gorgeous countryside and a rather enjoyable morning.
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DSC04175 There was a trout farm there.

After we got back, Jonathan changed Chuck’s oil. The collapsible tub that I bought worked great. He also checked the fuel filter. When we left San José, Chuck started having power issues again. In fact, when we stopped for a toll the day before, Jonathan almost couldn’t get him to roll on through it. We had to pull over and turn off the engine for a few seconds. After that, it was fine for a while--at least until we started climbing Costa Rica’s highlands at night. We had finally gotten a chance to pass the slow farm truck and when we did, Chuck gave out on us and barely chugged to a stop on the shoulder. So Jonathan inspected this as well. He thought it might have been fuel filter issues. In fact, we had a lot of sediment in our fuel and the fuel was red. The redness we think is a Costa Rican practice, not indicative of some issue. He also swapped our fuel pumps in case it was fuel pump issue. As a plus, our campground host wanted the oil for his lawn mower. We were happy to give it to him.

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After this and lunch, we decided to take the 4km hike around the property. Despite it being “Paraíso del Quetzal,” we didn’t see any quetzals there. There were lots of hummingbirds, tall white oaks, and pretty scenery.

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After that, it was time to move on to our next destination Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. We found the place easy enough and enjoyed free camping at the entrance to the park. The plan was to see the turtles and dolphins and perhaps kayak, but the ranger told us it wasn’t quite the season for either of those yet, so we moved on the next morning.

Sunday

Our next spot was La Purruja Lodge in Golfito; it would be our last night in Costa Rica before moving on to Panamá. I was immediately charmed by its monkey inhabitants, the red-backed squirrel monkeys. And they also had gorgeous flowers.
DSC04284 Too cute! They are small – about the size of a small cat.

That wrapped up our time in Costa Rica for the southbound portion for on Monday we made our way to Panamá.

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