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DAY 4 P.M.  Ta-da! My lazy “do nothing” day at Pirate Cove was relaxing but still so packed with animal sightings that I had to break it up into two posts. Double the pleasure, n’est pas? (I wish I could say that en español.) Gosh, to say I dislike creepy crawlies is an understatement. It’s beyond me why I later did a night tour, when I did not enjoy my daytime encounters with lizards like this one. It’s a clear enough photo that I could zoom in closer, but why would I want a detailed look at this beast? I got creeped out looking at it from a distance! Yes, my lazy day at Pirate Cove started out with my having breakfast with a toucan, so it shouldn’t have surprised me that a lizard would join me for lunch! Annnd that a caiman would tease me before dinner. No joke!!!

In case you forgot (tsk tsk), this is the gorgeousness I awoke to! You can read about this toucan and my morning adventures here. C'mon, you know you want to know more!

Back to lunch. So there I was, all alone, happily munching on my yummy quesadilla, feeling a bit lonely, to be honest. And as I was looking out at my bungalow (there it is in the photo!), I noticed something sitting on the perch behind the table...

...and while I was eating my lunch, this lizard was eating a banana! I admit, I was equally fascinated and grossed out by it, and couldn't stop taking pics.

The thing with Pirate Cove, as I said before, is that it most definitely is not picture perfect. The owners have tried to make it blend into the jungle as naturally as possible, and that means bungalows that are similar to what locals live in. It also means not standing out – you can barely see the roof of the dining area peeking through the trees! The beach on either side of the Rio Drake (in the foreground, you can just make out the part where I'd forge it) embodies that same naturalness, that ruggedness I admire so much.

And here's the mouth of the Rio Drake. It's too deep to cross here, even at low tide. You know, it was a wee bit frustrating to be at the mercy of the tides when wanting to cross the river – having to wait till 10 a.m. before I could cross it in the morning, and making sure I was back on the Pirate Cove side by 4 p.m., before high tide – but that made my experience there much more authentic. I truly appreciate that the owners have left the landscape as it is. Even those ugly volcanic rocks you can see on the beach directly in front of the resort, well, they're not nice to look at at low tide (as shown here) and they're something you should avoid when swimming at high tide (because they're not visible then), but they're part of the landscape of Bahìa Drake and the Península de Osa.

Remember that sunset shot from my first day in Bahìa Drake? Remember how I said it prettified this area around the hammock? By day, the hammock is visibly worn and weathered, but it still functions and is the only place to sit, aside from that bench, at the beach. Though I much preferred napping in the hammock in front of my bungalow! (I loved my hammock sooo much, I bought one at CASAM, and arts co-op in Monteverde!)

After poking around the grounds and enjoying a lovely siesta in my hammock, I took a kayak out along the Rio Drake. That's right! Pirate Cove has a few sit-on-top kayaks lying around just waiting to be pressed into service. It took me four days to take one out 'cause I'd been warned that there were crocs in the river, and I was too scared to paddle solo. But since, as usual, there was no one else around, I took out a kayak, started paddling...and screamed like a fool when a few fish jumped outta the water.

Maybe 20 minutes later, shaken from the fish (don't laugh!) and worried I'd tip (silly since the river was only a few feet deep), I was in the mangrove and totally freaked when I saw a caiman! I almost dropped my paddle. Was fumbling and shaking so much for fear that the croc would attack me (I'm not very rational), this was the best shot I could get. You can just make out the two bumps where the eyes are. Trust me.

And that was the end of that day's adventure. Panic stricken, I hightailed it back to the resort, ever so glad to see another person. Phew. At the time, I couldn't figure out why that boat was there, but turns out it's the boat Pirate Cove uses for scuba diving trips, which is run under the name Cano Divers.