Monday, August 20, 2018

Day 10 - Sun August 19, 2018 Caldera, Costa Rica - Crystal Symphony - San Francisco to New York

Day 10 - Sun August 19, 2018 Caldera, Costa Rica

We started the day with a 45 minute walk before returning to our cabin to get ready for our shore excursion.  We ordered room service for breakfast (omelets and fruit for both of us).

Caldera is the port area for Puntarenas, a city of about 100,000.

Our shore excursion today was to the Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfall.  

Pura Vida is a term for Costa Ricans that essentially means good health, good day, everything is going well. It's a positive affirmation of life. Everyone wants Pura Vida. (Bob thought of the phrase - Don't Worry, Be Happy).

Our guide Ursula was very knowledgeable and shared so many facts about the flora and fauna of Costa Rico.  After a brief stop at the Tarcoles River to see if we could see any crocodiles sunbathing (they were all in the river), we arrived at the Gardens. 

Crocs!!! (and not the shoes)
The Gardens are at an elevation of about 3000 feet above sea level.  The sweeping views of the ocean, the jungle and the waterfall were magnificent.  The gardens are in a natural setting and thousands of native and imported flowers have been added.  There are walkways that wander over the grounds.  

On one of the trails, we could see part of the largest waterfall in Costa Rica. 

In addition to seeing interesting flowers/plants there were many butterflies and birds.  Costa Rica has 137 species of snakes, 22 of which are poisonous.  Luckily we did not see any snakes on our walk (we were careful to watch out for the jumping viper, just in case).

It was an incredibly lush rain forest (Bob was thinking of "jungle" and the old Tarzan movies that he watched as a kid).

One set of steps that we climbed up almost killed us off. Amazing views, but wow was it hot!! Eventually we made it back for a Costa Rican lunch out on the patio.  It was great to sit down and relax after our 90 minute walk in the Gardens (the cold beer was quite welcome). 

Our guide explained to us that it is the rainy season, and every afternoon the dark clouds appear and it rains.  Not more than 5 minutes after we re-boarded the ship, it was pouring rain. Back on the ship, we relaxed – relaxed enough that we both had a short nap.  Guess we were tired out from our shore excursion and the heat.

Pre-dinner drinks were in the Cove.  This is the site of the Great Butterfly Caper.  I mentioned that in the Gardens we visited there were many butterflies and birds.  The gangway entrance was Deck 5 adjacent to the Cove.  All of sudden, a LARGE butterfly (probably 8 to 10 inches in wingspan) flew in through the entrance. It was so large we first wondered if it was a bird or a bat, but it quickly became apparent by the way it was flying that it was a butterfly.  This caused quite a stir as it flew through the bar with passengers ducking, the atrium by the fountain, the desk area.  Many Crystal employees were trying unsuccessfully to catch it.  Finally, a very tall passenger was able to pluck it out of one of the light fixtures in the Cove.  The Security Officer carried it to the door and released it outdoors.  Happy Ending to the story!

We had dinner in The Waterside.  Julie enjoyed: King Crab, Lump and Dungeness Crabmeat with Avocado Mousse

Vegetable Salad Nicoise with Fava Beans, Artichokes, Tomato, Onions, Haricot Verts, Olives and Sweet Peppers

And, for her entrée – a real departure with the Vegan entrée offering:  Vegan Sausage & Broccoli Ravioli with Parsley-Walnut Pesto.  It was a hit!

Bob had: Crisp Pork Spring Roll with Pineapple Mango Chutney

Parsnip Soup with Chives and Sour Cream

Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Chimmi Churri Sauce, Eggplant-Corn Chorizo Confit, Crisp Chorizo

For dessert, Julie had the Bailey's Irish Cream Torte and Bob had a selection of cheeses.

After dinner the Crystal Showband performed Dixieland and New Orleans Jazz music.  This show is back by popular demand from the passengers.

We were in port until 10:00 pm, and therefore local performers were brought onboard to perform for us.  The locals Costa Rican Show was performed at 9:15 pm in the Galaxy.  It featured local music, dance and costumes.  They did a nice job.  We always find it interesting to get a peek into the local culture through these types of shows.

Tonight we have to move the clocks forward again…..  We are reminded why we much prefer to travel west where you gain hours instead of losing them J

Today we walked 15,495 steps, 7.4 miles.

1 comment:

  1. On our 2019 Canal cruise we overnight here, it is the port that we disembark the ship at. Our plan is to spend 3 days at one of the resorts and then head home. Would you recommend the SE you booked? We will have plenty of time to Zip Line on our own.