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Robin & Jim
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Posted By Robin & Jim

The next few blog entries will hopefully catch you up on the last four hectic weeks!  In the last entry, I promised the tales of our various land tours during the Rendezvous cruise.  We made stops in Aruba (where we took a 4-wheel-drive jeep tour), then through the Canal, then to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica where we hiked in the dry forest.  Our guide was quite good, and she pointed out a number of beautiful birds (squirrel cuckoo, trogon) and interesting plants.  Trailing behind the group taking photos, I spotted a small poison dart frog - a great little find!

 poison dart frog

The next stop was Huatulco, Mexico - a lovely little area with five gorgeous bays.  The Mexican government is investing in the area with the intention of developing it into the "next Acapulco", but we hope it stays small and pristine since we found it to be a lovely place.  We took a bird watching tour with an excellent guide, and were able to see tons of colorful Central American birds to add to my life list.  The magpie-jay with long tail and little decorative head feathers were plentiful (but hard to photograph), as were the streak-backed oriole.

oriole

We also saw two kinds of hummngbirds, flycatchers, hawks, trogons, red-lored parrots, and mot-mots.  It was a perfect day.
The next day we stopped at Acapulco, with beaches and big hotels made famous back in the days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
Our last port-of-call was Cabo San Lucas, on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.  There is a lot of interesting nature here - in the desert as well as in the Sea of Cortez, where whales come to mate and manta rays and other large pelagic sea life is plentiful.  We didn't have time, but this place is on our "list" as a place we want to spend some time diving.
We chose a land excursion out in the desert on some two-person 4-wheel-drive Honda "Big Red" vehicles, which turned out to be a blast.  We were outfitted with helmets, goggles, and bandannas to cover our mouths since we bounced along dusty trails at pretty good speeds. 

cabo jim

We traveled through washes, up hills, and down along the Pacific beach.  We stopped to get a closer look at the big organ pipe cactus and some of the same pretty birds we saw down in Huatulco.  It's a very rugged and mountainous area, and the trail was dramatic as it climbed above the beach and followed a ridge line along the shore.

cabo jeeps

The cruise ended in San Diego, and we spent the weekend there we could spend some time with our good friend Laurie from grad school back in Salt Lake.  It had been too many years since we spent some time with Laurie, and it was wonderful to catch up!
From there we flew to NJ to visit my Dad for a few days, and then we flew back to Florida to get our car, visit Jim's Dad, and shop for the remaining provisions for the Bahamas trip.