Tortuguero National Park – Day 1

sunny.gifBeautiful weather. No complaints. Almost the same temperatures as in Liberia (+28C) but with 94% humidity it feels a lot hotter.

I got up at 5:20am to get ready for the BIG day. I had ordered a trip with Jungle Tom Safaris to go to the Jungle for 3 days. I went down to pick up place and was there at 6am and waited for the bus.

Outside the hotel I started speaking to Thomas from Germany. It shows he was going for the same trip and we talked a lot before we were picked up at Hotel Aurola Holiday Inn in San Jose. The bus was supposed to be there at 6:20 but did not get there until 7am. On the bus there were about 9 other travellers. Amongst them norwegian Hanne that I spent the whole morning talking to.

There was also 4 french ladies and some gringos. We headed out from San Jose towards the caribbean and first amazing view we got was driving through the Braulio Carrillo National park. I need to go back there. The view was great and the national park is also where the first Jurassic Park movie was filmed. We drove past the river that shows in the movie where there is one river arm, coming down from the Irazu volcano, that is all yellow, while the other river arm is green.

The yellow river that comes down from Irazu is dirty and full of sulfur and volcanic dirt. The other river that is green is fresh and alive.

We had breakfast in Guapiles, a nice traditional rice and beans breakfast with egg. I was lucky and sat next to Hanne, the norwegian girl and we started speaking. It was so relieving (but also difficult in the beginning) to speak my language after having spoken almost only spanish for 2,5 months.

After breakfast we headed towards Sarapiqui where we stopped to check out the “Del Monte” Banana plantation, where we got to see how they sort and pack bananas that go to the local market and for exportation.We also got to see a strange beetle with horns. It has a kind of a furry, brown coloured shell. From there we drove past the Earth University that is the most expensive University in Costa Rica.

We arrived Cano Blanco around 10:30 to abandon our bus and embark on the most exciting part of this tour: The boat trip into the jungle on the CARIBBEAN CANALS to the world famous TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK.

Covering 1.800 hectares, TORTUGUERO is a coastal park situated on a flood plain and it is one of the most important nesting sites for Chelonia midas, the green sea turtle, whereas its forests and waterways are home for such endangered mammals as sloths, monkeys, agoutis, coati mundis and manatees. There are also abundant birds, such as toucans, trogons, egrets, herons and anbingas, as well as crocodiles, turtles and countless colorfull butterflies, including the beautiful blue morpho and the boat trip offers a chance to see many of these rare animals up close.

We were taken up the Reventazon river and after a boat trip for about 40 minutes we changed boat and left the day-trippers behind before the stay overs was taken over an hour further into the jungle to our hotel close to Tortuguero village. We left Thomas at his hotel and the 2 gringos at theirs. The 4 french ladies and I were left at Monkeys Lodge that is located just 50 meters away from Evergreen Hotel where we are going to have all our meals. We were welcomed by a very nice and hearty lady Rosemary, also known as “MONA”. She took us around to show us the property and our rooms before she took us over to Evergreen to use the swimmingpool and have some lunch. Delicious food in tropical surroundings. Weee. I like it here.

torguguerotown.jpgI had a shower before I sprayed myself with the perfume of the caribbean (Insect repellant) to avoid being the popular girl with the sweet blood. Then I went down to the shore where the other ladies were waiting. Mona introduced us to Tosty – the domesticated Caiman – and at 3pm we were picked up by our tour guide and the other tourists to go to the town of Tortuguero. We were taken to the visitors center to watch a movie from 1996 witch in the end noone wanted to see before we were taken straight to the beach to see turtle nests (even turtle season is between july and october). Then we walked around in the tiny town that is no longer than 700 meters with houses on both sides of a walk-way before heading to the beach again.
We had a meeting hour at 5pm to be picked up and I got some souvenirs in the only souvenir shop in town.

At the hotel we got ready for dinner by waiting in the bar. Drinking umbrella drinks and beer and chatting to the bartender watching the american tourists dance merengue with their guides. hehe. Some sight. Fantastic. Dinner was at 7pm and we had delicious Fish with mashed potatoes and lots of fresh vegetables. We had one more drink after dinner and then walked through the pitch dark path back to our hotel with no torches. EEEK.
The frenchies stayed outside of their rooms on the veranda for a while but I was far to popular even due to the insect repellant to wanna stay out. I got to bed instead. Exhausted from all the interesting experiences of the day !

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