Tortuguero National Park – Valentines Day

sunny.gifBeautiful nice weather, +25C and not one single cloud to spot.
About 90% humidity.
No wind

24125_discovery_f.jpgI woke up at 6 am and and immediately went on a frog hunt for the Strawberry poison-dart frog. Incredible creatures of the size of a finger nail painted with a red back and blue legs. Highly venomous of course but it looks GREAT on pictures. They are also called blue-jeans frogs. Inmensly proud of spotting small red things (on the size of a human finger nail) hopping around on the ground between the cut grass I took a couple of pictures before I had to head for breakfast. I showed the other ladies my pictures and after breakfast I took them to where I found the frogs and showed them too. They were also impressed by the size and wondered how I had seen them at all in the grass. Well. One fantastic thing about red things hopping around in the grass… The grass is green. and you do see red things moving in the green grass. They are extremely difficult to spot when sitting still though.

The trip on the Tortuguero River
We were picked up by our team at 8am to enter the Tortuguero National park and our first stop was at the town of Tortuguero to get our tickets. Thomas and I had already bought ours yesterday, valid for 3 days, as we tried hiking to the beach through the national park as we were exploring the town of Tortuguero, so we did not need to buy new ones now. (I also learned something then. It is not legal to enter the trails unless you have high rubber boots (both because of the possibility of meeting poisonous snakes and the wet mud in the trails. Luckily our hotel borrowed me some so I could bring them with me.
Weeee. Let the adventures begin.

It was a fantastic trip. We were taken up the Tortuguero River and entered Caño Jarol. A nice river that was amazing to tour. We got to be the lucky tourists that got in close contact with the trees hanging over the river as our tour guide, Gilber – popularly called Chito, decided to start cutting down the branches with a huge machete. Justo the driver, is nicaraguan and both of them are really nice, good tourguides.

Animals I have spotted during the day
Howler Monkeys, Caimans, Three toed sloths, Norhern racoon, lizards including the Jesus Christ Lizard, iguanas, Herons, turtles, basilisks, toucans and macaws.

250px-TortugueroBeach.jpgWhen the official program was over around 10:30am we could choose to be taken to the hotel of the village.
Thomas and I went to the village and we had our second breakfast at a bakery. Banana bread and Tres Leches. YUMMY.

After the small food stop we went to the end of the village and showed them the boots and the tickets to enter the park. We hiked up and down the paths looking for strange animals but had no greater luck on that today. We saw lots of lizards and spiders and heard a great orchestra of birds, but no really amazing strange animals.
So we decided heading out towards the Tortuguero beach and it was beautiful. We walked up the beach for about 15 minutes before entering the forest again and went back to the ranger station.

After the walk in the forest it was GREAT to take the rubber boots off and sit down and have some lunch. We both had a great heart-of-palm lasagna with fresh vegetables and lemonade. It was great. A wonderful choise. Thomas even mentioned that that particular dish is even mentioned in the Lonley planets guide to what is worth trying to eat when in Tortuguero.
At the same restaurant that we had lunch they had internet and I sat down for an hour trying to
update blog and respond to some e-mails i had recieved. Jungle called and I left internet pretty quick heading down towards the shore to find a taxi home.
Taxis in Tortuguero is a chapter of its own. They are cool !!!. They are not cars but boats !!! hehe. Taxi Jairo took me to Monkeys lodge and by this point of the trip I was pretty tired and I felt dirty being sweat, full of insect repellant and dragging around on those ugly rubber boots.

tortuguero5.jpgI was met by Mona and the 2 remaining french ladies (Paula and Jeanne) – (the other two just came for one sleep over) and they were having lunch late.

It seemed like they had been to the Nicaraguan border on a private tour that the petrol station man had given them being a friend of Mona. They had a wonderful time.

I went in and showered and Mona called Taxi Jairo so he could take me around. He showed up about 15 minutes later and took me for a private tour into one of the canals where we watched the sunset and listened to the orchestra of birds and monkeys going to bed before the nocturnal birds started their orchestra.

We saw heaps of glow-worms in the grass around the canals and although it was no date – Jairo was nice company for Valentines day.

Though, the dude had to continue working and he left me at the hotel at 7pm so I could have dinner with the other ladies. We had a great dinner with chicken. We stopped in the bar for a little while and I must admit I went early to bed tonight as well. Exhausted but content !

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