Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Bus Trip to La Calandria

Today we made the trip from Le Selva to La Calandria Research of my most favorite places on earth.

But first, maybe you're tired from shoveling snow and thinking that a trip like this is a nice's Dr. Tim Parshall, working and going over notes at 10:00 pm last night....after starting his day at 6:00 to go birding with students...

After riding on the bus a few hours, students get off the bus in La Fortuna.  They have  scavenger list and need to scour the town for different items and experiences.

 Paige, Bekah, and Nick check out Costa Rican money

Bridget, Coltin, and Heather on the hunt.


Chloe, Sam, and John. 

The town square was full of giant cannalilies. Oh, and surprise, it was raining all day.

The only constants on a trip like this are the crew and the bus.  I'm always amazed at the interactions of students on the bus.  Ever subject under the sun is fair game - school, politics, guns, hunting, dogs, horses, motorcycles, video games, game boxes, the Big E, favorite foods, families.  We eat a lot of Altoids.  Students talk, play games, write in their journals, listen to tunes.  The students bond and form close, tight, long-lasting friendships in the tight confines of the bus.  I am very proud of what nice folks they are.

Josh explains something, while Bekah and Sam take the opportunity to snooze...

Chris shows of a flute he bought from a street vendor, while Charlie looks like he's about to steal it. 

The landscape. 

 Here's our bus, with our luggage loaded on top.
 We stopped for lunch at a cafĂ© looking over Lake Arenal, on the flanks of the Arenal Volcano

 Bekah and Paige immediately took two chairs and sat at the railing overlooking the amazing view of the lake.

Here's their view...

 I got a mango drink, which was delivered with an orchid in.  So, I claim an orchid point from my wife!

 Deb, Tim, and our bus driver Dago.  He is an AMAZING driver.  In front is my pizza.
 As we drive along, here's the view of the countryside.  This was once rain forest, but now it is pasture land with cows.  Later on our trip, we'll work to do reforestation efforts....more later.

This show's you the cloud forest we're driving through. It was wet, cloudy, raining, blowing, pouring rain.

 This is a typical house, its raining and I took many of these pictures through the bus window, but you get the idea.

 Here, I had the great idea to have Nick hang out the window taking pictures.  That earned me a mud coated Nikon :-(

This shows one of many mudslides on the gravel road.  In October, Costa Rica had an intense storm with 23 inches of rain in 24 hours!  Many roads washed out.

This shows the mud on my window. The camera looks the same way.

 We made it to the next research station, La Calandria.

Here the bags are coming off the bus...

Students went for a recreational hike around the grounds before supper.  Here, Heather shows off an orchid she found to get two Dr. V Orchid Points.

She found several of them....

We made it back in time to watch the sunset.  This is the view from the porch...

 John watching the sunset
Bridget apparently is proud of her shoes. 

Charlie checking out the view.

 Tim looks up from his journaling, with the sunset shining on his face.

 Bridget thinking, perhaps about the chocolate we ate yesterday....
The mountain view.... 

 Paige journaling...
Josh is always happy.

 Chris is an avid motorcyclist, and he's having a real problem seeing the thousands of motorcycles here, and not being able to go riding.

Nick is an avid "ball and cupper" (there's a real word for this, but I forget what it is).  However, I can assure you that watching Nick is AMAZING.
Nick is so good at it, that he managed to catch the sun on his cup.
Ordinarily I would say something like "a beautiful sunset to end a perfect day."  But, NO.  As I write this (8:36 pm), Mark is teaching the students about the history of Costa Rica - their day is far from over.  There's listening to this lecture, taking notes in their journals, writing in their journals, and tomorrow....dah Dah DAHHHHHH.  The first evaluation and review of their journals occurs.

Me, I'm ready to sleep.

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