Day 20-21: Corcovado National Park

by - August 09, 2009

A river crossing on the edge of Corcovado

Day 20: Sunday 9th August 2009

Yet another day of movement today.  It began at 6.30am with us all getting up after our awful night’s sleep and clearing up the campsite - a task that was made more entertaining by the big group of macaws which flew over and settled in the trees above us.  Our taxis left at 9 o'clock and cost an extortionate $50 each for the trip to the village of Carate on the south coast of the Osa Peninsular.  This was quite an interesting journey through the jungle, though we didn’t see much in the way of animals.  Our guide, Jose, travelled with us and when we reached the village he introduced himself and told us what he planned to show us over the following days in the jungles.

We began with a walk of 3.5km along the beach, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Corcovado National Park on the other - a stunning location.  Our campsite was at the La Leona lodge - the local rangers station, which was actually very nice and sat at the edge of the beach.  Lunch consisted of the now standard (but still unpleasant) jam/peanut butter wraps.  Some people went off for a brief tour in the jungle but myself, Tom W, Josh, Ed (whose birthday was today) and Ben stayed on the beach and tried to catch some fish.  This proved to be a total waste of time however as we were beaten by the waves and Josh managed to sustain the revolting injury of a fish hook through the finger nail.  We all met up again at about 5 o'clock for dinner as it staretd to rain.  Myself and Daniel cooked dinner (pasta & tomato) and it was frankly a bit of a cock up as we tried (and failed) to get everybody’s food ready at the same time.  We spent our evening sheltering from the rain while completing rather mundane tasks such as cleaning all of the cooking equipment.

Day 21: Monday 10th August 2009

It was actually a very good night’s sleep, considering we slept in a tent between the jungle and the Pacific Ocean.  We had a generic cereal breakfast quite early and left camp with Jose at about 8 o'clock for our much reduced rainforest trek (consisting of one day instead of the five that we had originally envisaged).  The plan was to walk six kilometres down the beach and then straight back again while trying to find as much wildlife as possible.  We had to do our first proper river crossing which was quite dramatic (though straightforward) and the most exciting bit of wildlife we found on the outbound walk was a golden orb spider.  Perhaps more impressively we also came across the remains of the engine of an American WW2 ship which had washed up on the beach as part of a wreck decades ago and never been removed.  It was big enough for us to be able to climb inside and walk around.

After eating our lunch at the furthest outbound point we made our way back to camp, seeing some spider monkeys and raccoons - interesting, but not quite the big finds that we had been hoping for.  We arrived back at camp in the mid afternoon and had some time to ourselves.  After Tom’s group had cooked us an early evening meal, we prepared to go on our night trek into the jungle.  This was our last chance to see wildlife, but was also our best chance as most creatures are nocturnal.  Thankfully it didn’t disappoint and we came across two snakes, a scorpion, three spiders and two toads, allowing us to return to camp at about 9 thoroughly satisfied.

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