Saturday, March 4, 2023

February 3, 2023 – Puerto Limon, Costa Rica – Mostly Cloudy – 78F.

We are in Puerto Limon, Costa Rico on the Eastern coast of the country.  We are the only cruise ship here today.

The ride was a little rocky and it is cloudy out there (Porthole Cam). I could also see the pilot that assisted Onward's docking.  

We are on tour today – the first of several we have scheduled for this cruise.  We are going to visit the Tortuguero Canals, a series of waterways near the port, where you can spot various animals – an Eco Tour.

We ordered Room Service for the first time this cruise – I had pancakes with two eggs over medium – oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins.  Ellen had the French Toast and two eggs over medium.  The food came right on time and was still hot – our location and the size of the ship makes all the difference.  The servers always bring a tablecloth - now, if we only had a table.

Our meeting time in the Cabaret Theater was 8:45 AM and our wait wasn’t long.  I could see the tour busses lined up near the ship.

Our group was called, and we used the gangway on Deck 4.  Even though the captain had cautioned us that the swells might move the gangways a bit, that didn’t happen.  We walked just a short distance to the bus area.  We are in Group 9 and our guide is Andrea.  All of the guides today are in uniform – Yellow shirts and orange pants – and it gives them a crisp professional look.  Ellen hustled and got the first two seats on the left side of the bus.  Andrea’s English is pretty good, but she does pronounce the “S” in “island” (like Iceland).  The ride to the canal took about 20 minutes and took us through the town and then through the burbs of Limon.  Andrea told us that Costa Rica is the wealthiest country in Central America, but you couldn’t tell that by looking at the houses along our route.  Lots of abandoned structures left to rot in the jungle humidity and rain.  

We are on Boat 2.  

The boat was an open river boat with 2X2 seating 

so, you can pretty much see everything at river level.  We took the last seats in the back of the boat so that we would be able photograph the wildlife.  

To see things in the trees, you have to basically stand at the front of the boat.  Saw a crocodile, 

lots of birds including some herons, 

There is something in this picture but I cannot see it

iguanas, a three toed sloth and - the dark blob at the top of the top is allegedly a sloth- 

a ninja howler monkey (I could not see him in the picture below).

We also sampled Costa Rican bananas, cassava chips, and chocolate candies made in Costa Rica – I decided not to try the raw cacao goop – already did that and was not impressed. Andrea also picked some baby bananas so we could see how the plant matures.

The actual distance covered in the canal was pretty small – 

our boat went back and forth over the same stretch of water looking for fauna.  After about an hour or so, we were back at the launch area.  We were given a sample of Costa Rican beer (not that great) and I looked around for coffee.  The coffee at this touristic place ran $18 for 200-300 grams (454 gram/pound).  Not a great deal.  

The ride back to the ship was pretty fast. We opted to get off at the shopping tent at the entrance to the pier.  The spa that we had gone to several times was gone (all that was left were their signs) but I did buy some whole bean coffee – 500 grams for $12.  Ellen also bought a coffee sampler and a mug (with Rebecca's name wood burned on the outside).  We then walked the 900 feet or so to the ship.  It might have been the vendors only sale of the day.  

The pier area was still pretty nice with its oversized chair for picture taking and selfies (a good try). 

and its great view of the Onward docked. 

I also got a picture of a vintage boat named the "Puerto Limon" - not its real name but a way to document where you were.

We had lunch in the Windows Café – I had the Tuna Wrap (forgot to get it well done but I ate most of it anyhow), a salad from the salad bar and Carlsberg Beer.  Ellen had scoops of tuna and egg salad.

Afternoon was spent in the Living Room – I am about 20 percent through my book and it is starting to get interesting.  For some reason, drinking a lot of water today. 

The Discoveries Restaurant had sole tonight so we reluctantly went there for dinner.  I tried stuff off the newly discovered vegan menu – Bruschetta (not so good). Tomato Bisque Soup (excellent) and the Beyond Meat Steak (just a burger shaped sort of into a steak) – it was OK because of the seasonings they put on it.  It came with an unidentifiable starch so I got a side of very good mashed potatoes.

We stopped at the Mosaic Café for coffee and tea – the Café Americano was too strong even with a lot of milk added. I am going to start ordering it half and half with hot water.  

The headliner tonight was Emilio Valle, a guitarist from Chile.  Seemed like a nice person but when he lit up his electric guitar it was just too much for us. Besides, the Cabaret Lounge was set to “arctic” on the thermostat. Ellen went down and got my windbreaker.  We lasted a couple of songs and then we were headed for the room.

A really nice day in Puerto Limon.

Clocks move forward one hour to put us on Panama Time.

The seas are quieter tonight.

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