Boat Trip and Walk to Tortuguero
Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
16Trip End Aug 03, 2009
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Umberto then took us to see some baby Caimans that he had seen a few days before
An Anhinga stood still wings outstretched drying them off in the morning sun. Its feathers are not waterproof so it has to spend long periods drying out its wings. The word 'anhinga’ comes from the Brazilian Tupi Language and means snake or devil bird. The snake part must be because of its extraordinarily long neck.
Clinging to the underside of a large branch Umberto spotted some Proboscis bats sheltering from the hot sun, we counted about 10 and it looked like some were babies. We could have easily missed them as they looked like nobbles on the tree at first.
A large troupe of spider monkeys noisily clattered through the trees swinging on their disproportionately long limbs. Many had small babies clinging tightly to them. The younger infants are carried around the females belly but as they get older she puts them on her lower back
This morning we were also lucky enough to see a Collared Aracari a smaller toucan lower down in the trees eating some fruit that it had found. We had seen quite a lot of toucans but many were high up in the trees and difficult to see. This one stayed for a long time twisting and turning on a branch to reach its food. A really beautiful bird with its large black bill coloured yellow and red on top to match its plumage.
The rainforest is full of lizards and that morning we saw one of the most startling looking, the Emerald Basilisk Lizard. These lizards have incredible sail like crests on their back, head and tail. They actually have the ability to walk on water and because of this they are also known as the Jesus Christ Lizard for obvious reasons. Flaps between their toes help support them, creating a larger surface and a pocket of air.
That afternoon we decide to walk into the small town of Tortuguero. A trail that followed the power lines into town showed us the way. It was incredibly hot and the small dirt road did seem interminable but the thought of a nice cold drink at the end of it kept us going. The town itself quite scruffy and is a collection of brightly coloured houses and corrugated huts. Two large brightly coloured parrot statues up on high plinths stand rather incongruously at the river’s edge surrounded by gaily coloured picnic tables and chairs. The town is full of gift shops and cafes and after walking around we decided to get a cool drink in the Budda Café in the centre of town. The garden was cool and it was a relief to get out of the hot sun.
On the way back we decide to walk along the beach. The sand here is dark as a result of the volcanic rock and littered with an amazing variety of seed pods and branches. The vegetation comes right down to the beach and every now and again you see a large iguana scurrying for cover. The beach is covered with holes in the sand and is the only giveaway to crabs who have buried themselves to keep from drying out in the hot sun.
The heat of the day gave way to a massive storm that evening that lit up the night sky and the lightening seemed to flicker almost continuously.