Puntarenas was the fourth stop on our Canal Cruise and it was the very next day after our on-shore day in Nicaragua. This was the first and only time on the cruise when we had two on-shore days in a row. When we started, I was afraid we'd get tired of the at-sea days, but instead we found we missed the day of rest and relaxation between excursion days. (Might have something to do with the fact that this cruise was booked to celebrate our 60th Anniversary.... and the age that necessarily goes along with that momentous occasion.)
However, the small part of this country that we had time to see was so beautiful that we soon forgot about being tired. It was a one-hour drive to our first destination, but we had a knowledgeable and entertaining guide and the travel time went by quickly as we learned so much about the history of the country and present-day life.
We spent most of our day on shore at Turu Ba Ri Eco Park. This is a 650-acre park in Costa Rica's tropical rainforest.
Beautiful orchids grew wild. Not absolutely sure, but I think the one on the left is a Cattleya which is the national flower of Costa Rica.
We boarded this gondola for an aerial view of the rainforest.
This picture is badly distorted by reflections because it was taken through the gondola window, but I wanted to keep it as a reminder of the view of the forest and the Turrubares River. You can see other gondola cars in the upper left corner.
There are over 25 species in the Tura Ba Ri Butterfly Sanctuary. These are a few of them.
We visited a farm to learn about Costa Rica's agricultural economy in the present day and historically. There was a demonstration of the way sugar cane was milled in early days. The patient oxen turned the mill which ground and pressed the juice from the cane.
We sampled raw cane, the juice and rum made after the juice was cooked to a syrup.
After our gondola ride back up from the valley floor, we enjoyed a traditional Costa Rican lunch at the Park Visitor Center. But first, of course, everybody had to visit the lav. And of course I had to take a picture of their way of directing visitors to the one they wanted.
As with all cruise stops, we know we had time to sample only a small corner of this beautiful country ... but we are glad to have seen and learned as much as we did. We treasure the memories and know we're beyond fortunate to have made them.
LINKING THIS WEEK TO: ALL SEASONS; MOSAIC MONDAY; NATURE NOTES; OUR WORLD ON TUESDAY; THROUGH MY LENS; WEDNESDAY AROUND THE WORLD; FLORAL BLISS; SIGNS SIGNS; THANKFUL THURSDAY; SKYWATCH FRIDAY; and SATURDAY CRITTERS .
Thank you to all of the hosts!!