Costa Rica Journey – Day 6

Packed up early to leave Arenal. We had to pack wet socks and underwear that I had washed early yesterday and hung on chairs on our little porch. Not the least bit dry. I used a hair dryer to get one pair of socks usable.

Later, in Montevideo:

We had a lovely boat ride across the man-created lake below Arenal. The boat’s motor flooded, much to the embarrassment of our captain. Richard, husband to Frances who fell yesterday came to the rescue. Not sure he actually fixed it but we all lauded his accomplishment the rest of our trip.

Across the lake, we boarded a van that had pieces of itself shaking and jiving below the back seat. Every rock and hole…and there were many…was felt. We were glad to arrive at our destination without the back end dropping in the road.

Don Juan Coffee Plantation:

Toured the Coffee plantation, learned a lot about harvesting coffee from seed to plant, about separating the outer layers and drying the inner seed. Can’t wait to tell Mark, our local coffee roaster back home. We were honored to meet Don Juan, the founder. He is a short little man with a caballero hat and mustache. Classic. It was a hoot getting a picture of him between our two Italian giants Nico and Joe. Mr. Juan’s hat came up to about their waists.

We toured butterfly gardens in Montevideo. Learned about spiders and bugs of all kinds.  Learned that when the monarch migrates, it takes several generations as butterflies stop and reproduce along their route. They are gypsies, you might say…..The Blue Morpho butterly is a rich blue on the inside that shows when it is open, but dark with a round marking that looks like an eye on the underside when it is closed…..A favorite is the glass winged butterfly which has tranparent wings. The males eat from a purple flower and give off a scent that attracts females. The stronger the scent, the stronger the attraction. So the trick is to really get doused up with the flower’s purfume…..Learned more about the leaf-cutter ants, which we’d seen on our walks. I mentioned  to our lecturer the movie “A Bug’s Life”. She guide saidc that the movie is amazingly correct in its representation of bugs. I was impressed big time…..Bernie and I were interested in a plant called a Dutchman’s Pipe. It catches flies and traps them. They fly around inside madly loosening the flower’s pollen. Then they are let free to get trapped again by another. Not real bright but a hek of a way to keep flies occupied and out of your kitchen.

Here we are at the Hotel Montana Monteverde. Built on the side of a mountain, the trails between rooms and lodge are steep and confusing. Everytime I have gone up to the lodge, I end up in a different area of the resort, not sure how I got there. The most dissappointing part is there is no coffee maker in the room. The best part is that we have a lovely porch looking over a valley and we can see the Gulf of Nicola in the distance. We set our socks and underwear out to dry.

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