concluded our stay in Monteverde with a visit to the Herpetarium
snake musuem per Kathleen's request. Snakes have always
given me the hebe-jeebees so they have never been on my "A"
list. But, when in Rome, act like a Roman. So we got
tickets and checked it out.
The photos below are what we saw.
a Coral Snake and they are common in this area. In
addition to being beautiful, they are also venomous.
This is a large Boa
Constrictor and is a native species here in Costa Rica.
turtle was quite large; about 2 feet long.
than this museum, we have seen no lizards or frogs on our brief
forays into the jungle. This lizard is a nice bright green
which helps him blend in with the jungle foliage.
not note the name of this species, but his body is right out of
Jurassic Park. He saw us approach and watched us closely.
decided that we made him nervous and changed positions for a
better view of us. Now you can see the huge dorsal fin and
the long toes.
constrictor of some kind.
a poison dart tree frog hiding in the leaves of a
bromiliad. This guy is toxic and perhaps 30mm long.
The natives use the secretions from the skin to coat darts for
their blow guns.
This turtle was not
afraid of us, but rather extended his neck as we came close.
were behind glass and a bit big to serve as a meal for this
snake, it gave me the chills watching him move around the
snake is the real deal: arboreal, small, brightly colored and
highly toxic. This is a pit viper called an Eyelash Palm
Pitviper. Note the huge bulges behind the eyes -- these
are venom sacs. Even the eyes are camouflaged.
buddy further up the tree had even larger sacs.
another type of Eylash Viper. His eyelashes are clearly
visible and are thought to break up the outline of the snake's
head improving camouflage and stealth.
leaving the hotel, we asked some questions about the local
roads. The road in from Tilaran was pushishing, so we were
anxious to find another route that was less rough. The
hotel told us that all roads to/from Monteverde were dirt but
the road to Tilaran was the longest. He suggested that
going to Las Juntas would be a shorter road but rougher and
therefore "more pain but for less time". Interesting
logic, but it worked for us. After lunch we headed off to
Las Juntas. The roads here are made of crushed stone of a
variety of sizes ranging from basketballs to golf balls.
The spaces between the stones were filled in with pea gravel and
sand. But as a result of use and the rains, the sand, pea
gravel and smaller stones are expelled leaving baseballs and
bigger as the actual travel surface. Any areas that
consisted of smaller stones were converted into pot holes.
The resulting surface was as nasty as any developed road I have
seen in the U.S. or Baja (and that is saying a lot). We
traveled at 5-10 kph and it seemed too fast. After an hour
of pounding, the road crested a ridge that gave us a nice view
of the Golfo de Nicoya.
to the south is another fire, likely a cane field being burned
in anticipation of planting.
steep terrain combined with the soil type and rain has resulted
in slumping on the surfaces of the hills. Note the ripples
on the hillsides that have been cleared of brush for cattle.
to the east back toward Monteverde, the cloud bank that occupies
the ridge is still in place. The winds were howling along
the ridge where we were making standing still for a photo very
arrived at Las Juntas and found streets paved with hexagonal bricks.
continued on to the main highway and spotted this older Mercedes
truck still working for a living hauling lumber out of the
continued north on the main highway toward Liberia and passed a
field that was burning. The fire was causing the bugs to
flee resulting in a huge flock of birds being attracted for a
feeding frenzy. The birds were happy; the bugs less so.
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.