Last weekend we left our lovely peninsula to venture inland to visit a National Park. Neighborly recommendations led us to Sergio's, a hacienda offering reasonably priced rooms, lots of open space, and easy access. The park was another 30 minutes beyond Sergio's, up a bumpy but manageable road with lovely views and quiet surroundings. The next 4 critters were all spotted from the road or within one hundred yards of it.
Damn those flycatchers!
The centerpiece of the park is a volcano with accompanying thermal features. It is no Jellystone, but there were some similar sights. Julian's favorite, and the selling points for convincing him of the trip's worth, were the boiling mud pots. Nearby, he harvested a piece of the ground, "volcano clay" as we like to call it, that he kept as a souvenir.
We did a short hike in the park, through wet, dense, muddy forest, visiting some waterfalls, steaming vents, mud pots, and bubbling thermal springs. The signs warned that the temperatures ranged to 142C. That seemed a bit hot to me, considering the boiling point of water, but mayhaps they were referring to the steaming vents. Regardless, we did not sneak around any of the wooden fences.
The most exciting parts of the park visit came as we were leaving. I saw a toucan fly by immediately after exiting the forest.
The ranger at the guard station had a 15-day-old boa constrictor that he brought over for Julian. I realized then that a snake does not have a childhood. That little curled bit of purpose had only three things on his "mind": eating, not being eaten, and staying warm. When I looked into its face, I saw the psyche of a full grown boa. If he could, he would have squeezed the life right out of me and swallowed me whole.
Before we hopped in our car to leave we walked to a nearby waterfall. The picture of the swimming hole at the bottom of the falls says enough.
Come visit; it's lots o' fun.