Thursday, 12 February 2015

Travel Day: Talamanca Mountians to OSA

     Nothing will match the experience of pulling into our mountain lodge,, and seeing the main lodge at night, all lit up with lovely and unusual wall fireplaces, while observing the full moon and sparklers outside. THAT was MAGIC. Dantica is at a very high elevation, around 9000 feet. Lovely and cool in the morning, hot through the day, and cool again around late afternoon. 

With floor to ceiling windows, this was the view from my bedroom.

Today we had to leave our lovely resort in the Talamanca Mountains. It was three days of spectacular mountain scenery. I’m pretty proud of my students, who tackled deep mountain vistas, flowers, roof tops, bird baths, trees, and forests. It doesn’t take much time to get a lot of work under our belts. Here is some of their work:

 A Little Travel Time,....

Now, we have been on our air conditioned coach, lounging the coastal beaches and lagoons on the west side of Costa Rica, on our way to the OSA peninsula, the southern most Peninsula on the Pacific side. Geography is greatly changed, lots more varied trees, more pasture land, and better roads. We had a very special unplanned experience today. While driving along around 10 am., our driver spotted a Sloth. There are many Sloths in this area, but it is extremely rare for them to leave the canopy of the forest. We found this young guy just on the side of the road. At first I thought he was injured, but no. They are just very slow moving animals. Amazing Martine went right over to him and very carefully turned him away from the road, and he slowly went to a tree and began to climb. The old cameras were a clicking something fierce, as we watched him slowly get through some long grass, then up this tree. 

Martine, deftly directing the Sloth away from traffic

moving very slowly on short hind legs

then quickly up the tree, away from us, and all the cameras.

Sloths are beige coloured, their fur is porous and not soft. They have a brown line down the centre of their back, as this is where water runs off their back, and whole body, in order to keep them warm. The result is the fur changes colour in this area, turning it chocolate brown. There are many more Sloths than Howler monkeys in the area. Why? Because they easily hide with their neutral coloured fur, making them much less identifiable than monkeys. They can even grow moss on their fur, which further camouflages them, and they can even feed off the moss, growing right on them!
Sloths eat many toxic forest leaves, taking 3 weeks to digest their meal and excrete it. They excrete at the bottom of trees that they live in, so as to nutrify their own environment. So the cycle continues,…

On the the OSA

We’ve skipped through climate zones, and now will easily get used to hot and balmy. We’ve just stopped to see these large rock formations, that are perfect spherical balls.  There are different theories as to how they have come about, how they were formed, and how did they get to where they are? Found on Costa Rican Islands, and in southern Costa Rica in general, they have remained a mystery to all. If you’d like to suggest an origin, just e-mail me, and I'll include it on this post. Here they are: 

Here’s Jan, demonstrating how large these mystery balls are,…although there are many of them in various sizes.
Weird Huh?

Ok. Our travel day to the OSA was a big day. Many sights. The sloth was quite the adventure. So was getting to our beach house. The word palatial comes to mind. But I have a serious swim to get under my belt. Adios for now!