Lois writing first, John later
When we woke up this morning, we expected that we would be at the Punta Leona Resort for two more nights, plus a night in San Jose before leaving the country. But in the early afternoon, Kat told us that Road Scholar had decided to send us all home within 24 hours. Apparently they had been suggesting that move for a few days, but she convinced them to hold off for a while. Since the San Jose airport is planning to close later this week, it's good to end the trip now. Naturally everyone in our group is disappointed, but there's not much we can do.
Within hours, all the plane reservations were changed. So we should be home very late Tuesday night (actually 12:06 AM Wed. morning). John & I are apprehensive about getting on a plane tomorrow (actually 3 planes), but we will cope. This Covid-19 thing is the pits.
Because of our early departure, we will miss a zipline activity, and a boat ride on the Tarcoles River. We did drive over the river both yesterday and today, and saw crocodiles each time, so part of that experience has happened. The resort had some things that we didn't have time to experience - the pool, beach and butterfly house - not to mention really great food. The restaurant was open air, and really lovely this morning at breakfast time, but we never got the chance to take a picture of it.
We had a fun morning on a trip using outrigger canoes. When we arrived at the outfitter, the head guide explained the way things would work. We got fitted with our PFDs, and grabbed a paddle. To my surprise, they were great, and were homemade! They used a bamboo shaft and handle with a thin fiberglass blade, and West System G-Flex to glue the pieces together.
The canoes themselves were heavy duty fiberglass, about 30 feet long, and two feet wide with an outrigger on both sides. With eight or nine people aboard, and about 1500 lbs of canoe, it took some effort to get them moving, but once up to speed, we moved right along. We paddled around a rocky headland to a secluded beach where we landed for some swimming, snorkeling, and a light lunch.
The air temperature was in the high 80's and the water was about 80 degrees. After lunch we loaded up and paddled back to the beach where we launched, which only took about thirty minutes. Once we got loaded onto the tour bus, our guide Kat told us that Road Scholar was cancelling the rest of our trip, and we were going to drive back to San Jose that afternoon, and fly out tomorrow.
Costa Rica is starting to take steps to close down their airport, and Road Scholar wanted to make sure we could get home. Costa Rica has closed down their northern and southern borders. The only people allowed in are Costa Rican citizens. The only people allowed to leave are foreigners. Other than that, things seem pretty normal here. We are not looking forward to the flights home, but we will probably feel better once we arrive back in northern Michigan.