The mini-Amazon

Trip Start Sep 25, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, October 4, 2007

What a place!  We got a boat in the evening through the jungle and spotted a crocodile swimming across the river in front of us with it's eyes shining!  A good introduction!  Tortuguero is a small town which serves as a base for people who want to see the Green sea turtles laying their eggs.  It also has a nice beach and lots of jungle to explore by boat.  We got ripped off by a local on the first night...moo Eduardo!!  But that didn't dampen our spirits.  Belene, Eduardo Guibert and I hung at the beach on our first day.  A long stretch of black sand.  Then the highlight that evening-- the turtles!  I must say that it's an experience that I will never forget.  Absolutely amazing.  Like something from prehistoric times to see a huge turtle, about 300kg, come out of her habitat, dig a hole, camouflage it, lay 120 eggs the size of ping pong balls and then bury them before going back to the sea 2 and a half hours later!  And they do this maybe 6 (?) times each year during the season.  Our guide told us about one turtle that only has 2 fins and still comes every year, for the last 20 anyway.  It takes her over 4 hours--now that's determination!  But they live for over 100 years, up to about 120 and they are very promiscuous!  I guess why not when one time lasts 2 and a half days!!  We didn't get to see the kids hatch and run back to sea, which happens 60 days after they are laid.  But only less than 10% survive...the poor things!  So don't ever contemplate trying this 'delicacy'!  Apparently over 200 came to lay their eggs 2 nights before we arrived; we saw 3, but that was more than enough to appreciate the wonder. The next day we went out on a boat to spot the wildlife-- we sang with the birds and Gabriel was nearly mistaken for a monkey!  They are so loud!  There are large cats but it's extremely rare to see one.  Lots of crocs and Camen too and lots of birds..I'm forgetting already!!  But really beautiful scenery. 
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