Costa Rica: Last Day

Funny – I ended the last post with our drive, but now we’re still driving! Despite the paved roads, it was slow going for a bit because Yen was taking photos every five minutes.

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At last we came down the mountains to the Pan-American Highway, briefly touching the Pacific coast with its black sand beach at Puntarenas, and into San Jose. We stopped for an outstanding lunch (with rice pudding on the house for dessert!) This was a typical Costa Rican meal with rice, beans, fresh or pickled vegetables, grilled or sauteed meat and of course a fruit shake with made with either milk or water. Those were watermelon smoothies.

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We chose the restaurant partly because it was across the street from an animal sanctuary, Zoo Ave.

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We didn’t manage to see a resplendent quetzal in the wild this time. This one will have to do.

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This is what a zoo should look like! Isn’t it lush?  It reminds us of the Bioparc Fuengirola in Costa del Sol.

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Many of the animals were allowed to wander, and there are signs everywhere warning you that the animals belong there more than you do.

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Linus wasn’t terribly pleased by one type of animal that was on the loose.

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But unfazed by the T-Rex.

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These little guys look like mini badgers, but they’re more like weasels.

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And the whole place was covered in these huge spiders and their webs! They’re golden silk orb-weavers.

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And some kind of interesting squirrel.

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More local fauna, this one chewing her fingers. She won’t stop doing that! Poor thing, sometimes she even makes them bleed.

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The iguanas don’t just roam the grounds, they hang out in the treetops.

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We don’t know what this was supposed to be. But she wanted a photo to remember it by.

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I don’t remember this. I guess he was tired! I certainly was.

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This huge, random bamboo grove is right in the middle of the place. Mina and I are scale.

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He’s probably looking at a spider, not something more exciting.

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When we arrived at the zoo, Linus heard the woman say “zipline.” He got so excited!

When we started planning this vacation, it was the only thing he asked to do. We asked around for places that allowed kids, and most said they would take 5 year olds. We didn’t think it was right for him to go without Mina, so we put it off. But once we got here, we thought it would be OK because I could amuse her while they went. And so they did. What I didn’t know until later is that they went twice.

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Brave little man! We’ve been talking about bravery a lot lately, that brave doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means you ARE afraid, but you still go for it.

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Yen went first, as he was going alone.

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And then it was Linus’s turn. He was going tandem with the (very experienced but no English or Vietnamese speaking) guide.

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There they go!

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Surprise! Yen has videos. There was a total of four tree-top platforms.

Meanwhile, Mina and I were killing time. Here is a stick she was particularly attached to. This also caused some yelling, but luckily it was more one-sided this time (hers).

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Then she was a peacock.

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Then she tried on Yen’s glasses. Not pictured: a capybara suddenly burst from the bushes next to us, sniffed Mina, and trotted across the sidewalk and into the bushes on the other side. We were both so startled that I didn’t get a photo. A guide came running up after, very excited that it had happened, as apparently they’re quite shy.

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There’s that stick again… Where are those men???

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Hooray! Their triumphant return!

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We checked into our hotel near the airport and celebrated the end of the trip with outstanding Peruvian food in a nearby mall (Tayta Restaurante Peruano in Plaza Real Alajuela).   Of course that’s a Pisco Sour in front of me, a Mar y Tierra in front of Yen and maracuya juice for the kids.

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The mall had a terrific little playground outside with a mini hanging bridge. We let the kids run around for quite a long time. I was surprised how many kids were out late.

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And then it was back on the plane and back toward home. Where should we go next?

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