so we took a bus ride around probably every street in the little hamlet of puntarena and headed out to a 50 year old train which we took through the backyards of some very happy but very poor costa ricans. lots of houses made from random pieces of corrugated steel and foundations of tires packed with dirt.
the area has lots of agriculture, and there were lots of fields whose cantaloupe had recently been harvested. the ones that were too big or too small for the packing boxes were left in the fields where some people got them or more likely the brahman cows enjoyed them. the train was very cool - wood paneling throughout and open windows you could alternately lean out of or get whipped by a passing branch!
the bus met us about 40 minutes later and took us to the boating portion. we got in small flat bottom boats, probably 30 or so people, 4 across. we cruised around in the lower part of a river and saw egrets and a bunch of other cool birds (to be listed later) and also crocodiles!
the boat driver would approach a shoal where there was a croc and get out onto the shoal with some raw chicken(!) he slapped the chicken on the surface of the water until the croc was interested and then held it up so the croc would snap at it just as we were snapping our pictures! very fun yet scary. the drivers and the croc obviously know each other well.
afterwards they had fresh pineapple, watermelon, and i think papaya with out of this world mango juice.
we were a bit late getting back to the boat but they waited for us. yesterday was a sea day. relaxing. i went to the art auction and won a bottle of champagne for being enthusiastic and also won a raffle. very productive considering i was mostly there just to look and enjoy free champagne. afterwards we all played trivia as we do each sea day. team is yin yang.