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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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    A half-hour drive brought us to the Manuel Antonio National Park where we go walking along pleasant trails and a beautiful beach, and see monkeys, sloths and tropical birds. Although staying in the town would have been an option on the drive back, and there would be a shuttle bus throughout the afternoon when we had free time, I returned to the ship for lunch.

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      Such was the light and the now-calm water, I actually took a (favourite!) photo of Serenissima from the zodiac.

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        I walked into the town in the adternoon, breaking off at the Marina complex with its smart shops and cafes for a cool drink, before continuing along the promenade to the town centre.


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          My last photos of the day, and yet another special favourite, was taken from the end of the pier where I was attracted by the silhouette of rocks and trees and the ship beyond.

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            Day 13 – 3rd February 2017 - Corcavado National Park, Bahia Drake, Costa Rica.


            Taken from one of the zodiacs next day, I again managed a couple of photos - this detail of the load line...



            ...and another lovely view of the ship as the zodiac headed for the starting point of the morning hike.

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              The morning's activities had given me an appetite for lunch!






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                The ship relocated during lunch, and there was another zodiac landing in the afternoon at a small pier. From this central location there were opportunities for varied walks in two opposite directions, or the option of taking things easy at the Aguila de Osa Inn above the pier. I managed to do all three!



                As well as bird-watching opportunities, there was also a nice view of Serenissima from the inn.



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                  In another of those serendipitous moments that so delight on small ship cruises, I happened to return to the pier with one space remaining on a zodiac. The zodiac driver was a naturalist on the expedition staff - Conrad - who being Costa Rican was in his element during these days of the cruise. After establishing that no one was in a particular hurry to return to Serenissima, he suggested an exploration of the nearby creek. We were all as enthusiasic as he was, and his knowledge and insights on our little adventure remain a special memory and unexpected highlight of my cruise.





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                    Great collection of pictures of the "Serenissima" at anchor and your excursion on land,Seagull
                    My favorite is that fantastic fine picture # 1272 of "Serenissima" in the background with beautiful rock formation and small bushes in the foreground.

                    As Clipper has already mentioned, this is a picture for the brochures.
                    Best wishes from
                    Bengt Domben

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                      Day 14 - 4th February 2017 - Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

                      Serenissima has travelled 78 nautical miles to reach the Golfo Dulce, a large embayment bounded on one side by the Osa peninsula. It was a good morning to be out on deck early.






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                        We have reached our destination, though it is almost impossible to believe that hidden here, on the top right of the photo where we will land the zodiacs, there is a botanical garden. This botanists' paradise was established on the site of a run-down cacao plantation in the 1970s by an ex-pat American couple and is known as Casa Orquideas - house of orchids. It can only be reached by boat. As well as orchids there are hundreds of species of tropical plants including ornamental trees, palms, flowers, fruit trees, spices and medicinal plants.



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                          Leaving photos I took in the gardens for more appropriate threads, here is a view from the little beach where we were welcome to swim before returning to the ship for lunch - another nice view of Serenissima in a tropical setting.

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                            Good to see there had been time for a relaxing moment on the bridge wing for our hard-working crew.
                            But it was back to work during the guests' lunchtime, when the ship relocated 10 nautical miles to near the town of Golfito, which is in a small gulf within the much larger gulf of Golfo Dulce.



                            Here is the area we landed the zodiacs, and from where I joined a rather more strenuous (i.e. a very up-hill jungle trail) hiking group led by our Costa Rican guide.

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                              Back at sea level, we are ready to return to the ship in time for an excellent lecture entitled "What fish is that?" - how to identify fish.



                              But I'll end the last day in Costa Rica not with a fish photo but with my choice of that evening's dinner desserts!

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                                To have a stop with a cruise ship at a place like Golfo Dulce looks like being in paradise. I will not repeat to point out the differences between big and small ships. These pictures speak for themselves. I am enjoying this report very much.
                                Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                                • Seagull
                                  Seagull commented
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                                  Thanks Ralf - here's the next day's enjoyment for you!
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