So, our time in Costa Rica ended in a taste of paradise--nature untrammeled by civilization and people. In some ways reminiscent of the Galapagos but even though it is awesomely beautiful it is not as totally pure or as breathtaking as the innocence of the wildlife there. Our Galapagos Trip
Leaving our lodge we headed down the relatively wide Tortuguero River leading to the Tortuguero National Park. In the park, the river narrows with byways and small offshots that Ferdinando, our guide, expertly navigated, going deeper and deeper into the forest. We were surrounded by the calls of the wild--birds and mammals. It seemed as if we were often exploring little creeks with beautiful toucans floating above the jungle tops.
We heard monkeys carrying on extended conversations as they called to each other across trees. At some point in the conversations, one would decide to jump from limb to limb, tree to tree--sometimes through the air from one river bank to the other. It was truly awesome to be in the center of this everyday life. Watching the incredible acrobatics and gymnastics became a ballet and dance form--far different from the theatrics of the Olympics. Casey, the ever patient photographer, waited for this shot, poised to press the shutter at just the right moment. Magic!
On the way back to the lodge, Ferdinando treated us to a detour to the Caribbean coast. With engines revved, we rushed along the coastline with the spray of salt water hitting us. It was fun.
That night we had another moment of magic. When we entered the open air dining area, the young woman said "Please come with me. We have a special place for you tonight." Not having a clue as to why or what was happening, we followed her to the small picturesque thatched roofed area overlooking the pool. Gas lamps and torches and candles lit the circle. There was just one table, beautifully set. We were led to it by the young man in black who became our private waiter. A large barbecue was set up next to a table spread with huge amounts of beautiful meats, vegetables fruits and breads. The lodge's chef was there cooking and preparing a most sumptuous banquet--just for us. There were beef, pork and shrimp shish kabobs, corn on the cob, several vegetables dishes, mangoes, strawberries and watermelon. To say we were stunned would be an understatement. Now we truly were on Fantasy Island. We were there 4 nights and never saw other guests receive this treatment. Even now as I write, it seems very dreamlike. Certainly it is indelibly etched on our minds, never to be forgotten.
After dinner, Casey retrieved the guitar hanging in the guest lounge and played for Ken and I as we sipped our espresso and savored the very special evening we had spent together.
The next morning after a leisurely breakfast, we packed up for the last time and waited for the little air chariot to take us back to San Jose and our flight home. The staff lined up once again to wave good bye and wish us a return.
As Casey said, "the hard part of traveling is the going home." I think he has the bug.
Casey the co-pilot.