Sustainability - EcoTourism & Kayaking in the dark

Trip Start Oct 18, 2013
Trip End Nov 04, 2013

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Thursday, October 24, 2013

I have not talked yet about Costa Rica's admirable sustainability focus in all they do, especially on the tourista front. It's a very big deal here!!  During both registration times at each hotel, we were given a short but direct talk about how seriously each hotel takes sustainability.  Folk living here are so much further advanced than we are and they are very proud of it- it makes it easy to comply.  And it makes eating easy as most food is organic and/or straight from the sea - we even drink the water from the tap! And we have yet to see anyone smoking! The towels may not be as white as some places (no bleach or harsh chemicals used) but they are clean and fresh, the pools are crystal clear and with NO chlorine! All toiletries are natural - my hair and skin is loving it!! So soft! And the warm moist air helps this as well.  This tropical rainforest is in good hands!
 We had our most exciting, educational and fun experience yet this evening!  We kayaked the Damas Island Mangrove estuary accompanied by yet another wonderful guide.  Self taught, he knew everything there is to know about mangroves, speaking about each species and the phenomenal way they propagate with great clarity and passion even though you knew he had said it all many times before.  He reminded me of a young Poppa and Poppa would have adored this tour! I was thrilled to hear they have University students from Canada and the USA to come here to assist and build research.
Horge took us out into the canals, explaining carefully the protected waterways, and how they are one of the most critical ecosystems in the world.  The experience was totally surreal!!! Especially as the night closed in and we donned headlamps to continue our paddling searching for critters along the way.  
The channels became so narrow at some points that it was a challenge not to get our paddles stuck in the branches and roots!  Felt a bit like bumper boats with the trees at times - heh. Such silence of human voice but lots of bird, animal and even seashell noises as we heard great "crack" noises as the clams snap shut when the tides rise - crazy!  Only one crocodile - sez Horge but R and I didn't catch site of him - so fast! One giant bull frog! Jeremiah tune ensued. Two Boas - funny but with good education from Horge we didn't feel slightly afraid just curious.  Saw an anteater up a tree. But mainly we were just enchanted by the peaceful paddling surrounded by primordial, weird and wonderful vegetation. Over 2 hours of great paddling.  Quite the night!
Back a tad late ("It was the crocodile!!" I said, and all was forgiven) to scurry into clean clothes for our private candlelit dinner by the upper pool served by our own private waiter. Surf pounding below us, warm breezes, lovely Pinot Grigio, beautiful food, full, well exercised minds and bodies - we are so blessed. 
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