Steven's luggage update: still no sign of his MIA suitcase but we are hoping it is enjoying it's vacation without us, wherever it is. Many people have offered to share their clothing with him but thank goodness for hotel hair dryers so he can wash and re-wear his clothes. The upside is he is the only one of us that doesn't have to drag luggage around.
We left our hotel at 7 am and headed off to Braulio Carrillo National Park and Rainforest. Our thrill for the morning would be an hour long aerial tram ride through the canopy of a lush rainforest. We were all surprised how quiet the forest was below us and questioned out naturalist guide about it. He stated that the birds and other animals have learned that if they remain silent, they have a better chance of survival than those other more vocal animals ("be quiet and stay alive" is their motto.) This forest is home to many unusual animals including the 3 toed sloth which we all saw hanging over our heads. This creature is its own little ecosystem, including being covered in moss and inhabited with moths. There are also tapirs, orchids, bromeliads, the poisonous eyelash viper and a multitude of birds, reptiles, mammals, and unusual insects. We got a demo of the poisonous bullet ant that has jaws that clench so tightly, they have been used as substitute sutures. We also saw the effects of leaf cutter ants and the destruction they can do to plants.
The rainforest is a very symbiotic environment and we learned how everything works together to survive. One example was the mixed flocks of birds that live here. They join forces to create a team to help each other out. They intermingle in order to work as a team and watch each other's back ...what a lesson we could all take from our smart avian friends!
It rains almost everyday here and we got to experience that phenomenon before we finished our nature walk tour. The trip would not have been complete if we all didn't get drenched before the end of this wonderful adventure.
Our trip to the pineapple plantation was altered and instead we made a quick stop and collected a few pineapples directly from the field which we all enjoyed with our evening meal.
We stopped for lunch along the way and got to view a mammoth Ceiba tree along with a minuscule poisonous strawberry dart frog. We are all amazed at the extreme sizes of plants and wildlife here from the giant ferns and ants to the tiniest of frogs. Ever bit of nature is so exciting and we are all very lucky to be able to experience these first hand and to share them with each other.
In the afternoon, we drove to Fortuna volcano which will be all our home for the next 2 nights.
PS. Luggage update: the elusive suitcase had been found and was just sent this afternoon to the hotel we just left (a 3 day delay). The good news is our wonderful tour guide had worked a deal with another tour group and it should be delivered tomorrow afternoon. Yahoo!!!