Hunting Quetzals

Today, we awoke well rested, and had a lazy morning. We had another delicious breakfast – fruit with a breakfast burrito. Today was gloriously sunny, with an amazing sky. We lingered on the patio and did some work, before heading out for a hike.

We wandered through town, poking into shops, and getting some delicious coffee drinks at Don Juan’s. We poked around the Herpatarium to look at snakes and frogs, and then headed for Curi Cancha wildlife refuge.

On our walk, we passed Rafa on his motorbike, and our Brandies friends from last night. Then Genelle drove past with Natalia. Finally, we saw the chocolate maker. We’ve only been here a few nights, but feel like we know everyone!

Along our way, we stopped in a craft gallery and a great art store (just opened) called Foresta. We bought many treasures. Next, we bought a bag at Natalia’s favorite store (Luna Azul).

We had lunch at Stella’s bakery (tortilla soup, carrot cake), which has a great bird watching patio in the bag.

Eventually, we arrive at Curi Cancha. The quetzal had been seen that morning, and we had a map to tell us where to look. The forest was full of great trees and interesting landscape. We saw baby coatamundis and white-faced capuchins, but no quetzal. We saw some great hummingbirds, and heard the bell bird, and saw second hand evidence of a quetzal and a bell bird (iphone photos from minutes before). Given that we’re definitely not birders, that seemed pretty close.

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We went for ice cream at the dairy, and then set out for home. Genelle drove past again, and told us they’d just spied a sloth. We detoured to find it, and saw our very first sloth! It was a furry lump. A very cute furry lump.

We headed for home in a rain shower, but made it home relatively drive. Carlos had offered to send us on a night hike (his treat) to increase our chances of seeing cool animals.

The hike was fantastic – they sent multiple groups into the forest, with radios, so when one group sees something cool, they can tell the rest. We saw a two toed sloth, a side-striped palm pit viper, kinkajous and olingos (in the same tree), along with an orange bellied trogon, blue crowned motmot and three golden browed chloriphonias, as well as bugs galore.

After the tour, we returned home to a delicious dinner form Carlos – tuna, soup and chocolate cake.

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