Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 4

Another early day as we were picked up at 5 a.m. for our hot air balloon ride. It was a first for all of us. It’s always fun to experience something for the first time together. Seeing the world from above was incredible. We skimmed the tops of the rainforest and aroused the howling monkeys. We saw gorgeous toucans everywhere along with other birds. Butch thinks he spotted a sloth. We felt like we were floating even when we were going 40 MPH---it felt like we were hardly moving. We were about 4000 ft. above. When it came time to land, we were amazed at the precision of our pilot. We landed in a farmers field where there were young saplings about 6 feet apart with wired rows. He landed without harming a single one! The farmer and his children came out to get in on the action. Turns out, ballooning is nearly an unknown phenomenon in this area. In fact, our pilot is the only one! We were fortunate to be able to do this.

On our way home, our driver said he had a surprise for us, but it would take an extra hour. We quickly said---“sure, we’re up for an adventure!” It didn’t take too long for Butch to figure out that we were on the same road to the “chicken farm.” Remember the iguanas from yesterday? Well, that’s where we went again. We all were good sports and pretended like it was all new to us. We just hoped that the people at the market wouldn’t give us away. They didn’t. After an appropriate amount of time oohing and aahing and more picture taking, we were back on the road.

We got back to the hotel with a couple of hours to spare before our next pick up. We got in the hot tub for awhile and had lunch on our patio.

We were picked up at 1:30 for our “hanging bridges hike.” My plan was to just do half of the hike and then wait for the rest of the gang. Instead, the guide said it was an easy, two mile hike with a few uphill places. That was sort of a big fat lie!! Anyway, it sounded good. I do at least two miles on the treadmill everyday, so I thought this would be a piece of cake. Was I wrong! It was supposed to be 2 hours.

We started out. Within 5 minutes we saw white-faced monkeys (which he had already told us on the way---were rare and we probably wouldn’t see) and howling monkeys. They were incredible and very close. I have some awesome pictures, but since we ditched my camera for Butch’s iPhone, I cannot get them yet.

Anyway, we continued on and saw many birds and insects. Our guide was so knowledgeable and informative. There were 16 hanging bridges. I’d say by bridge 8, I was done! That was about an hour and a half in to it. My feet were killing me. The other day, I had no problems on that hike. But this path had uneven stone pavers. I understand why they are there---to keep you from slipping on the trail should they get muddy---but for someone with foot problems, it was pure torture. By the time we finished---2 hrs. and 45 minutes later, I could barely walk. Besides the pain, my feet were numb from the metal plates in my shoes!

I know, whine, whine, whine. But the point is, it ruined my night. I was unable to go to the hot springs. I thought that might really feel good on my feet, but I just couldn’t think about walking any more. I struggled through a hot shower and hobbled to the sofa. I parked myself there with my feet up for a few hours. I took some ibuprofen which stopped the throbbing, but didn’t eliminate all the pain. Okay, I have to stop complaining. I can’t imagine being laid up in a more beautiful setting! And, I wasn’t in bed with my hives! I thank God for that! I made the most of it by ordering room service. Butch insisted on staying behind with me. At least I encouraged him to go to happy hour at the nearby bar.  Luckily for him, the bartender had a NASCAR race on. This weekend is the Daytona 500 which Butch has gone to for the last 20 years.

Since I don't have pictures of today that I can share yet, I'll post a few others that I do have.
This is the path to our villa. The greenery is so lush that you feel like you are just walking through a garden. You cannot see any of the villas from the main paths.
 The only indication that there are more villas are the pathways. The grounds are just gorgeous. The crotons are actually trees here. I'll take a picture of one soon.

 I have no idea what this is, but thought it so unusual. Obviously, they are seeds of some sort.

All in all, it was another great day. Tomorrow is a day of relaxation for Karolyn and I. We have scheduled a couple of spa treatments and plan to just lay out at the pool. Unfortunately for the guys, it’s another early day. They are being picked up at 5:30 a.m. for a fishing trip. I hope they catch!

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a shame that the walk was so hard :( Glad that Butch was able to watch the race at least. Several friends of mine talked about it.


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