Sun and Sloths in the Jungle of Costa Rica

Day 5, Grand World Voyage

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023; Puerto Limón, Costa Rica.

I never tire of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets I see while at sea. I woke up to a sky on fire this morning.

Today we were off to “Meet the Sloths.” Our tour headed south of Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to tour a banana plantation and then stop at a sloth sanctuary.

Apparently, sloths are fairly common in this part of Costa Rica, and they made their appearance on several ship tours and even in town. Mostly they are hidden in the trees.

Can you find the sloth in this tree?

At the sloth sanctuary we had up close encounters.

These sloths can’t live on their own in the wild for various reasons. Some were abandoned as babies. Other were injured – by vehicles, by dogs or even by rare falls from trees. The sanctuary rehabilitates them as much as possible, and releases those who fully recover back into nature. The caregivers tend to the rest, who are blind, missing limbs or otherwise unable to adapt.

Sloths can actually move quickly if threatened, but generally they conserve their energy by making slow and stretching movements, mainly in the tops of trees. They come down to the ground when “nature calls,” and may only defecate only once a week – because their internal metabolism is slow, too.

Joining us at the pier in Puerto Limón was Holland America’s ms Volendam. Yes, this is the ship my sisters and I had planned to make our home for about four months last summer, but those plans went awry when the Dutch government leased the ship to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees. The Volendam left Fort Lauderdale just before our ship on Tuesday to begin its 74-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage.

Later tonight as we sailed toward Colon, Panama, and the entrance to the Panama Canal, the Volendam was off our port, ablaze with light in the moonlight.

My good friend Connie is on the Volendam, along with our travel agency’s hosts Wendy and Steve. I haven’t seen Connie since last summer in her home town of Santa Fe (where I spent the last three summers), so we hoped to meet today. Alas, my tour was all morning and hers all afternoon. We finally met up a few minutes before our “all-aboards” on the pier between the two ships.

Our ships will meet again on Monday in Fuerte Amador, by Panama City. Neither of us have tour plans because most things will be shut down for a national holiday, so we’ll have a better opportunity to visit.

See, I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that the thing I am looking forward to most on this cruise is seeing long-time friends!