Sunday, 19 February 2017

Costa Rica. February 18, 2017. Exploring San Jose.

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica.  This day had to come.

We tied up for the first time in a week and disgorged passengers.
Several different groups each with their own bus depending on their destinations.

 Tug Antisana standing by in case it is required.
 Cargo ship Pekin.  Early morning.  Two photos by two people one hour apart.
Much different lighting.

 Sicilia working cargo.
First we checked into our hotel, then walked around the downtown.


Then visited the Mercado Central (Central Market).  Me in a pink hat.
Anything that you can carry, they sell.

Fish Monger.
A person who sells fish.  A female fishmonger can also be called a fishwife.

Below:  Cure-alls.

Pigs & Hanging jars.

Local, with a pet stuck down his shirt.  Plastic, I believe.
Below:  How the Blue Man Group got its start.

Pizza Hut & KFC are popular, but McDonalds is everywhere in the city.
Much like Starbucks in North America; every street and sometimes twice! 
After our walk-about we took a bus tour of the city.
Costa Rican Museum of Art.
Formerly the La Sabana International Airport.
Salon Dorado (Golden Room).
Its walls are covered by murals constructed in 1939-1940 by Louis Feron,
French sculptor & silversmith.
The mural, with an area of 150 square metres, is made of stucco carved in bas relief and presents significant fragments of Costa Rican history from pre-Columbian era to 1940.

In another room at the museum, rounded sculptures of voluptuous women - each one carved from a single piece - pose in relaxed positions around the salon.
These wood sculptures are the work of Manuel Vargas.  The larger-than-life women are carved from trunks of trees, taking advantage of the grain of the wood, using natural whorls to emphasize the curves of the women.

In this sculpture the grain has been used to delineate the areolae.
A function of an areola is to house slowly-adapting mechanoreceptors that trigger oxytocin excretion during nursing.

Above:  Back to the bus to continue our tour of San Jose.
Below:  Useable phones.

 Back to the Central Market.

 The food here was great, with the staple of beans & rice being served at all meals.
Below:  These trees are roosts for hundreds of green parrots.
After this we walked to the Catedral Metropolitano, San Jose's principal Catholic cathedral.
The original cathedral was built in 1802 but was destroyed by an earthquake.
It was rebuilt in 1871.
Rather plain from the outside, the large neoclassical church features a pretty mix of stained-glass works, tile floors, and assorted sculptures and bas-reliefs.
It also has a wonderfully restored 19th century pipe organ.
A well-tended little garden surrounds the church and features a massive marble statue of Pope Juan Paul II carved by celebrated Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jimenez Deredia, who also has work at the Vatican.  None of which I have photos of!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Isla Tortugas, Costa Rica. February 17, 2017

The cruise along the west coast of Costa Rica continues.

Windstar often holds a party/BBQ on shore for their passengers.
This one was held on the last full day of the cruise.
We were able to snorkel, despite the rip tide along the shore, and explore a bit of the hinterland.
Above:  We, the Star Pride, are anchored waaaay over there.
The water was deliciously warm.
Below:  That's where we were.
Click on a photo to see a larger version.

 Above:  Looking west from the beach.
Transfers were done by Zodiac, in a surf.

The Zodiacs were beached bow-first and many crew were required to man-handle them;
an awkward operation.
Above:  View along the beach.

Below:  Massage on the beach.  Some would say "Ah, heaven!"  

As the BBQ wound down the question of what to do with the food scraps came up.
Problem solved.
These little piglets were like dogs, as they ate their tails wagged.

Below:  This is not a great photo but I cannot identify this bird, nor can my Merlin App.
Any ideas?