Day 5 – Exploring the rain forest

Fun day again today! We had a birdwatching session before breakfast. This was my kind of early morning birdwatching as it included coffee. After breakfast, we went to a nearby pond. There we released a tortoise and a caiman that police had confiscated from an illegal dealer at a local market. We then set out in canoes, exploring the pond a bit more. Following this, we walked around the pond, which provided a whole different perspective. A lunch back at the Yarina Lodge followed. Today, as with the other days here, a siesta followed lunch – seems like a great idea in hot weather. Before dinner, we helped make chocolate. After dinner, we watched the second half of “Fitzcarraldo” 1982, Werner Herzog (dir.)

Cathy, Peter and Enrique in our canoe
Our group in conoes
Another view of our group in canoes
A view of the pond
Hoatzin
Hoatzin
Our canoes looking artsy
A rescued caiman
I was the honorary godmother to this little caiman
Cute is relative, when considering one's godchild, you know.
Awww, he's smiling.
A rescued turtle
A flower found along the trail.
AKA the devil's penis tree
A snake resting about 6 feet away from the trail.
A view of the pond from up on a platform.
Near the water's edge, we saw footprints - likely from a capybara
Capybara
Back at the lodge, someone discovered this hummingbird nest
You might not be able to see it, but there is a leaf hopper in this picture.  It is about 4
We
Neat...and large...spider near the lodge.
Monkeys eating bananas left near our lodge
This afternoon, we helped process cacao beans into chocolate...well we did the easy parts.
Here is what the cacao beans looked like after they had been roasted.
Here is Enrique running the shelled beans through the grinder.
The roasted and shelled beans after being run through the grinder a bunch of times.

Cathy, Peter and Enrique in our canoe

Finally, a good "selfie".

Our group in conoes

Another view of our group in canoes

A view of the pond

Hoatzin

According to Wikipedia: The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the Stinkbird, or Canje Pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riparian forest and mangrove of the Amazon and the Orinoco delta in South America. It is notable for having chicks that possess claws on two of their wing digits.

Hoatzin

Our canoes looking artsy

A rescued caiman

Jaime, one of our local guides, brought 2 rescued animals to the pond with us.

I was the honorary godmother to this little caiman

Cute is relative, when considering one's godchild, you know.

Awww, he's smiling.

A rescued turtle

A flower found along the trail.

AKA the devil's penis tree

Here is a tree that our guide called the “The Devil’s Penis”. It is a tree that moves by putting out new roots. I have been trying to find out more about this. You can imagine what I see when I Google “The Devil’s Penis.” Well, I've researched this enough for now.

A snake resting about 6 feet away from the trail.

I discovered this snake while walking around the pond. Peter thinks it is a fer-de-lance, probably a Bothrops atrox.

See wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bothrops_atrox

A view of the pond from up on a platform.

Near the water's edge, we saw footprints - likely from a capybara

Capybara

Back at the lodge, someone discovered this hummingbird nest

You might not be able to see it, but there is a leaf hopper in this picture. It is about 4" long and was found in the bathroom of one of our travel companions.

We "rescued" Catie from this dragon fly.

The dragon fly got into her cabin. We went there equip'ed with our hats...which turned out to work fine.

Neat...and large...spider near the lodge.

Monkeys eating bananas left near our lodge

We could see the monkeys from the lodge. We think they are Dusty Titi Monkeys.

Here are a couple of references:

Northrup Photography

a site on primates
We also had a chance to watch Squirrel monkeys in the trees while we were in the large canoe. Wiki page.

This afternoon, we helped process cacao beans into chocolate...well we did the easy parts.

Here is what the cacao beans looked like after they had been roasted.

Here is Enrique running the shelled beans through the grinder.

The roasted and shelled beans after being run through the grinder a bunch of times.

Cathy, Peter and Enrique in our canoe thumbnail
Our group in conoes thumbnail
Another view of our group in canoes thumbnail
A view of the pond thumbnail
Hoatzin thumbnail
Hoatzin thumbnail
Our canoes looking artsy thumbnail
A rescued caiman thumbnail
I was the honorary godmother to this little caiman thumbnail
Cute is relative, when considering one's godchild, you know. thumbnail
Awww, he's smiling. thumbnail
A rescued turtle thumbnail
A flower found along the trail. thumbnail
AKA the devil's penis tree thumbnail
A snake resting about 6 feet away from the trail. thumbnail
A view of the pond from up on a platform. thumbnail
Near the water's edge, we saw footprints - likely from a capybara thumbnail
Capybara thumbnail
Back at the lodge, someone discovered this hummingbird nest thumbnail
You might not be able to see it, but there is a leaf hopper in this picture.  It is about 4
We
Neat...and large...spider near the lodge. thumbnail
Monkeys eating bananas left near our lodge thumbnail
This afternoon, we helped process cacao beans into chocolate...well we did the easy parts. thumbnail
Here is what the cacao beans looked like after they had been roasted. thumbnail
Here is Enrique running the shelled beans through the grinder. thumbnail
The roasted and shelled beans after being run through the grinder a bunch of times. thumbnail