Day 16/23

Morning

It has been raining the whole night and waking up proofs difficult after such a short night (4 hours). Still a bit drowsy a stay in bed until breakfast. I show the photographs of the ratsnake (also called racer) of last week to Peter. This snake is not poisonous, but he is very fast. It is almost impossible to keep in pace with it. The best way to catch it, is to grab its tail and swing it around like a lasso (have a sharp lookout to have enough free space, otherwise it will bite you in the face). The snake gets a bit dizzy from all the blood in its head and then you can grab it.

Several Fer-de-lance stories follow and he gets a jar with a head on water. This one almost got him. He happened to stumble upon it nearby the water pools. The snake erected itself and prepared for attack. Snakes can see humans as potential meal if they are very hungry, and was the case here. Peter intended to cut off its head to escape a bite. The snake attacked so fast that the machete ended up halfway in its back instead of just after its head. With broken back it still kept attacking Peter, until it lost its head.

I also show the photograph of the other snake. Peter tells me that this is a pitviper. 90% of all poisonous snakes in Costa Rica are pitvipers. There are two small holes between the eyes and nostrils. These are its heat receptors. The Fer-the-lance has them as well. With these he is capable of detecting mice at a distance of 6 meters. All pitvipers are poisonous.

He also tells about the Bushmaster, a poisonous snake of 4 meters long. There are two types. The Atlantic Bushmaster is quite easy and barely forms a thread. The Pacific Bushmaster lives here and is quite agressive. A few weeks ago he asked one of his workers whether they had recently encountered Bush Masters, as he has not seen them for the last 25 years. One of the workers had killed one only 2 months ago because it saw him as meal and followed him. All poisonous snake are killed here, because they are too dangerous for both the guests and the workers.

When I tell him about the hissing right behind me at the waterfall, he says that his most probably has been a Boa Constrictor, because this is the only kind of snake here that has this behaviour.
During breakfast, I find Daphne sitting opposite of me and some other stories follow. She has not spoken Dutch for 8 years now and clearly has a need for listening ears (-;

An American girls is ill. She has had diarrhoea all night long. I promise here some of my ORS sachets, which makes her kind of happy.

Elizabeth and Clyde will go to San José today, to their other house. Ze says goodbye to everyone and I also receive a nice hug. She is such a warm hearted person. Unbelievable how easy she makes contact with people. I tell her that I have really liked my stay here and that the two nights in fact have been too short. I will return here in a next visit to Costa Rica, but then for a longer period. Daphne and I say goodbye as well. She will return to San José together with them, for some dental repairs.

Back at the cabin I shoot a couple photographs of some flowers.

Jungle flower

Jungle flower

Jungle flower

Deze struiken leveren mooie patronen op wanneer ze niet in focus zijn.

Patterns in the jungle

Een palmblad vereenvoudigd tot een spel van lijnen.

Palm leaf

The small white bat is still hanging on the ceiling and has been doing some strange exercises lately. He is swinging back and forth rapidly and sometimes spreads his wings completely. This could be a nice photograph. For a while I try to shoot him that way. But as soon as I approach him, he reverts to hanging completely still. There is very little light at the moment as well. One photo then, just for the record.

White Bat

Then I throw everything in the car.

A trip of nearly 3 hours takes me to my next destination: de Esquinas Rain Forest Lodge. Same concept, but in a different area: het Piedras Blancas National Park. This park is connected to Corcovado National Park and looks the same.

The drive towards Golfito goes a much better then the other way two days ago. The roads are wet and smoother now. Therefore it rattles less than with dry weather. From Golfito I follow a more narrow and rough 4WD road. Here I have to take several deep obstacles. Kind of funny game actually. The last one is a caved in and tilted bridge.

Afternoon

I can immediately join the lunch: red beetrootsoup, a good chunk of meat with mango and a roasted potato with a sweet coconut dessert. Furthermore, I drink around 2.5 liters of fruit juice and water as preparation for the next hike.

Suddenly, the Swiss people of a couple of days ago enter the restaurant. They are just as flabbergasted as I am. We talk for a minute, but soon I am done with that. I rather go outside.

You have to report which trail you intend to walk and report again when you return. Here, there are again a lot of snake, but they are primarily dangerous in the dark.

I start with the Ocelot trail. It is clear that this is real jungle. Everyhing is soaking wet, lots of different plants and trees, uneven muddy terrain. Soon I find this nice little flower. It is only one centimeter wide.

Jungle flower

If I already thought that I sweated in other places, then that is nothing compared to here. It runs down my skin in streams. It wouldn’t surprise me if the couple of liters fluid from the lunch are lost within half an hour. All my clothes are completely soaked like I just walked through a monsoon storm.

I also notice that I have to take care during climbing or descending. My trousers are completely glued to my skin and can easily be ripped apart during a large step.

The terrain becomes much steeper quickly and where I thought this would be an easy walk in the forest, soon becomes a really heavy climb- and scramble exercise. Constantly, I pay attention where to put hands and feet. I shoot a couple of photography, but this proves far from easy on this rough terrain.

I do not see animals, only a few flowers and apart from a centipede nog insects or spiders either. Better to focus on the jungle itself then.

Jungle

Here it is very clear how thick this jungle is.

Jungle

I hear some thunder in the distance and I notice that it is already getting darker. I decide it is much better to return. The terrain will be descending in that direction, so I should be able to get back quickly. Soon it starts to rain.

Evening

Around 19:00 there is dinner. Every group has its own table and as soon as you sit down, dinner is served in three rounds. An onion-with-egg soupen uien-met-ei soepje, fish and rice as main course and a delicious rice and cinnamon pudding. The fluids are also replenished. Here, you easily drink 6 liters a day.

After dinner I pass by the book department and open a couple of them. There is stale fungy stench hanging here. I also noticed that my own books feel kind of moist. The paper literally sucks up the water vapour from the air.

After taking a shower I see that half of my room is under water and it is already running under the door onto the porch. Not the first time I am having this kind of problem during such a trip (-; The floor in the bathroom has been build the wrong way. Water flows into the room instead of towards the sink. Unbelievable… I sweep all water under the door outside and dry up the rest with a towl.

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 16

Download the original gpx file here.

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