Friday, June 15, 2007

Beef Eggs

These would go great with a chicken-fried steak.

Beef Eggs

I am lazy today so will try to post more Costa Rica pictures later or, perhaps, tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


After a brief intermission we are back to Monteverde. We headed out in the morning to take a walk through a cloud forest. Feels like walking in a grandiose green cathedral, albeit a damp and muddy cathedral.

Heading Out

It was an interesting hike though, and the Mysterious Chinese Woman had never been to anything like a rain forest before. She is interested in things botanical so for her this was a real treat.

We weren't really walking above the cloud forest too much, that was supposed to be later in the afternoon. This bridge did give a nice perspective though as you could look down upon the forest floor from tree-top level.

Heading Across The Bridge

We saw an abundance of strange flowers but, sadly, not too many birds and none that you could really get a picture of.




Strange Growing Thing

You may have noticed that Bar Man isn't real good when it comes to writing about nature. On the other hand, The Mysterious Chinese Woman was getting up close and personal with it.

Up Close And Personal

Like any good National Park there was a large souvenir shop. This one at least featured someone actually making souvenirs. He did a pretty good job of it too.

Blowing Glass

The finished products were quite attractive and, I thought, reasonably priced.

The Finished Product

Not too far away we saw where he got his inspiration.


There were a lot of hummingbirds buzzing around feeders that had been set out, and I do mean a lot. Kind of wish I had a fly-swatter with me.

A Hummingbird Extravaganza

I was told that at dusk the hummingbirds leave and bats swoop in to feed. They stay for an hour or so until they drain the feeders and then head off to feed on nectar. That would have been interesting to see.

Unfortunately our afternoon sky-walk, which was to consist of walking across swinging bridges above tree-top level, was rained out. Although this was the start of the rainy season, what we got was well beyond the norm. There were two tropical storms, one in the Pacific and one in the Mediterranean, no, wait, that would be the Caribbean (thanks Peter) that were dumping water all across Costa Rica. It was a deluge. In fact it rained so hard that there was a mini-mudslide at the neighboring hotel so the people staying their couldn't even get to their rooms. They were forced, forced I tell you, to hang out at the bar. I felt so badly that I rushed over to console them.

Bar Man Offering Consolation

After my rum and coke I was encouraged to try a shot of their local rum. They drink it almost like you would drink a shot of tequila, with salt and lime. It really wasn't bad at all. In fact it was a lot smoother than a lot of tequilas I have had.

The Local Favorite

Tomorrow we are going to try for the sky-walk again. Only a few of us were booked for that. The rest of the group had been scheduled to do one of those zip-line things. They were much more bummed out than we were because for many of them that was to be the hi-lite of their trip. They are going to give it another shot as well. And, by golly, I think I will have another shot too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flooded Subways

National Geographic News recently had an article about the possibility of a hurricane hitting New York City. They say that forecasters are warning that a hurricane making landfall at or near New York City could cause catastrophic damage in the United State's largest urban center.

While a storm is unlikely to make direct landfall on Manhattan, a nearby storm would cause extensive flooding and heavy storm surges. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also warned that a hurricane striking the city could result in destruction on a massive scale.

Needless to say this could cause massive flooding of the subway system, most of which is, and I find this interesting, underground.

Determined to be prepared for this eventuality, the city has begun to place lifeguard stations at each of the subway entrances and exits throughout the five boroughs. This one, in Downtown Brooklyn, has done much to alleviate the concerns of commuters.

Lifeguard Station Protecting The Subway

Let it never again be said that New York doesn't respond to threats to its safety and the safety of its inhabitants. It should be noted, however, that several people I talked to felt it would be helpful if there were also lifeguards.