Poco Sol (3/23-24)
We woke up this morning to find that the easter bunny had come with jelly beans (happy easter to everyone, by the way).This sugar high was great for the 10 mile hike out of Peñas Blancas this morning.The hike was East to Poco Sol,at the edge of the reserve. About 1/2 hour into the hike there is a "treacherous" river, so Karen had guides come in to help us cross, as she was headed back to Monteverde (the other direction).This "treacherous" river wasn't all that bad because it was the dry season, but I was glad to have a guide with us for the rest of the hike.There were some swampy and confusing areas where the guide built bridges for us.The hike was pretty much uphill, I thought I would die at times.We probably crossed a dozen creeks and outlets of the river and at times there were mudslides where you just had no choice but to fall down.The trail smelled like Sarsaparilla (Piper spp. grew everywhere, which is the plant I used to reduce the swelling on my killer bug bite in Monteverde).I could tell a lot of the land had been farms because it was tremendously fragmented (although still much had grown in) and there were lots of banana plants in various places.There was this really neat part where we bumped into a lagoon and on the other side was an exposed tree with 20 Montezuma oropendola nests, which hang from the trees like sacs.They are incredibly noisy birds as I would soon find out.
Poco Sol sits on hill overlooking the canopy with a view of the mountains.There are tremendous porches with rocking chairs and the rooms are luxurious after Peñas Blancas. I think that Poco Sol is one of my favorite places on the field trip.I sat in a rocking chair for awhile while everyone began to arrive and Pablo got out the speakers to play cheesy 80's music.Was anything good made in that time period?There was a bet on when Alan would arrive with snacks.It turns out he arrived at 3:30 (early for him, and 2 hrs after I got there).The moment he arrived everyone grabbed the snacks and began to devour.There was cold beer and soda, lifesavers, Pringles, crackers, cookies, oooooh it was good.By the way, my friend Carolyn saw a Jaguar run across the path just before getting here.Isn't that cool?!?
It was interesting to think that hiking to Penas and then here was hiking through a whole reserve, and much of the land has been dramatically altered (although recovering).It really put it into perspective. If I can hike through a reserve in one day, what about a jaguar?Is it really big enough?
The food in poco sol is muy delicioso (ground yucca, rice, beans, pineapple, and lots of fresh fruit).Eladio could only go so far with the food in Penas cause it all had to be packed in.
Tonight was Molly's birthday so we had chocolate cake followed by a bird diversity lecture.Perfect timing for a lecture, right?After a long hike, cake, and beers.Yeah.I pretty much looked around to find the classroom almost all asleep during the lecture.
BIRD DIVERSITY DAY!Yay!The day started with 6am birding with Richard.It was misty, so hard to make out what we saw and hear, but we still identified about 30 birds.One of my favorite things Richard said was "Just a few more lumens would be helpful."Oh my, cheesy science humor.Let me just tell you that Richard is a 70-year-old scientist who is super into bats, birds, and reptiles. He knows so much and Costa Rica is like his Mecca for these animals.
After, we breakfasted, and what was a lecture on the porch overlooking the canopy turned into birding.We saw about 69 different birds that afternoon.The blue dacnis were literally bright turquoise and there were oropendolas and toucans being very active.We also saw a crested eagle, which after a harpy eagle is absolutely rare and incredible to see.It was awesome!
Free time came after lunch, so I walked to a nearby lake to journal, and socialize, while others swam.I shared about my 3rd lifesaver gummy package, man are these popular here.We watched Garrison crazily try to catch b'flies and then jump into the lake fully clothed.It was about the funniest thing that day.
After dinner we had stats class, and not just any stats class.Well, first we had cake for Caroline's birthday.Anyway stats class was about regression and correlation, but we had to collect data, so why not see who has the worst and best taste in rum.This of course was Alan's idea and probably done every year, but it was interesting.There were 10 types of rum, actually some was cheap liqour with fresca.We all had to anonymously rank the best tasting one to worst tasting one, without knowing what they were.And guess what, I had the best taste!No prize though.Can't remember what my rho and r2 are though.
Afterwards there was time spent on the porch talking, followed by a group sing-along with everybody singing and playing music for like 3 hours.We sang a lot of folk songs and the usual like Creep, Drift Away, and Brown Eyed Girl.It was great.After that we ALL went skinny dipping…enough said.