Day 6. A 6.45 a.m. pickup from our lodge, followed by a 4 hour journey by road, and another 2 hours by boat. We are now in Tortuguero which is only accessible via a boat trip through the jungle. It feels very ‘Indiana Jones’!
Our lodge has the river on one side, and the Caribbean sea on the other. We can walk between the two in less than 4 minutes. Our arrival at the lodge got off to a shaky start, as they only had a room with a king sized bed reserved for us. We were insistent that we had paid for 2 x queen beds and were able to produce our confirmation, but they were adamant that the lodge was fully booked and the best that they could do was to put a folding bed in the room. We asked to ring our tour operator and I don’t know what they said to them, but all of a sudden a room with 2 x queens was found for us. They did give us free cocktail at the bar to apologise for the mix up, but the strange thing is that the room next to us is empty! I looked through the window and there are definitely no guests staying there, so heaven knows what the problem was. The hotel is in beautiful grounds though and has a lovely atmosphere.
The sun sets over the river and we strolled over from the beach to watch it going down.
Day 7. Today saw us on in a canoe on the river to look for wildlife, followed by a cool off in the swimming pool and then another river excursion in the afternoon.
It’s how I imagine the Amazon must be – thick jungle either side of the river, with all kinds of birds, caimans and three different species of monkey – howler, spider, and white faced capuchin. We saw all of them, but the capuchins were really close. We sat in the boat and watched them for about 10 minutes as they were swinging in the trees and coming down to drink from the river.
I really don’t know how the guides spot these things – I was busy photographing some bright red flowers just 6 inches away from one of these lizards, and didn’t even see it!
It’s extremely hot and humid here, and there are several 4 foot long lizards strolling around the gardens.
Day 8. As every day here has been packed with various activities, we took it easy this morning
although we did take a guided walk just around the lodge grounds. I’m glad we did too, as I’ve been wanting to see the red eyed tree frog since we got here, but you need to know where to look, and that’s what guides are so good at. During the day, the frogs remain motionless, cover their blue sides with their back legs, tuck their bright feet under their bellies, and shut their red eyes. This makes them appear almost completely green, and therefore well hidden among the foliage.
We also saw a couple of other interesting and highly poisonous frogs
And a banana tree, of which there are plenty! We’ve driven past acres of ‘Dole’ plantations, and seeing them growing makes you realise just how far our food comes.
In the afternoon we walked 1k to the town to see how the people live here. Very brightly coloured homes but most of them are little more then large wooden ‘sheds’ and most people are living hand to mouth.
Day 9. Our last morning here, and I got up early to photograph the sunrise over the ocean.
We then left to continue our adventure
And saw some rhinoceros beetles on trees which are the size of the palm of my hand, and native to the rainforests.