Costa Rica trip starting with when Scott arrived...

EARTH is an acronym for an agriculture school near Pocora CR
   

We stayed in faculty housing, with horses for our view...
   

Our neighbors-- solar water heater, and mammal hedge trimmers
   

Lots of fauna in this tropical part of the country
   

Lots of birds, and two pound toads
   

This is the "banana train," a cable line for transporting banana buncheslong distances
   

PI Lori leading tour of cows (fed pinapple sillage) and checking water samples
   

We visited a tilapia farm!
   

Various pools for sizes-- did you know you can change the sex of fish? By raising water temperature, you can turn females into males at an early stage (40% more meat on a male)
   

We got to choose our own fish, and they filleted it and fried it! Yummy...
   

They also raised lobster, but we didn't get any :-(
   

Beautiful grounds, cute couple...
   

We headed for Arenal, bumpy roads got washed out during a "monsoon" we waited 2 hours before we could pass
   

Arenal Observatory Lodge is an awesome place to watch the volcano...
   

So cool! This volcano shoots out red hot boulders the size of VWs that roll downhill, making loud noises, creating giant sparks (Google "volcano Arneal" for better pictures)
   

The lake contributes an air of serenity, and there are lots of birds (and turkeys!)
   

Us before the infamous hike from (to?) hell, and Nancy with our guide
   

Starts off ominously with a bridge to nowhere...
   

Quickly turns into mud, rock, rock, rock...
   

And verrrrry steep climbs. Us sweating like crazy 1/4 of the way.
   

Much more desolate, harder to climb...
   

At the 1/2 point-- the sign that says "do not pass this point"... I'm completely covered in sweat and nearly dehydrated... Nancy refused to let me take a picture of her (she was grey)
   

Yes, the views um, made it worthwhile (since we didnt' die)
   

Some places the smoke is gas venting, but puffs are boulders rolling and hitting
   

Like I said, we didn't die... lived to drive around the large Lake Arenal (windmills)
   

At one curve in the road we ran smack into a herd of cows (didn't hit any)
   

We love to stop at beautiful places and kiss for good luck...
   

Hey! a painted eucalyptis tree just like in Hawaii!
   

The group guide Mani told us to check out Playa Flamingo, a beautiful, long beach
   

Pretty much rivals some of the beaches of Caribbean islands...
   

... although has some of its own character
   

Obligatory getting-our-toes-wet pictures, in bath water warm ocean waves
   

We decide to check out the homes above the beach to see their views
   

Nice! We think we'd like to do January here
   

Various critters nearby-- lots of iguanas and butterflies here
   

We got massages, Nancy got hers in Brasilito and paid $40 for a good one
   

The masseusse told us to check out Playa La Penca
   

OMG, this is one of the most beautiful beaches we've been to!
   

It's small, but lush, lovely, tranquil...
   

End to end, only about 300 meters, but awesome
   

On our way back, we stop for some local comida
   

The next day we are at the other EARTH cmapus, a former family hacienda
   

Easy to imagine a large family having gatherings here
   

Mani told us stories about how it was used to hide an army general in the past...
   

We were told some of the stones are from the oldest church in CR
   

Bats in the rafters...
   

Nancy found a toad the size of a bag of sugar
   

Someone else spotted a poisonous viper
   

Hey hey it's the monkeys (couldn't resist)...
   

We watched for 20 mins as the crossed the road-- amazing how they use their tails!
   

Pictures with Mani
   

Last night before leaving EARTH-- a beach cookout at Playa Hermosa
   

Almost like Flamingo...
   

Sunset picutres
   

Spiders-- one near our room, the other (size of your hand) on our luggage!