Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Of cloacas and coral

Costa Rica, in particular the Osa Peninsula, is breathtakingly beautiful, and the variety and density of flora and fauna was constantly surprising. The food at camp was pretty exclusively rice and beans, and the nearby Corcovado park held anteaters (saw one!) taipirs (only saw tracks), snakes (Emily stepped on one) and lots of other good naturey stuff. On one collectivo trip (you sit in the back of a truck for 2-3h to get to and from Puerto Jiminez), I saw five kinds of bird of prey; a king vulture, flying away with a frog that bounced like a bungee cord. A few red-headed vultures, doing their rounds. Two zone-tailed hawks, one just hanging out right at the edge of the road. A falcon or kite, which hung out in a tree before zipping off. And a black and yellow toucan, which up until a few days ago I didn´t know ate other birds, but apparently they sure do. On our busiest night we had 93 turtles, not counting false crawls I believe. At 5:30am, 10m from where the path to camp starts, of course there was one last turtle - the only one I´ve seen during the day. 95% of them were Olive Ridleys, but we had a few greens, and one leatherback track, which was exciting but frustrating, as we were mere meters away when it came up, but there was a sand dune in the way. I´d released some baby turtles just a few minutes before it crawled up, too. Osa in general was full of awesomeness; parts are alost untouched by modernity and by humans, and... well, go if you can, I doubt there are many places like it remaining on Earth, if any. Pura vida. At the end of our time volounteering we weren´t able to stay in Corcovado overnight, as they were booked up despite it being the low season, so we did a six-hour day hike then went out that night and started the trip to Bocas del Toro, arriving last night. It´s really touristy, and we´ve been accosted pretty much every five minutes since we got here, but we went out on a boat today and, post-haggling-and-being-constantly-lied-to, snorkelling and deserted islands evened things out. That said, I don´t think we´ll be here too long. Em´s not interested in diving, is done with snorkelling (which is nothing new to her), doesn´t want to party, neither of us is interested in the local ganj, and... well, that seems to be just about all Bocas has to offer. Plus, it´s not the cheapest place in the world, booze excluded. My Spanish is veeery slowly improvinga, Em´s has bounced back to quite good after some months of disuse, and she seems to be enjoying her birthday thus far. No pics yet, sorry. I´ll put some up when it´s convenient. Hope you´re all well, and such.

2 comments:

Sunshine said...

Wow. I am so happy that you two are having such a good time. I can't believe you get to hang out with so many turtles, that's awesome! 6-hour day hikes also sound very cool. Hugs to both of yer from UBC.

Chris said...

Excellent post, I'm highly jealous, I don't think I even knew you were doing turtle stuff! I reeeally look forward to seeing some pics! It's getting down to freezing temperatures these days at night here in Sweden...