Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hanging bridges walk. February 27th

OK, so this is part two of the 27th February.
After the Butterfly Garden we were off to the Hanging Bridges Walk run by a company called Mistico. On the way to Mistico we saw a white nosed coati, which was a must for a photograph. I gathered my cameras and hopped out of the car as quickly and as quietly as possible so as not to frighten the animal away. Another car was stopped across the road to take photographs. The road we were driving on was made of lots of small cobble stones as you can see from the photograph.. I took a couple of photos and wanted to get closer to the coati so I crept around the side of the car and lo and behold, the next thing I knew I was sitting on my bottom with two grazed knees, one grazed elbow and a grazed hand. Now, the passenger door was open so my dear husband must have heard me fall. Did he come to my rescue like a knight in shining armor, did he heck. He was too busy taking photos of the coati to come to my aid. A lady from the other car came to my assistance and offered to pull me up off the floor but being rather heavy at the moment I did not want her to hurt herself so I called for my dear, photographing husband who by now was still in the car looking down at me!! He said he heard the sound of me slipping but thought I was OK. He finally got out of the car, pulled me up and asked if I was alright. My pride was hurt more than my wounds so I told him I was OK except that now I had grazed knees from the cobbles so my knees looked dirty.

We continued on to Mistico without further incidents.

 Our guide was to be Yohaira, who had been a guide for Mistico for 3 years so knew the terrain well and was well educated on the flora and fauna of the countryside. Our walk which was to last 2.5 hours was to take us over several fixed bridges and 5 suspension bridges. It was not a time to be afraid of heights. When we first met Yohaira she took one look at my knees and my age and offered me a walking stick for the walk as it was quite steep in places. I did not like to refuse her offer of assistance so accepted the stick feeling old and decrepit.

The first part of our tour took us past some pretty gardens-

Yohaira was carrying a scope with her for spotting birds and other wildlife and I was glad she had it because she spotted birds I never would have seen. Some of the following photos are from putting Gary's phone up to the scope and taking photos. Yohaira was able to spot many lovely birds we had not seen before including fly catchers and motmots.

 The above motmot has feathers missing from his tail. I am not sure as to the reason why.

 We also spotted a snake and very small bats in a low lying cave.

We were under the canopy and in the shade of trees so even though the day was hot, we were not burning under the hot Costa Rican sun. One of the trees looked to be quite interesting. It was taller than most and from the ground looked like lace.

 We passed over several suspension bridges with a limit of 15 people at one time. It was bad enough just crossing with Gary and the other 2 women on our tour as it really made the bridge swing from side to side. The highest bridge we crossed was  63 meters up in the air so we were quite a way up.

In several places on the journey we got to saw the Volcano but every time the top was covered in cloud.

We heard a rustling of leaves and Yohaira said it was caused by spider monkeys. She got her scope out and took the first photo I am showing you.
The second one was taken by me just as the monkey leaped from one tree to the next. You can even see the toes on his back legs. He looks like Superman of the monkey world without a cape!!

 The tour lasted nearly four hours instead of 2.5 hours but was worth every second. Yohaira made it exceedingly interesting and was patient with me and Gary when climbing up the steep incline. In fact, the other two women (one from Florida and one from Puerto Rico) were also considerate of our "extreme ages". They told me at the end of the trip that I had "done well in keeping up". Again, I was made to feel my age.
On the way back to our bungalow it started to rain and we saw a rainbow.

We decided not to eat dinner at our hotel but have dinner at a neighboring hotel. The restaurant had a lovely view of the lake and volcano. As we ate our delicious meal the sun began to set and I took a photo of sunset. It is not one of my best but it was the best of the evening.

The second photo has the moon rising above Arenal and Chato, its sister volcano.
We returned to our bungalow to find a nice towel arrangement on our bed (there was not enough room in the bathroom for a towel rail.
I think it was supposed to be two swans with real flowers on the head of one swan and in the front of the second swan. It was a very nice thought of the maids.
Tomorrow, we are off home after a visit to a chocolate making demonstration. It is supposed to have all the chocolate you can eat at the end of the tour. Yummy!!

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