We walked quite slow as we had to escalate quite a lot and due to the 35 C in the afternoon temperatures… we kind of didn’t have the energy to run up the paths. Of course we also walked quite slow because we were searching for animals, amphibians, reptiles and insects.
All while we were surrounded by the deafening sound of millions of cicadas. Did you know that some Cicada song can reach 120 db in loudness, being among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds? This is especially notable as their song is technically loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans.
The first thing we found was millions of nymph shells. The Cicada lives underground for most of their life as a nymph and when its time comes it crawls overground and hatches out of the nymph body and becomes an adult.
In any ways this trip was a full jackpot. We saw so many animals, insects, bugs, frogs, birds and things I don’t even know what was. Our guide was really really good.
During this hike we learned a lot about the local forest. Did you f.ex know that the Pochote Tree has developed thorns on their trunks to protect themselves from climbing leaf eaters that want to eat their leaves?
Learn more abou this in Jack Ewings story:
Who says you cant teach an old Sloth New tricks?
At basecamp we rested for about an hours time and Pedro gave us strawberry juice to cool down with. At 5:30 / 6 pm the Cicadas went to sleep and we could finally hear other sounds again.
As night fell we were told to search with our flashlights towards the trees or bushes to see if we could find animals (eyes reflecting) and in the first three I searched I saw eyes. Pedro set up his telescope and we got to see a beautiful boa snake. It had a yellow/beige belly with a few spots. In the dark it was difficult to classify it though.
At 6:30 pm we started with the Night Hike. We left all of our stuff in the kitchen except the flashlights and the camera and then we set off into one of the trails close to the camp. Magnus had luck and walked straight into a Golden Orb Spider nest. It was quite high up and Pedro didn’t reach up to it. I could probably have reached it at some spots, but not at others not.
We saw 4 snakes withing just a tiny amount of time whereof; 2 Common Cat-Eyed Snakes, 1 Coral snake and the last one was brown, slender and I have no idea what species it was any more. The guide told me what it was, but I have forgotten and I cant find it in my leaflet.
The Cat-Eyed Snake is very mildly venomous, but the Coral-Snake has one of the most potent venoms in the world.
We also got to see a Poison Dart Frog !!! YAY ! About time if you ask me.
This is a Red and Green Dart Frog (Granular Poison Dart Frog). They don’t become over 2 cm long and live in humid habitats.
We also saw scorpions, Tarantulas, Other huge spiders, and lots of other frogs like this tiny, but beautiful Red-eyed Stream frog.
Once we got back to camp, Pedro started making us all dinner. Most of it was ready already and it was just the dinner that had to be cooked over the BBQ.
Dinner tasted delicious and although it was just 9:30 pm we all went to bed straight after dinner. I was sooo tired.
We woke up when the forest started waking up. We were deep in the forest and it was so nice to wake up to birds singing, crickets chirping and for breakfast even 2 beautiful Chestnut Mandibled Toucans came to look at us.
Normally I shower twice a day while down here due to sweat and high temperatures, but Base Camp we only had an open air shower with 2,5 walls. When I entered to check out the conditions there was even a Scorpion inside the shower.
I just decided there and then that I didn’t smell bad enough to shower with scorpions …
We arrived at Hacienda Baru at 10 am and we had had a wonderful experience. It was my first time camping in the jungle and although we all had proper beds to sleep in we still had all the sounds and the sightings that we don’t get to see where all the tourists are :D
First thing I did when I got back though was to take a shower and rest by the pool. That felt soooo good !!!