Ok, this goes beyond coincidence (mostly). We met this lady (now known to be Edith) in Caye Caulker as part of our snorkel tour. Soon to be seen on the same boat leaving the Caye the next day (ok, this not too bad). The biggest surprise to us was when we met her about 300km away in a seemingly random hotel (Agua Azul) of which we weren't even staying!! We were there just for about an hour to get a view of the lake, when she popped over to say hello. The next biggest shock was when we got on a bus the next day for our next destination and along the way it stopped to collect some passengers from a bus that had broken down and lo-and-behold on stepped our persistent Israeli Lady. We didn't have much room to chat but we still didn't expect it seeing as she had previously said she was planning on staying at Agua Azul for another few days.
Thinking this would be our last meet and that it too great a chance to see her again, we would yet be proven wrong. Our connection bus from Canas to Tilaran (on the way to Santa Elena from Liberia), the bus pulled in to the Canas terminus and the first words to come from Ric were "Surely not" and once again we met our red haired Israeli Lady. This time we took a picture to show how these things just happen. Being the 5th time we have met, I am sure we will meet again, even though she is going to Panama and we are off to Ecuador, she will make some excuse I am sure of it.
We have spent the last 2 days in Santa Elena not really doing too much, mostly deciding what not to do due to the expense. At first we had big plans for all the tours, but then we thought we wouldn't get too much out of them. Instead we settled for a nicely priced night tour and for tomorrow our own little adventure (costing hopefully just an entry fee)
The night tour has proved to be a very good investment, if only the camera had more battery life we would have photos to accompany our memories.
Barely stepping 20m into the "Hidden Valley" revealed a much human friendly Agouti. This one being used to the torches and so forth gave us a nice view of his little nut burying habits. This of course attracted the Coati who sniffed said nuts. We were stunned, 2 more elusive mammals in 1 minute. Top that day time.
It wound down after that revealing a variety of wildlife. The tarantulas were a nice sight, the guide using the insect/twig trick to lure them out. Non-deadly wolf spiders were in stock as well. Someone with amazing eye spotted a green/brown Eyelash Pit-Viper hiding in the trees, the camera giving not the best photos. Another high-light was the sloth, at first we spent sometime trying to point out the "brown lump" next to the "grey lump" which actually turned out to be a baby sloth and the large grey lump (moving after some time) the mother !! If only the camera had performed better. To top it off, the guide gave some good knowledge. The tree with wide thin buttress roots, actually starts its life on another tree, planted near the top. It then slowly grows downwards and suffocates the host tree. This eventually leaving a hollow buttress tree. The other piece of info was that all the food the leaf cutter ants were gathering are actually to feed a fungus which they cultivate.