Today started at 6:00am, followed by a good breakfast complete with howler monkeys. They were hanging out in the trees right next to the dining room balcony. Not caring about our presence, they enjoyed a breakfast of small berries growing in the trees while we took pictures and watched them in awe. After our special welcome breakfast we set off for our guided hike in Selva Verde’s reserve. Once across the river we split into two groups. One group was made up of those who wanted to do a more strenuous hike and the other for those of us that were not up to a hearty trek. My group was led by John Earl and the other was led by one of the lodge’s resident naturalist guides, Alex. Our first sighting was a Reticulated Glass Frog. This is a very rare sighting but John Earl has had the good fortune to see it two years in a row. I was very excited to get to see this amazing species in person and have John Earl give me tips for getting great photos of it. After that we went off further into the forest to explore. During the hike we saw several types of frogs, toucans and a couple of Hog Nosed Vipers, this of course made John Earl very happy. We met up with the other group at the end of the trail and learned that Herlinda, one of our wonderful grandmas, gave the group a run for their money. They said that keeping up with 77 year old Herlinda was quite a challenge. That was our first indication that she was going to be the one to keep up with. After our hike we had some down time until lunch. Some of the group took a dip in the Rio Sarapiquí to cool off.
After lunch we set off for Puerto Viejo to explore the river by motorized canoe. Once at the Puerto Viejo dock we boarded our motorized boat and set off to explore the Sarapiquí River. Within five minutes we spotted a sloth up in a tree. After snapping photos we continued on and saw several species of water bird, bats and monkeys. We even saw a man fishing with water up to his neck. He walked along side the boat with his fishing line and we were all surprised since in the past we have seen large crocs in the area. It seems the local people have no fear of the crocs and have learned to cohabitate with them. That includes the children we saw enjoying a swim. After our boat ride we stopped in the town of Puerto Viejo to shop and visit the local ice cream parlor. In the evening we met for dinner followed game playing on the patio. Since it was raining it wasn’t really good for a night hike but the frogs sure did seem to be happy and were singing away.
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