Today I rescued a baby turtle! Que guay!!

Trip Start Oct 16, 2013
Trip End Mar 09, 2013

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Cabinas laguna sunset

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 12: 28 October 2013

Cariari -> La Pavona -> Tortuguero

We had a quick breakfast then went to catch the bus to La Pavona where we could get the boat to Tortuguero. We had negotiated a rate for accommodation with the captain so when we arrived set off to find our cabinas. Turns out they were super central and right on the river.

As it was still sunny we took the time to do some much needed washing. When we went to hang it up I managed to lock us out of the cabina! Thankfully Anna was dressed but I was just in my swimming costume :( After trying all of the 30 or so keys the cleaning lady had and not finding the right one I was getting a bit worried but she had a solution. She returned with a giant knife and got the door open in a matter of seconds. We were happy to be back in but less happy at how easily she had managed to open the door!

We then headed out to find a bank machine... Turns out there is only one option in Tortuguero for withdrawing money in the supermarket and they charge you 10% of what you take. With no other option we got some money and went to book some tours to see the turtles later that night and a canoe tour of the natural park the next day.

As we were up so early we were getting hungry we had a wee snack then went for a wander. In Tortuguero you can really feel the Caribbean influence... It is really colourful and has a super chilled atmosphere. After walking for a bit we arrived at the beach. We were initially a bit surprised it was deserted but as soon as we sat down and we were swarmed by flies we realised why! We didn't last very long before we couldn't handle it anymore so left in search of a pipa (coconut) as we hadn't had one yet. We didn't have to look far as a little further down the road a guy sold us one from the tree in his garden :)

Hungry again we headed off for some lunch (arroz con mariscos) and were again swarmed by flies! Although this was easily my favourite place in Costa Rica so far I could never live here as the flies would drive me mad. We were told we might see some baby turtles at the beach in the early evening so went off to see if we could see any but there weren't any.

As we had some time to kill before our turtle tour we got some beers and headed back to the cabina to chill for a bit. We weren't sure if we would see much as it was near the end of the nesting season but when we arrived on the beach we were told by one of the turtle spotters there was a turtle nearby who was starting to prepare her nest. We waited for a bit but something must have spooked her as she decided to head back to the sea. We got a bit closer so we could see her making her way back. She was so much bigger than I expected!! As there were no other turtles on the beach we headed back to the base to wait for a bit. On the way we saw 2 sloths, a brown frog, 2 lizards, a red eyed frog and a giant spider! Soon after we were told we could head back to the beach as there was another turtle building her nest. Thankfully she decided to stay and we got closer just as she was laying her eggs! It was so cool to see!! Turtles lay around 80-120 eggs at a time but quite often only a small
number survive due to predators or hunter finding the nests. On our way back to town we spotted some baby turtles whose nest was too close to town and so with the lights and everything they were really disorientated and couldn't find the sea. There were around 40 of them so we had to pick them up and bring them closer to the sea. It was like a turtle treasure hunt but eventually they were all back where they should be. Super happy with what we had seen we headed off to bed.

Day 13: 29 October 2013

Tortuguero -> Moin -> Puerto Limon -> Cahuita

We set off bright and early for our canoe trip around the national park. The tour was cool and we saw lots of animals: heron, kingfisher, ducks, spider and howler monkeys, lizards, macaws, a river turtle, butterflies and some caimans. The caimans totally creeped me out as you could only see a part of their heads and their eyes just followed you!

The tour finished early so we had time to grab some breakfast before going to catch the boat to Moin. The boat took almost 4 hrs and was quite expensive ($30) but we were both keen to avoid another trip through San Jose. It was a nice trip though and the driver was keen to show us stuff along the way. We saw some monkeys, crocodiles (EEK), heron, a sloth (our 5th now... so much for them being difficult to spot) and a pelican.

When we arrived at Moin we headed off to find the bus stop for Puerto Limon. It took us a while and I got shouted at by the security guard of a shipping company along the way but we finally found it. I am guessing he thought I was trying to smuggle myself somewhere... I only wanted to ask directions! The bus stop seemed to be where some guy was conducting his lorry business so there was lots going on. The bus came quickly though and we were soon on our way again. Driving through Limon we decided pretty quickly we didn't want to stay here for the night so quickly switched bus stations, grabbed something for lunch and jumped on a bus to Cahuita. It was supposed to take an hour but we were there quicker as think the driver was trying to beat his personal best time!

Cahuita was much nicer and again you could feel the laidback Carribean vibe. We found somewhere cheap to stay and headed to explore a little AKA go to the beach but it was getting dark so we decided it was a better idea to have a beer to help us relax after all of our travelling today ;) While in the bar we saw a sloth crossing the power lines! Not sure how he ended up in town but as he was so scared he was moving pretty quickly to get away. We again went for the restaurant that had the most people in it for dinner and turns out we made a good choice as the food was fab (arroz con camarones y salsa de coco). We ended up sharing a table with a Catalan couple from Barcelona! Turns out she had the same birthday as me so would also be celebrating this week. We stayed to have a few beers with them and chat to the owners about life in Costa Rica then headed to bed happy in the knowledge that for once we had nowhere to be tomorrow so could have a long lie.
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