"" Writer's Wanderings: Puerto Limon And The Canals!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Puerto Limon And The Canals!

 After much angst on our part over questioning if any port will have us due to the financial fix the cruise line is in, we discovered that a stop at Puerto Limon was still possible and we would overnight there. The stop in Colon however was canceled. We woke to a mixture of rain clouds and sun but by the time breakfast was done, the sum had chased the rain. 

We hustled down to breakfast to be sure we would be done in time for our tour that was to meet on the ship at 8:45 in the lounge. Breakfast is a little earlier and faster up at the Marketplace but we really like eating in the Waterside restaurant where we can sit at a table and not have to roam for our food at a buffet. It's Sunday, so those of you who know Bob's breakfast schedule know it had to be waffles.

Our excursion was to the Tortuguero Canals. I'm not sure they are actually a part of the Tortuguero National Park but they are close to it. We've done this excursion once before and enjoyed it so we decided to try it again. An air conditioned and nice clean bus picked up up at the dock and drove almost a half hour to the canals. We were told a ton of Costa Rican history and culture by a very savvy guide named Cynthia. 

The green countryside got greener and more dense as we left the port city. The natural beauty of Costa Rica is something to experience. We've had several opportunities with a couple of cruises and a Pickleball tour that got us into the mountains as well as the shore.

The canal boats are quite well done. They offer you fresh local bananas and fruit and a little beer if you like before or after your trip. Ours was offered before as we waited for an earlier tour to finish its trip. There was a small gift shop there and while I saw some clever things that might have been fun to buy for grandkids, I don't know where I'd pack them. (More on the packing later).

When our tour boat unloaded, we boarded. The boat seats around 50 people and I think we only had about 30 so there was plenty of seating to go around without feeling crowded. The humidity was climbing a bit but once the boat was moving, the gentle breeze was cooling. Quiet is the first thing that comes to mind. Even though we weren't far from a road, for the most part, the boat cruised quietly--quietly until we started sighting some of the nature the rainforest has to offer.

Birds were what we saw at first and our expert spotter and boat captain made sure we all could see them as long as they didn't fly off too quickly. Cynthia was well versed on each species and offered lots of details of habits and habitats. When the bird sightings repeated or got sparse she would tell us bout the trees, especially the banana trees. I did not know that the wild bananas have too many seeds to make them palatable to us picky human eaters. And another newly learned fact--plantains, while they grow on a similar looking tree to bananas, don't form the same kind of cluster. The fruit splays out instead of in a closed compact cluster. 

The cruise along the canals was so calming. It was just what we needed considering the chaos and uncertainty we'd faced the last week. We stopped suddenly when the sound of monkeys was heard in the distance. Cynthia and the boat captain finally spotted them off in the distance. The only thing we could really see was the branches moving as they swung from one to another.

I was feeling a bit disappointed. We hadn't seen a sloth yet. The last time, we'd seen two. Just as I was wondering how much time we had left, the boat was quickly put into reverse and our guides pointed up with their laser pen and mirror light. Way up in the tree was a three toed sloth. Somehow you can tell by the facial pattern although it was so high up I don't know how she saw the features. [So high up that I couldn't get a decent picture.] She did manage to wow us with the fact that they stay in the tree for seven days before coming down to relieve themselves. They have four chambers in their stomach and it takes that long to digest their food. If they sense danger on the way down, they climb back up and stay another seven. Okay. . .

We were almost in sight of the facility where we began when we stopped again behind another boat that was turning slowly. There was a group of monkeys much closer in the trees and somewhat active, climbing and jumping and pretty much showing off. They must not have been bothered by us because they didn't start howling. We've heard the howls before. It's like a band's huge amplifier that's gone a little crazy. Yes, that loud.

I must apologize for the pictures. I managed to walk off the ship and forget to take my good camera. Drats! These are all I could get from my iPhone. When you zoom in, you loose sharpness. I do have a nice video that I will try to post tomorrow. The internet isn't always friendly to those kind of uploads.

We attended the protestant church service in the evening. Sadly it will be the only one we have this voyage with Ed Voosen. His topics are always interesting. 

We had the best steak for dinner. It was a filet and cut like butter it was so tender. Our waiter, Marcin, spoiled me with pecan pie and a scoop of ice cream that he added hot fudge sauce to. My chocolate levels needed that. They were low. 

What will we wake to tomorrow? Our sister ship, Symphony, now sits empty in Bimini as the passengers and most crew were ferried to Fort Lauderdale. Many of you probably heard that as I understand it made some of the national news. As it stands now, we have one more day in Limon, two sea days and an overnight stay in Curacao before we arrive in Aruba where some will disembark on Saturday and the rest of us on Sunday. The crew is still a little uncertain of what will happen with them. That is all predicated on whether or not another creditor or the same one will try to get our ship "arrested" for outstanding bills. Meanwhile, we continue the philosophy of one day at a time. Que sera sera. 

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