Animal Spotting

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 1 - Banana Planatation, Tropical Garden, River Boat, Town
Another early start. Lots of people on the bus but most of them heading for the rafting trip. As a result was initially wandering if I had gotten on the right bus. In the end only two other people were doing the same tour as me and they were a couple of austrian girls who had done the same tour as me the day before.

Upon arriving at the place where the rafting trip started we were given a buffie breakfast and then put on another bus with our guide. After a couple of hours drive ended up at a banana plantation where we were explained what happens.

Could see people cutting the bananas from the clusters. These then dropped into some water where the first quality check was done. Bananas that didnt met a certain quality criteria were taken out. These are then used to make banana products such as chips and pastes while the rest continue to float along in the water. These then reach anotherspot where guys sort the quality once again and put the bananas into the boxes which are packed out.

Interesting to note that they want to keep the bannanas green and that they do this by covering the clusters with blue plastic bags that keep the sun from getting to them.

Also managed to see a rihnosaurous beetle which some guy was carrying around on a stick.

Next stop after this was a tropical garden. Started out by looking for and finding some red frogs. While not poisonous to the touch, eating food after touching them, without washing hands, might cause you some serious health problems. Here we saw lots of different tropical plants and flowers. Some of which I had come across before . Also finally managed to see a sloth up in one of the nearby trees as well as a humming bird flittering through the garden.

Another hour or so and we reached the river where we got a boat to the National park. Another nice boat ride with the jungle on either side of the river. Again saw lots of water birds, a few monkeys in the trees as well as some caimens (aligators?) swimming in the water.

Had some free time when we reached the lodge which was quite nice with the bungalows sitting on stilts in the middle of the jungle. Guess the stilts are for when the river floods its banks. Wandered around the grounds and found a small trail into the jungle which I started to wander down but had to turn back since I had to get back and meet the other. Definitely one of the nicer places I have stayed in recently.

Took the boat out to the town where we headed down to the beach. At the right time of year its possible to see turtle eggs getting laid or little turtles coming out of the sand and making the dash for the ocean. Instead only saw a few holes where previous nests had been. Seems its important where the nests are (need some shade from trees) since the temperature of the eggs needs to be controlled.

Next had some free time to wander around the town which wa spretty much like any other small carribean town. Most interesting thing I found was this spider by the side of the road. Definately trippy looking.

After town headed back to the lodge and ended the night with dinner which was included in the tour. Stomach at this point which had been feeling a bit dodgey in the morning seems to be getting worse and staring to find it harder to eat. Chatted with the girls a bit and then called it a night.

Day 2 - Tortuguerro NP Hike, Cano Moro and Cano Harlod
Had an early start to visit the National PArk by boat. After getting the tickets headed to Cano Moro and Cano Harlod. Took our time and along the way saw lots of birds as well as a few caimen swimming and sitting in the reeds. Get the feeling that if we had gone out earlier in san Carlos (say sunset) might have had more luck finding caimen there with the better light.

While travelling along saw a boat load of people getting excited and went to have a look. Ended up finding a big python sitting in a tree by the river. From here followed along up the canals and saw an iguana up in the trees followed by a duck bill heron building it nest before we started heading back. Found the guide to be quite good at spotting wildlife. Guess experience helps.

Didnt eat much breakfast because my stomach cant hold it down and I am feeling like crap.

After breakfast headed to the park and started walking along the track through the park. Managed to find some spider monkeys along the way and made it down to the beach and turtle nest again before we had to turn around due to the rest of the track loop being closed. Enjoyable enough walk but have walked lots of jungles by now and nothing particularly new along the way.

Headed back and the girls and guide took the boat back since they were only doing a single night tour. I on the other habd had planned to go back and explore the cannals with a kayak, Was feeling crap and barely touch lunch so decided to pop some antibiotics to try and help my gut out, Also a blocker so I could go out.

After lunch I also found out it would cost me and extra $25 to get back. They said it was the fault of the guys who sold me the ticket but my guess is that they made a mistake and since their own tour boat was heading back and there would be no boat available to take me back the next day. Rather than paying the cost they decided to make me pay for their mistake. Dont think I would of hung around if I had known about the extra costs.

Feeling a bit weak but decided to paddle out for a couple of hours anyways. Couldnt justify the extra cost just to stay in bed.

Had a nice paddle back to the cannal and up the second cannal we didnt go up the last time. Not as many birds around but I did see a lot of turtles sunning themselves. Also managed to find some caimens sunning themselves on a log as well as lots of monkeys moving through the trees by the river.

Ended up eating very little for dinner since my stomach couldnt handle then called it an early night.

Day 3 - Transit to Puerto Viejo
Should probably of gotten up early to go for a paddle but not really in the mood. Instead decided to go for a walk along the trail I had found the first day that lead into the jungle. Followed the trail for a bit and then it disappeared. Wandered around a bit but decided I didnt have enough time to go exploring. Especially if I was going to get lost and need to find my way back.

While waiting for breakfast someone pointed out a sloth in a nearby tree which I watched for a bit. Feeling a bit better this morning and could actually eat breakfast.

Had fun on the boat trip back. Was sitting at the front of the boat and since the guy was driving so fast this was 0.5 to 1 meter about the water. Unlike the tour boat, this boat was built for speed. Also interesting how we hit some spots where the water was so shallow that the motor had to be tilted up and the boat had to basically look for some sort of channel and then the motor went bonto trying to push the boat through it.

Boat was heading to Moin while I ended up having to get off at the gas station. Thankfully saw the shuttle I had to catch otherwise would have stayed on the boat and ended up somewhere I shouldnt have. Not good when you have a connecting shuttle. Also found out I had been ripped off $5 by the boat since I paid $30 and should have got $5 change which they failed to bother giving back.

Ended up being taken back to the place where the white water rafting gear was stored and had lunch before waiting nearly and hour for my shuttle ride to Puerto Viejo.

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