Our first stop was Cozumel where we decided to relax and enjoy one of the local resorts with a day pass. We spend the day at the Occidental Grand which was on a side of the island we had never been too previously. The beach was beautiful and the day was perfect. Sharon spent the day laying out in the sun and enjoying frozen cocktails as she baked. Greg enjoyed the day on the beach scrambling for shade and enjoying a few cocktails. It was a beautiful day at the resort!
After a day at sea we arrived in Puerto Limon (Costa Rica) where we were hosting the Distinctive Voyage excursion. We had 53 persons in this group board two buses to go to a very interesting animal rescue center and botanical gardens (The Tree of Life). At the rescue center we saw many different species of monkeys, a few sloths and some other animals. The sloths were by far our favorite animals to see. We have previously seen sloths way up high in trees when we had been to Costa Rica in the past but seeing them up close and personal was really something. These animal were very cute and cuddly although they had two to three inch claws which could certainly scratch you pretty bad if you weren't careful. They looked just like little teddy bears without the big ears! The monkeys were fun to watch also and they seemed to like to entertain the group. We also so a pig like animal that had been someones pet in their house until they realized it sprayed a very smelly odor from a hole in its back. It had a nickname of a "skunk pig" but looked like a wild boar. All of the animals we saw were rescued from various situations where they couldn't be released back into the wild either because they had been pets or had been injured. The rescue center was trying to "train" the animals to be ready to enter the wild again over time after they recovered from any injuries they may have had. Besides the animals at this Tree of Life, there were also many beautiful plants that were in bloom and very beautiful. In addition to this stop our excursion also included a visit to the Cahuita National Park where we did a short half hour walk and saw many monkeys in the wild. The guides on this excursion were really great and made the trip a great success. They spoke great English and told us all about their country and the sites we were seeing. Everyone on the excursion seemed to have a great time.
Our next stop was Colon, Panama. Since we had no excursion or resort planned for this stop we decided just to use this port to find some internet and write this blog in addition to answering a few emails. There is really not much in the port of Colon unless you plan to visit the Panama Canal locks. Since we have been to the Panama Canal several times (most recently last year) and the new canal has not yet opened, we decided not to take the time to see the locks again. The Panama Canal is a very fascinating place to see and we recommend it to everyone to see it, but after you have seen it five or six times, it does lose a little of its fascination. We will go back in a couple of years when the new canal has been completed to see it in action.
From here we will head on to Cartagena and Grand Cayman. We are excited to go to Cartagena and get a chance to see it in the evening. This city has really turned into a great port stop and the old walled part of the city is a great place to visit to see the shops and restaurants. We will share what we find there on our next blog.
Greg and Sharon