We are definitely not in the mountains anymore. The temperature & humidity have risen appreciably. By midnight the temp has dropped (80 F) so that sleeping becomes comfortable - within the full bed enclosure mosquito netting & using only a sheet as a cover. The abundance of bugs is another story - and one less appealing. Suffice to say, sparing details, 40+ bites from the waist down.
The Blanquillo Clay Lick was a sight to see. There were 50+ Macaws and 100+ Parakeets filling the trees above the clay lick banks. The Parakeets went in for their 'lick' en mass. The Macaws always worked as a team with half a dozen sentinels at the heights & to the extreme sides, evidently to determine whether it was safe for the group to get their clay fix. The main group would descend to the trees/bushes just above the clay banks, but would never actually go to the clay. There were hawks that would cicle above and the Macaws would vacate the premises, only to slowly, & cautiously, return over the next 30-45 minutes. Alas the Macaws never did partake of the clay whilst we were at the blind, 5 hours.
Vanessa, the resident, but wild, Tapir at the lodge was a sight to see. She was 5+ feet long, 3 feet tall , and weighed 300+ pounds. Although looking like a BIG pig with a long curved nose, they are actually more closely related to the horse & rhinoceros. I fed her an apple one morning just as I would a horse - from the flat of my hand, so as to minimize any personal surface area flesh that might be construed as part of breakfast ! Even our bathroom gecko lent a wilderness aspect to the whole setting; and besides, a gecko in the house is supposed to be a sign of good luck, no ? The bigger the better ?!
The 'staircase to heaven' was a unique vantage point up in & above the rain forest canopy. We were at least 150 feet above the ground on a 6' x 6' wooden platform. Although I have bungy jumped & parachuted, that platform (without any safety equipment firmly attached to my physical person) gave me the heebeegeebees. Descending the stairs was done one tentative step at a time with one eye closed and that eye fixated ONLY on the next step and NOT AT ALL on the distance to the ground below. Welcome Terra Firma !
Next we journey further downriver to Los Amigos.
Ciao for now.