Day 15/23

Morning

Somewhere around 05:15 I wake up because of the light. A few minutes later I am doing my business on the outside toilet as a beautiful Toucan lands in a tree to eat some berries. Soon after that 7 Squirrel Monkeys pass by on a branch direct in front of me, one by one. They all stop to look at me for a few seconds before continuing. Unbelievable. These are some real photo moments, but I am currently occupied by something else (-;

The lenses appear to have dried up but still contain some contamination. So I first have to clean these up. Elizabeth told me yesterday on arrival that they have been having a white bat here for the last 13 years, that spends its day hanging upside down from the roof of one of three cabins. Now, I see it hanging in my cabin on my left. A cute little animal. I immediately set up my tripod and shoot a few.

Rare white bat

Rare white bat

Then I walk in the direction of the main building and see the 7 Squirrel Monkeys again going wild up in the trees The Howlers of yesterday are here again as well. For a while I try to get them in front of my lens but I do not succeed in this.

I decide to walk in the direction of the beach. At the main building some people are shooting photographs of a couple of birds that race through the garden. Elizabeth invites me to join, but I don’t. These birds are flying so fast, that chances for a good photograph are far to small.

There is nothing special to see at the beach and I walk back. The breakfast this morning is pancakes with fruit jam, yummie!

Then we have the guided walk that is included in the price. There are many holes in the wall along the road and just when I ask Clyde what is in there, I see a crab going inside one of them. These appear to be land crabs. Around august they all go to the beach with thousands of them to mate. I have seen this once on the television. The whole road was red with crabs.

We also see tiny frogs en different birds.

Unknown bird

Somewhere halfway we see a Sloth doing his acrobatic tricks in a tree. I quickly set up my gear and shoot a couple of photographs. Sloths have a fungus in their fur. A particular type of moth feeds on this fungus. Once a week the Sloth descends from the tree to crap. Nobody knows why he does this, but most probably he follows the rule ’Don’t crap where you eat’. The larvae of this moth feed on his droppings and the moths fly up as soon as they hatch to end up in the fur of the Sloth to feed on the fungus.

Sloth

Males only have the dark stripe on their back.

Sloth

The Sloth moves very slowly through the tree. Males and females communicate by whistling.

Sloth

Clyde mimics the whistle of a female and the Sloth turns his head very quickly to us. Then he moves his head a little from left to right and back. Very funny to see.

Sloth

We taste various kinds of fruit, among which is star fruit. They have really everything here, like this beautiful cacao.

Cacao

Many of the trees have died from fungy and a couple of years ago they have started to plan a different kind that has much better protection against it. Most of the fruit trees are around 30 years old.

Somewhat later, close to the river, we hear a loud crack followed by other ones. This is followed by a lot of noise and we are wondering what happens here. A large tree has collapsed and crasht on the ground only 40 meters from us. It stood on the other side of the river and has fallen right through a fruit tree. A startled walking leaf is walking around, completely dazzled.

Close to the lodge we pass by a couple of beautifully colored Eucalyptus trees. The bark is so very photogenic that I stay behind to photograph them.

Eucalyptus

The Eucalyptus is not endemic but originates from Australië.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

After taking in some water and fruit juice I walk to the pools very close by. It is all very slippery and I picture myself slipping and falling in with all my gear. Luckily this does not happen.

Jungle stream

This photographs is quite difficult to shoot. I am standing astride over the stream and one of the tripod legs is standing in the water. The photograph does not show this.

Beekje in de jungle

Afternoon

The lunch is as pleasant as the diner of yesterday evening. The owner is so very happy and spontaneous, just unbelievable.

An Iguana walks around just after dinner and we all shoot a couple of photographs of it.

Leguaan

Leguaan

All books they have here desintegrate because of the moisture. The glue dissolves and fungy grow on the paper.

Elizabeth asks me whether I have already seen the little frogs close to the pools. I have not seen them and she gets here walking boots and comes with me. After looking for a while, I do find one. Red upperbody and blue lowerbody, barely two centimeters tall. After a couple of tries I succeed in getting a photograph, although the deep blue color does not come out well. Maybe this has something to do with a wrong white balans during the flash, but I am not very sure about that.

Strawberry Poison Frog

Then we hear monkeys. Elizabeth becomes very enthousiastic and almost shouts to me to come with her. These monkeys have been away for a while and she is very happy that they are back. These appear to be the toilet monkeys from early morning. They fly through the trees and disappear almost as quickly as they arrived. We can follow them via the trails and manage to cut them off in the end. It takes some time for them to get enough currage to continue and this provides just enough time for me to be ready. Finally a couple of photographs of Squirrel Monkeys. That is monkey species number 3. I stil have to find the White Faced Capucins to be complete.

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

I try to follow them towards the sea but quickly loose track of them. Then I follow the same route of the morning walk again, but that does deliver photographs this time. Even the Sloth is gone. I am completely soaked and am done for today. Above all I have a nasty injury on my foot. I have had this problem before. Some rest might be beneficial for it.

I return to the cabin and lay myself down in the cosy hammock. The rain starts falling within the hour.

Evening

The dinner is very pleasant again. Every day about 100 turtles are killed here just off the coast because of the nets that are used by shrimp fishermen. Often they are cut (stil alive) in two in that they sink to the bottom. Killing of turtles is illegal. Peter tries to stop this spilling together with others.

Just like yesterday, everybody goes to bed directly after dinner and Daphne and I start talking agagin. Man this woman can talk. Every story is followed by another one. Around 01:30 we go to bed as well, because the morning will come early.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Costa Rica Dry Season 2011, Day 15

Download the original gpx file here.

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