May 17:  Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero National Park

We left at 7:15am in a van for Limon, stopping for breakfast along the way.  I noticed that my left leg alone had ~20 mosquito bites.  We stopped in Limon at a supermarket to stock on stuff for Rara Avis, but all I got was water.

Non sequitur:  Tara is originally from the Maritime Provinces.  I just wrote it here for some reason.

After Limon we arrived at another port, Puerto Moin, and left on our canal cruise at 10:25am to see variegated wildlife on the way to Tortuguero.  This reminded me of the "swap cruise" (not "swamp") that an associate went on a while ago.

Tricolored heron.  I'm making extensive use of the zoom on this page.

Blue heron.  The guide said this is a baby, so it's still more white than blue.


Caiman eating a blue crab.  Kind of an action shot.  The blue crab is all the way over on the right.  He pinched the caiman and got away, but lost a claw.

Kingfisher, namesake of the Indian beer.

Green basilisk, a relative of the Jesus lizard, or maybe the same thing.


Tiny bats.

Female darter.

Oh hell yeah.  There were two crocs here but as our boat came to a stop one eased into the water like an old man into a nice warm offense.

This is zoomed a bit but we really were quite close.

Check it each photo his mouth is slightly more open than in the one before.

He's getting ready to eat us all up!

I'm just about out of crocodile captions.

Finally, that was the last pic.  Did I really need to post all 6?  They're all pretty much the same.  Sometimes I just don't have the energy to choose which pics to discard.

While the boat stopped for gas I took this rainy canal pic.  It rained for part of the boat ride, which made wildlife-spotting difficult.

At this point there were no more animals and were were just speeding along, so I took this dope-ass reflection pic.

This one too.  It's ever doper.  And phat and fresh and fly.

Oh yeah, I forgot...there were indeed more animals.  Above is a turkey, which isn't all that exotic.

Male darter drying his wings.

OK, this caused a stir.  The guide said many bird-watchers spend years in Costa Rica and never see the Great Potoo, but here it is, with a baby on the right.

Again, these pics are pretty much identical, but since it's such a rare sighting I'll treat you all.


"Po-Po-Potoo!"  "Bless you, Pebbles!"  Even in the Stone Age, some people had difficult seeing the Great Potoo.  (I didn't realize that The Flintstones was cancelled very soon after the Great Gazoo made his debut.  He was 30 years ahead of his time.  Not until Chris Kattan joined SNL was the addition of a gay alien to a show's cast successful.)

I should have used the previous caption here instead, because I have nothing to end on.

Spider monkeys!  Hard to see, hard to focus.

Better shot of a spider monkey.

At first I thought this was Gary dell'Abate, but it's just another howler monkey.

We stopped for lunch somewhere along the way.  I (most of us, actually) had fried chicken, rice, beans and some kind of "oat milk".  Tara took a group photo, which I wasn't ready for because I was eating.  Me:  "Don't say 'smile' when I have a mouth full of rice.  Unfair."  Tara:  "You look fabulous."  Me:  "Nevertheless."

The boat ride ended at 4:15pm and we arrived in Tortuguero.  I found an Internet place and finally placed bids on potential replacements for Delgado with a couple hours to spare.  Boners had dropped to 5th (61.5 pts.).  Lakers beat the Rockets in game 7.

The attraction in Tortuguero is watching turtles nest on the beach, but the boat guide said there was currently no activity, so we were planning to skip the night walk along the beach.  But then the guide in Tortuguero said they were indeed nesting, which was probably a ruse because we'd be paying her to lead the walk and there's no refund if there are no turtles.  So we had a rushed dinner, which was even more rushed for me because Phil accidentally took my soup and I had to wait for another bowl.

The turtle walk with Maria (the guide) turned out to be an hour of following her as she illuminated potential obstructions with a red flashlight, and then an hour back.  No turtles.  And the flashlight didn't help everyone avoid tripping over things.  There was an odd phenomenon, Maria walked, I thought I kept seeing flashes of light behind her feet.  I thought I was hallucinating.  Then Sarah saw it too.  Someone said it was from plankton that she was walking on.  I'll research that later.  The one thing we learned on the walk:  Don't flash your gash.  That almost made up for the lack of turtles.

Our block of hotels rooms had lots of geckos crawling outside, and I realized that the weird sounds I was hearing in my room in Puerto Viejo were from geckos.  I forgot to mention those noises on the Puerto Viejo pages.

Back at the room I took a dump, and when I flushed there was a long turd that made its way back into the bowl.  Kind of like when an anaconda tries to devour an Indonesian boy who's just too big and he has to regurgitate him.  Or like an old man sending back soup in a deli.  See, even a dump anecdote can be made more pleasant with a Seinfeld reference.

I showered, took a couple "PM pills" (since I hadn't had alcohol and really needed to fix my insomnia, although I did something else to fix it as well which I was forgetting to do just like on the Greece trip) and went to bed at 11:20pm.