This morning we went to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, in a taxi-van with two women also staying at our hotel and our guide for the Preserve, Adrian. It was an amazingly clear and sunny morning — especially for the cloud forest, which is, startlingly, often cloudy.
Adrian is a local, and he knows the English, Spanish, and scientific names of everything in the Preserve, it seems — e.g. we saw the Booger-Berry plant, which has green seed pods that you squash and suck a sweet, viscous, snot-like sap out of. Apparently this was a favorite thing to do when Adrian was a kid growing up here.
We also saw several huge caterpillars in a variety of colors, and some tiny orchids. An agouti, sort of a cat-sized brown mammal with a long snout, was right by the side of the trail for a while, where I got a good look.
A group of prong-beaked Barbits (excuse my spelling, as I’ve only heard this and not seen it written) were eating berries in trees all around, and I got a very nice photo of one through Adrian’s spotting scope.
After the hike, we wound up at the Hummingbird gallery, which is a coffee shop right near the entrance to the Preserve with hummingbird feeders set up all around. You could hardly find a feeder without two or three hummingbirds on it, and we saw six species in about the first five minutes. Lots more pics there, although many will be blurry.
On the way back, Robin and I had the taxi drop us at the Bat Jungle, where they have some colonies of bats in an enclosure kept dark in the day so you can see them active. The young woman who guided the tour there was very enthusiastic and well-informed, and we got to see several species of indigenous bats. Very cool. There were two mothers with babies (pups) that were very young, and one very fat pregnant bat.
Then we came back to the hotel, went out to lunch, and it started to pour, which it did the whole rest of the afternoon. Robin had a long siesta, and I read.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast, and the beach for a few days.