Friday, 18 February 2011

Costa Rica - Week Two

Our experiences on jungle trails brought the realization that most animals and birds keep themselves well-disguised amongst the greenery. In order to have a close look at some of them, we made the short journey to a rescue and breeding operation called Zoo Ave. That's ave as in bird, not avenue.

The adjoining neighbourhood of La Garita is rich in nurseries selling all kinds of tropical plants. Of course, we had to stop at one of the most inviting ones, even though we couldn't buy.

There were tables full of gorgeous potted orchids at ridiculously low prices,

                                       many cacti,

and a brilliant collection of bougainvilleas.

Everything was attractively displayed, much of it under a shade cloth roof which made it rather dark.

I've already mentioned the Ticos' expertise at topiary. Here, both above and below, we saw more examples of their skill.

 From there, it was only a few hundred metres to Zoo Ave.
The zoo was very well interpreted with signs explaining their mission of rehabilitation and how most of their creatures were acquired with such injuries that they could never be safely returned to the wild. There were also educational signs with charming graphics:

Translation: my eggs are not the solution. (The turtle is holding a box of Viagra.)

Although the animals are caged, the enclosures are large and leafy, giving them ample room to move about - which they did. As a result, it was difficult to get them to pose for the camera, but we tried our best. At least the macaws were cooperative.

 So was this iguana, sunning itself on the roof of an empty cage,


and this somewhat larger lizard.

The toucans were very flighty, and since their cage was huge, 

they were quickly able to remove themselves to a distant branch.

The monkeys were so quick it was impossible to photograph them. Every time I got a shot lined up, they leapt off.
At least the plants stayed still!

On the way back home, I took the opportunity to photograph some of the already-familiar landmarks along our route. Our route took us into a ravine below the highway spanned by this curious upside-down bridge,

and wound up and down over the hills, crossing more gullies with cascading streams.

Alongside some of them were some modest cottages,

and little shacks occupied, so we were told, mostly by refugee Nicaraguans.

A marker for our turn-off was this shop, always with a group of young guys outside chatting on their cellphones and waiting for something to happen.

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