Tag Archives: crocodiles

A Night to Remember- Stars, Crocodiles And Flaminco Fusion

dave-and-shirleyFlaminco fusion music and the promise of good barbecued seafood and pork had taken us to a restaurant called Seven in Playa Grande during our first week in Costa Rica.  The music by a very talented guitarist who called himself a flaminco fusionist had been great so we decided to return last night taking Paul and Shirley our newly arrived guests. After a day spent in the wind and sun on the beach and a couple of lively competitive euchre games we were ready for a relaxing evening. dave-and-paul-walkingBut first we had to walk the two kilometers to the beach to catch a water taxi. 

waiting-for-the-taxiDave discovered the restaurant would pay for the water taxi to take us across the estuary that lies between Tamarindo where we are staying now and Playa Grande where the restaurant is located. We arrived early for the boat taxi and waited in the setting sun for our ride. shirley-and-horse-manWhile we waited this very fit horseback rider came along and wanted to take us for a ride along the beach. Shirley immediately engaged him in conversation and it wasn’t long before we’d heard his life story. His father was an American linguistics professor who fell in love with his mother a prostitute from Panama. Sounded like it all had an almost fairy tale like ending.shirley-costa-ricaOur new acquaintance, who Shirley and I agreed later looked like one of those long-haired, bare-chested, bronzed men you see on the covers of Harlequin Romance novels, was a devotee of Charles Darwin. His father had taught him all about the pioneering evolutionist. We might have learned more but at that moment……….crocodile

Dave spotted the crocodile. Earlier in the day when Shirley and I had gone for a walk along the beach we had seen a large crocodile near the shore by the water taxi stand. Our husbands were just a little skeptical about our crocodile sighting and later Dave went to take a look and couldn’t see the crocodile. Now here he was! While we chatted with other restaurant patrons who would be joining us in the taxi we kept our eye on the croc. We’d heard crocodiles move fast and this one was pretty close to the shore. 

paul-in-the-boatThe first part of our boat ride was uneventful but then suddenly our water taxi came to an abrupt halt. The lights of the restaurant weren’t that far away but our boat was stuck on the estuary bottom. It was low tide and no matter what Reuben our boat driver did he couldn’t move the boat. We could easily have taken off our shoes and waded to shore at that point but after the crocodile sighting there was no way any of us were putting a toe in that water. We sat there for a long time. Would we be there all night? Finally brave Reuben himself jumped into the water and pushed the boat to shore. don-juanOur waiter’s name at the restaurant was Don Juan and it seemed like it might be one of his first nights on the job. Paul tried to order a martini and gave very detailed instructions for how it should be made. I felt a little sorry for Don Juan whose English skills obviously weren’t great as he tried to repeat Paul’s martini recipe.  After about ten minutes Don Juan returned with the sad news that the bar didn’t make martinis. Paul had to be happy with a beer.singer-at-sevenBefore the flaminco guitarist took to the stage a singer from Boston entertained us. She had been a fellow passenger in the boat taxi and she told the crowd about our exciting ride, the stalled boat, the crocodile and the brave boat driver. Then she dedicated the song The House of the Rising Sun to us, which Paul had mentioned as a favorite of his on the boat ride. She came right over to our table and invited us to sing along with her. meal-at-sevenOur meals arrived and were good. Shirley had ordered red wine and although there were wine glasses on the table Don Juan insisted on serving it in a ‘cup’ which he did. guitarist

Tony the guitarist put on a terrific show although his partner percussionist Roy who performed on our last visit wasn’t there. dave-shirleyAfter dinner we walked back down to the water.  We had a great chat with some fellow water taxi riders about movies we’d liked this past year and then Reuben arrived and we boarded the boat. The water had risen in the last two hours so the ride was smooth. The stars were utterly amazing. Without any electric lights to interfere (including none on the boat which was a little scary but Reuben obviously had gone this route so many times he could literally find his way in the dark) the pitch black sky was absolutely covered in brilliant stars. We arrived back on shore and then started our two kilometer hike home, part of it along the beach in the dark which was another adventure and then through the town of Tamarindo. marylou-shirleyIt was a memorable night. 

Other posts about Paul and Shirley………

Heidelberg Project

Mexican Night

Breakfast in Florida


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Alligators All Around


alligators in florida

Driving down the Florida Keys we travelled on a narrow strip of highway through a mangrove swamp. Since it was a hot day there were alligators all around out sunning themselves.  My friend Sue asked, “would it be an exaggeration to say we saw hundreds of alligators? ”  I assured her it wouldn’t be an exaggeration at all. four alligators in the florida keysWe stopped several times to get out of the car and look at the alligators. swimming alligatorsSome of the alligators were swimming, no doubt looking for the turtles, fish, muskrats, birds and snails which are part of their diet. fisherman in florida keysAlthough alligators aren’t known to attack humans unless they feel threatened this fisherman was keeping his distance. “They can move pretty fast,” he said.  alligator warning signA sign warned us to stay at least fifteen feet away from alligators.  florida alligatorsThere are more than a million alligators in Florida which is pretty amazing because in the 1950s and ’60s they had been hunted almost to extinction. crocodile skullAt a nature centre where we stopped to go on a boardwalk stroll there was a crocodile skull on display and we learned Florida is also home to some 1000 crocodiles. Crocodiles have more pointed snouts- and alligators a more U-shaped one. Crocodiles are more aggressive and are a lighter colour. florida alligatorCrocodiles live in seawater and alligators in freshwater.  The Florida Everglades is the only place where crocodiles and alligators live side by side.

florida alligator

It was interesting to learn that the only other alligator habitat in the world besides the southeastern United States is in China, a country where I lived for six years. 

Other posts about interesting creatures……..

Swimming With The Manatees

Dinosaurs in Saskatchewan

Hong Kong Frogs That Sound Like Cows

It’s All Happening At the Zoo

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