Friday, January 16, 2009

Cloud/Rain Forest
Today definitely was a day of natural things. We are in the mountains at Lands in Love. I highly recommend looking at their website as it is a most unusual place more or less the transition area between the cloud and rain forests. It rained quite heavily about 5:00am and then was cool and overcast. We had an optional bird walk at 6:00 and, even though I was awake, I thought they wouldn’t go and happily went back to sleep. The two folds who did walk with Javier, our guide, saw several hummingbirds, birds of unknown origin, and two Tucans. That would have been nice.
I stepped out on the back veranda about 7:00 to see the surroundings and was thrilled to see a medium size animal inching his way up a thin tree. He looked very much like an anteater. After describing him to Javier and the teachers traveling with us, they each had a different special name I can’t find in the dictionary. It is something like Duermado, which is a derivative of dormir (to sleep). My best guess is that he was a sloth. Anyway, I got a couple of really good pictures of the little guy which I will try eventually to upload on the blog. Tali Sue will like him.
After lunch we took a walk in the forest and mainly saw vegetation and no wildlife. We passed under a canopy zipline that the hotel will arrange and I am planning to do that tomorrow with a mild mannered fellow in our group. I’m hoping that he’ll be a calming effect.
After class I came back to the room to change for dinner and was greated by a lizard scrambling across the wall to the window. He hid in the curtains for a while, but I think eventually went out a rather large gap between the screen and the window, which probably was the way he got in. I needed Cole here to catch him.
Now a little more about the hotel before closing. Several years ago an Italian man purchased the land here and established a hotel. However, for some reason he didn’t maintain it and it fell in disrepair. Around 8 years ago 19 friends from Israel got together and purchased 228 acres and the hotel. They came here with many pets (check the website for numbers you won’t believe) and worked for 3 solid months to resurrect the hotel. The wood is beautiful throughout and Genevieve would really love all the painting they have done to walls, towels, sheets, floors, furniture, bathroom tiles. There are tiny flowers, leaves, vines, etc. painted throughout the buildings and furnishings.

The food is all vegetarian and they will prepare any of the breads, pancakes, tortillas, etc gluten-free because it poses such a health hazard. Our choices have included hamburgers, tacos, meat balls, ham and cheese sandwiches (all soy based), sushi (vegetables), huumus and falafal, different pastas, and salads. Desserts are mostly chocolate (sorry, Rod) and of course delicious. Service is their priority so that everyone enjoys the visit. We are all impressed with the attention to detail for grounds, buildings, rooms, dining room, etc. I’d love to come back here and can only imagine what the rates must be.

Tonight we had traditional music in the lodge after supper and some of us even had a couple of games of pool. Actually, it was quite a group: Mario, our driver; Elena, one of the Spanish teachers from our school, John, fellow from Ohio; Phyllis, lovely woman in her late 70s from NY; and me. Aside from John and Mario, not an especially auspicious pool playing crowd, but great company.

1 comment:

  1. You are having a wonderful experience. I especially loved your descriptions of all the great food and how the hotel was restored. Now that would be a fun project! We are very cold in Chattanooga - 33 degrees and envy your nice warm weather. Elaine and I will miss you tomorrow when we watch the election. Take care, Jeanette