Turtles and Waterways

Trip Start May 21, 2011
Trip End Jul 02, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rana Roja
What I did
Turtles and Stuff

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Thursday, June 16, 2011

It was another day of travelling that got us to Tortuguero.  The road there was probably the bumpiest thing ever, well it felt like it for the 1 1/2hrs it took to do 30kms!!  While our eyeballs were rattling around in their sockets we did spot a Sloth (photo attached for Andy).  It had a baby, but you can't really see it. We stopped at a Del Monte banana plantation (if anyone from Del Monte is reading we are more than happy to take any endorsements).  Just the 51000hectares.  Ruth wants to give you the 101 facts you never need to know about bananas, but I have control of the keyboard so will spa┤r┐e jn'0kbhok0u9kg you.  Thanks Ruth.

The last hour and a half took us on a boat through the canals leading to the National Park.  Is there any of this country that is not rainforest?  And of course it rained as we were arriving.  But this time it was shortlived.  A quick introduction to the village and a trip to the beach where all the turtles would be making their egg laying journey over the next couple of months.  We are right at the beginning of the season so the chances of seeing turtles wasn┤t that high, but as we'd come all this way we thought we'd give it a try.  That night it was a bit disconcerting to hear people checking out the night wildlife and saying, just outside our room, "look at that tarantula" and then moving on.  We knew it was there, but had no idea of size or location.  We slept well that night!!!

An early start and we headed for the waterways for a boat tour before breakfast.  Even though it was a bit overcast there were still plenty of animals.  You will have to take our word for some of this as the camera is as damp as pretty much everything we own here and some of the shots were a bit hazy so we have deleted them.  Highlights were the same 3 types of monkey we have seen elsewhere, otters, birds, some more birds, Caiman and a pair of Iguanas.

A quick turnaround for breakfast and we were off again.  This time on foot.  Almost immediately we found a snake, not very big, but quite poisonous - an eye lash pit viper.  There are 4 colours of them and by the end of our walk we'd found all 4.  There were also plenty of spiders, lizards and butterflies.

That afternoon we spent kayaking the narrow channels by our lodge before relaxing by the swimming pool, that was shaped like a turtle.  Classy.  Then at 10pm we went out in search of the real deal.  Ruth's iron constitution was a little less..... well let's just say that Montezuma may finally have had his revenge.  We were bedecked in our wellies as we set off for the beach.  Roberto's uncle was already out patrolling.  We got the call that there was a turtle laying on the beach, but it was a way away.  Our choice of footwear wasn't the best as we power walked 2 miles down the beach.  We were not allowed to view the turtles before they had started laying as they can sometimes abort their landing if disturbed.  Finally we got to our turtle.  It wasn't a green turtle, which usually frequents the beach, but a hawksbill.  These lay 120-150 eggs in each nest.  We watched for a while before she covered up the eggs.  By this time we had been on the beach 1 1/2hrs and therefore had only 30 minutes before regulations stated we had to be off the beach.  This meant we started back before she had returned to the water.  In the meantime a green turtle had gone up the beach behind us and was making her nest, so we got a brief view as we passed on our way back.  As Roberto set the pace we positioned ourselves behind a large Costa Rican lady guide and went at her pace.  We weren't allowed cameras so there aren't any photos of these turtles, but it was a great experience and we were glad we had enjoyed the spectacle.  Now time for 101 facts about turtles...nkfdsnklf mmkld

That concluded our time on the Caribbean side of the country.  Our next stop would be a big volcano in the middle of the country.

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Uncle Andy on

Another sloth! I can go to bed a happy man! I love you guys

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