Saturday, May 14, 2005

Later on we saw some howler monkeys that employed the same technique as a nervous frog to ward us off but fortunately for us without success. However the true star of the cloud forest is the Quetzal. We saw some good glimpses of them in the preserve but an even better display the next day. There are reputedly only 300 or so of them left. Outside the preserve was a hummingbird garden that was a buzz with hummingbirds.

The following morning (Wed) Bev and Aidan woke early and sat on our deck and identified an amazing number of birds in our bird guidebook. The prize was the blue-crowned motmot. After breakfast the first team (Phil and Pete) went to the canopy tour while the rest of the family went to the Children’s Eternal Forest. (We had to go in shifts because the canopy tour was restricted to 8 year olds and up.) The canopy tour was a series of zip wires traversing back and forth across ever increasing canyons. The longest span was 750 meters (1/2 mile), the highest about 140 Meters off the ground, and the estimated top speed on the steepest wire was 40 mph. Some of the wires threaded through the forest which was exciting as you wondered whether you’d make it through and where the wire went to on the other side.

Afterward we met up for lunch and then Phil and I watched the kids while Bev, Julia, and Pop took to the course. I was a little nervous about whether Pop knew what he was signing up for because he referred to it as the “SkyTram’’’ when we made our bookings the day before. He may have been a little surprised to arrive at the site and see people zipping through the air but he enjoyed himself and reportedly came across the wire fast and low like a missile.

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