We took a "hike" on an Arenal Volcano national park trail--very well maintained, level, no rough spots--looking for wild life. I was starting to discover that all the birds and animals had their particular territories, and the guides pretty much knew where they would be. I went to Costa Rica thinking everywhere I turned there would be birds galore and sloths hanging out. That is not the case.
At the end of the trail (the last 100 feet) was a steep climb and we arrived at a rocky undeveloped lookout with tons of people looking out. This is the resulting photo of the volcano, which we weren't any closer to than when we started our "hike." Now I'm thinking I should have taken a picture of all the people.
The cloud cover dropped and obscured the mountain's peak, but there are some other photos below from our hotel room that were picture perfect.
Oh, and Quinton got the best photo of a yellow viper. A small one, sleeping during the day. Right next to the trail.
Hiding in Plain Site
The jungle is dense. Layers and layers of vegetation. Lots of color, lots of shadow; easy for hiding. Again, the turnoff, off the trail, where these birds were commonly seen, was well trodden by human feet. Even so, the birds are hard to see. Later, unexpectedly, they walked right out onto the trail we were walking and preened for us--a danger sign, apparently--I missed that part of the lecture.
We were told unequivocally to stay on the path, to not tread left or right. Several good reasons for that. At the Arenal hotel, especially, we were told not to walk down the road in the evening or after dark. The reason? There was a snake crossing, and these nocturnal creatures were aggressive in protecting their territory. Now, how would I have known that, if I hadn't stopped to talk to the concierge for just a moment before heading down that way????