Monday 9th October – Tortuguero

So… It seems that there is a cockerel living next to our room as we had a very early morning wake up call. 

We had to get up at 5.30, just after sunrise, anyway to meet the group for a canoe tour of the national park. After a quick coffee, we walked to the other end of the village to the national park entrance. There we donned life jackets and got intoa very small canoe!

Just after we set off the heavens opened – seems the sun screen that we’d hopefully put on wasn’t needed!

We didn’t the next 3.5 hours leisurely cruising around he rivers and inlets, looking for wildlife. Fortunately the weather did improve and we were able to spot:

  • A number of birds, including a small blue heron
  • The different sorts of monkey that live in the park – white faced capuchins, howler and spider monkeys. 
  • A Caymen
  • Various lizards a iguanas including a ‘Jesus Christ lizard, so called because it can run on water.

We arrived back at the hotel at about 10 am and then Ed and I walked into town for some breakfast and a coffee! 

We returned to our hotel for a shower and then spent the next couple of hours relaxing and also managed to fit in a late lunch in a cafe overlooking the river.

Next stop was a jungle walking tour and we met the group at two to head back to the jungle! By now the sun was out and it was pretty hot and very humid. The trees have some protection however and we spotted some burrowing crabs, leaf cutter ants, a few spiders and another spider monkey! 

After the walk the group had a drink and snack and drink at another cafe. The chocolate ice cream milk shake was just what I needed! 

We now has a few hours to kill before the final activity of the day…a night walk to spot titles in the beach. The jet lag was still playing havoc with our body clocks and so we spent much of the time relaxing and snoozing. We meet up again with the group at 9.30pm and with Cloyd, the guide who took us on the canoe Safari earlier in the day. 

The rules are very strict about access to the beach and include a maximum group size and control about where groups can be in order to looking disruption to the turtle. Sadly, it t also meant that we could not take photos. We headed off to our designated area about 15 minutes walk away from our hotel and once we had arrived waited for one of the rangers to contact our guide. Within a few minutes one of the rangers came to say that there was a title laying eggs back up closer to our hotel and so we retraced our steps.

On arrival Cloyd changed from using a whole torch light to a red one so as to minimise disruption. The turtle was at the top of the beach, at the start of some bushes in a hollow that she had dug above a deeper ‘nest’. We were able to see add she layed some eggs and they fell into the nest. Then, once she had finished, we saw her cover the eggs before camouflaging the nest site. She then summoned up her remaining energy and headed slowly back to the sea where we saw her eventually disappear under the waves. Apparently turtles will do this a number of times each season and lay a dressing number of eggs each time ranging from 130 down to less than 100. It was an absolutely amazing experience and I felt privileged to have been able to observe. 

It was now almost 11.30 pm and so we all made our way back to the hotel for bed! 

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