Yesterday began with an early plane flight from Tortoguero to San Jose. It was a small plane and at least one passenger (My wife) wasn’t thrilled with the size of the plane. Thankfully the rubber bands they use to keep the propellers going held up and we arrived safely in San Jose 30 minutes later.
The morning was spent touring Costa Rica’s capital. One of the most beautiful buildings on this tour was the national theater:
However, as one might expect, not everyone was pleased with the bus tour which was seen simply as a delay in the day’s main event – a visit to Sibu organic, sustainable, boutique chocolate manufacturers.
Sibu really put themselves on the map in a very short 4 years showing that sustainable business practices are viable in this small central American nation. They have a fantastic story for their business tying to the utilization of native (pre-spanish) ingredients and employing organic/sustainable processes and ingredients. They’ve become consultants to other businesses in the area and one of the two owners teaches online culinary classes. Below is a picture of our chocolate tastings which were simply amazing (and cruel for the kids as they had to sit for 30 minutes learning about the history of chocolate with a plate of fine chocolate in front of them).
Monday was spent at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Wildlife Refuge. We didn’t realize that the taxi ride would take 1:45hr almost entirely on horrible mountain roads (hey, most of the roads were paved). Surprisingly this was quite well built, modern and organized park where they rescue exotic birds, jungle cats, reptiles, snakes and small mammals.
This keel-billed toucan had a question on his mind:
There was a splendid butterfly garden that elicited a roar of laughter when the butterflies landed on my hat ( alas I was too slow with the camera to catch it).
These jungle cats were soooo adorable. The best part can’t be captured on film as he had about an 80dB purr. If you look closely enough in the eyes of the second photo, you’ll actually see a reflection of us standing in front of him – I wish I could say I planned the photo that way.
I have no explanation for this photo. I just felt the need to capture the moment; hey, it’s art.
In the hummingbird garden, Owen and I applied some of new DSLR camera skills. We found that you need a shutter speed of at least 1/1600th of a second to freeze hummingbird wings. Owen takes the credit for the following photos:
.. And finally, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (I’m sure you’ll see this photo again in December). 🙂
Tomorrow will be a quieter day nearer to the hotel as we prepare to return to Oregon on Tuesday.