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We had a nice sleep in and breakfast this morning.  After that it was time to head out and explore some more.  We confirmed at the desk that you can’t take a water taxi to the Playa de los Perros, you must take a tour boat.  So it wasn’t really our Spanish that failed us yesterday.

Literally right next door to us is the Las Ninfas lagoon (lagoon of the nymphs).  It is a mangrove lagoon surrounded by wooden boardwalk and nature signs.  We took a stroll around and saw a blue skate (a kind of ray), tons of fish from minnow size to 8″ and surprisingly a sea lion cruised through.  Quite serene and beautiful.  The birds here are plentiful and have great songs.

This little guy was also there to greet us.  They are also all over our hotel too.  So much wildlife just here.  Awesome.

And the sea lion cruising through.

After that we walked to the square which is about 2 blocks away and found a taxi (not at all hard to do).  We negotiated a day rate of $40 and he was ours for the day.   Our bad Spanish, his next to nothing English and we’re good to go.   I also bought a stupid tourist hat.  I had to, I burnt the back of my neck yesterday and wanted full coverage.  We have slathered sunscreen like crazy but the heat melts it off pretty quickly.  And being on the equator magnifies the sun.  Sanity over vanity prevails.  I guess I am maturing!
First stop was Los Gemelos, 2 volcanic craters overgrown with ferns.  We’ve seen similar on the Big Island of Hawaii but these are still wonderful and beautiful.

Hop back in the taxi and off to El Chato Tortoise Reserve.   $3 entry, and we were free to roam.  The rule is you must be 3 meters away from the tortoise but nobody says that the tortoise can’t invade your space.  We saw small ones that must be close to 100 pounds and larger ones that must be 500-600 pounds.  Easily 5′ long and 3′ wide.  It sure looked like a lot of work to move.

I could have crawled inside the one on the right.

Big one.

Little one.

Back to big.

Mud bath anyone?

This little guy was cruising a decent speed.

That backpack is full of camera gear.  Can’t have too many lenses to get the shot!  It’s heavy but worth it.

We also visited the 500 meter lava tube on the ranch property.   Again, we’ve seen lava tubes before but this one was very long.  Amazing to think hot rock moved this much earth.

Going in.

Part way through.

And coming out.

Back to our taxi and we asked our driver to get us to Lava Java Coffee.  He didn’t know that but kept saying Trapiche (which is grinder in Spanish) so we said yes and went with it.  Turns out he was saying El Trapiche Organic coffee.  Everything is done by hand.  We met the owner and he gave us the tour.  

Mule driven grinder.  The famous Trapiche I guess.

Manual separating of the dried coffee cherry fruit and the beans

And a small batch of beans roasting over a bamboo wood fire.

Oh wow it was good.  Very very good.  We bought a pound but I’m seriously considering going back and buying 10 more.
Finally it was back to the main square to have a late lunch and a cold beer.

After a nice swim we walked down the street to the food carts.  There is a whole street that shuts down and becomes a food court.

During the day.

At night.

At the far end is an Italian place run by a little old crazy Italian guy.  We had to stop and have pizza. We got to practice our Italian with him too.  Good pizza and entertainment.

Tomorrow we have booked a boat tour of Academy Bay.  Snorkeling and hopefully more wildlife.

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