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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Tit Bit Nipply

3/13/13            Tapanti

We headed out at 8AM today.  Kiri Lodge, where we're staying, is not in the park so we had to walk to it.  It probably took around 30 minutes (to be honest my judging of time has gone completely out the window on this trip so I may be wrong).


Once we reached the park entrance we took use of the facilities while checking out the trail map.  Dr. George told us we'd be doing the Sendero Arboles Caidos Trail, which was around 2-3km, followed by the Oropendola Trail.  There's a spot by the river with a swimming hole on this trail.  Since I was already soaked to the skin, and we had only just entered the park, it sounded like a decent plan.


The rain calmed down by the time we reached the trail-head.  We were told the trail was steep, but I wasn't expecting it to start right away like it did.  It all worked out, though.  We steadily made our way up the mountainside in the company of trees completely covered in moss and epiphytes.  It was green everything... except for the mud.


The fun really began when we began the descent.  Portions of it were even steeper than the way up.  The people up front (Dr. George was in the back at the time) even considered sliding down on their butts in a couple of places.  It didn't fully come to that, but it was close.

 

Our next trail was so easy in comparison.  Most of it had nicely graveled walkway and there were little shelters with picnic tables.  We made it to the swimming hole where we ate a bagged lunch.  This was quickly followed by dressing down, freaking out some tourists, and running into the freezing cold mountain river.  They were laughing and taking pictures of us so it must have been a sight.  We didn't last more than 30 minutes in the water though.  It's not as warm here as it was in El Zota (higher elevation) plus it had started to rain again.  Combine everything with the freezing water and people were done after a couple jumps off a rock, myself included.


After drying off we made our way back to the main road (unpaved) and began the hike back to Kiri.  I hung in the back of the group with Dr. George, Kevin, Michael, and our guide Maria so I'd have the chance of spotting some different critters (mainly birds).  And we certainly did, seeing things like Blue-and-white swallows, Yellow-faced Grassquits, and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, and a lot of white-collared swifts.  We also saw a Blue Morpho butterfly land on a bush.  These guys are really pretty in the air because they have iridescent blue wings.  When they land, however, you an see the brown-patterned eye-spots.  Also very cool.