So where does the name "Latitude Fifty Four" come from?
The final destination for this motorcycle adventure was the city of Ushuaia located in Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina.
The latitude of this city is 54° 47' South.

Photographs can be enlarged by clicking on the image.

Please feel free to send comments to us by clicking on (# Comments) at the bottom of any posting.

Material made available via is intended for private use only. Any re-use, transmission, duplication or distribution without express written permission is not allowed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Day 70 to Day 73

Day 70 - December 16th: Guapiles, Costa Rica
Day 71 - December 17th: Guapiles, Costa Rica to Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
Day 72 - December 18th: Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
Day 73 - December 19th: Vara Blanca, Costa Rica to Jaco, Costa Rica

Another day was spent doing not much of anything in Guapiles, aside from hanging out with our new found friend, Fito. Fito is the squirrel that lives in the lobby of the hotel. His diet consists mostly of ketchup, strawberry filled Twinkies and milk, but he also had the occasional french fry, pear juice, or swig of beer. Even when the lobby doors were open, Fito would still stick around, and while you would were typing away on the computer he would jump on your shoulders and investigate. Unfortunately, poor little Fito happened to have an "accident" on the printer, but thankfully they're pretty sturdy nowadays so it seemed to be fine thereafter. The next day we continued on our way towards Vara Blanca. We arrived early in the afternoon and had some time left in the day, so we rode up to Volcan Poas. It's another active volcano with a large lagoon crater inside of it. According to the sign, the average water temperature in the lagoon is 40 degrees Celcius, but it looks much hotter than that because of the steam emanating from the water. Also, to the left of the crater there is an open vent stained yellow from the sulphurous gas, which you could hear hissing and rumbling away. Behind the new crater, you can see the old crater at the base of the mountain. The mountain is covered in trees, but the new crater has not a trace of greenery around it, I don't know how long ago the last eruption was, but it seems to take a great deal of time before things start to come back to life. To the left of the crater is a whole area where you can see all the cracks and crevices where the lava oozed down the side of the mountain. On our way to Vara Blanca we also passed a large waterfall, which was absolutely gorgeous. You could stop on the side of the road there and walk right behind the waterfall. There were some street vendors that sold fruit, and we tried a delicious fruit which I have yet to find out the English name for. It's a large orange fruit filled with a blubbery gooey bunch of seeds inside. You crack open the shell, slurp up the blob, and crunch on all the seeds inside the goo. It tastes similar to a lychee, but looks a lot more disturbing if you accidently get a booger pod on your shirt. Also on our way, we got stuck in a killer Central American style traffic jam. Those dang cows...they always seem to get in the way of everything! The following day was also a fun filled eco-adventure. We went to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. They have an enormous butterfly emporium. It is the size of a standard American football field. There are all sorts of butterflies flying freely, and at times they will even land on you as you're walking through the dome. They have an observation lounge where you can see butterflies in various stages of their lives, and while we were there one finally left it's cocoon to fly freely in the emporium. After the butterfly emporium you walk to the hummingbird gardens where there are numerous feeding stations set up. The hummingbirds are so accustomed to people observing them that you can walk right up to the feeders and see them drinking the nectar. Many times you would hear them swooshing by your head as they darted by to one of the feeders, as well. We overheard a tour operator telling his group that the birds go through 50 pounds of sugar each day! They must keep the ratio of the sugar correct in the feeders too, because if they add too much the birds are prone to cavities in their beaks. Once we were finished in the hummingbird garden we toured the stables. Apparently even the cows eat the black bean sauce here...wink wink. We were given a super cup of coffee at the ranch house, and having perked up were ready to see the frogs. The frogs have their own building, but they do not actually keep them in cages. The bright orange/blue and neon green/black frogs are actually highly poisonous. If so inclined you could probably give it a try to see just how poisonous they are, but we refrained from doing so. It is actually pretty interesting that they are allowed have a poisonous frog exhibit in the open, because you can really see the frogs up close in a much more realistic atmosphere, and I suppose they figure that if you're stupid enough to touch a poisonous frog knowing full well that it's poisonous, then you deserve whatever happens to you next! After the frogs it was off to the grand finale.....the five waterfalls of the waterfall gardens. The last one that you view, is the one that we walked underneath the day before and worked on our dives. Our next step is to actually dive into the water, but that's just a technicality, really. From the platforms in the gardens you could now look down at the waterfall from the top, hear the crashing of the water, and see the force of it rushing down. The waterfalls were just gorgeous and although the mist was fogging up the lens, I managed to get a few clear shots. The next day we had another exciting eco tour. We left Vara Blanca, for Jaco and came across a bridge that my dad remembered from a previous visit to the area. Looking over the bridge you would get a perfect view of giant crocodiles baking in the hot sun. Peeking over the first side of the bridge we counted 17 crocodiles ranging in size from 3 feet to about 6 feet. When we looked over the other side of the bridge we counted another 20, and were shocked to see even larger crocodiles than there was on the other side. There was a giant crocodile, probably betwen 10-15 feet long soaking up the sunshine in a mud flat. It actually gave me the shivers a little bit. A crocodile that size looked like he could swallow a person my size whole!

No comments: