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Pura Vida, Mae

December 9, 2018

We rose early to get our transport to Tortuguera and the real start of our trip.

Jonathan, our guide on the bus, chatted too enthusiastically for 6:30am pre-coffee (for us, I think he had several). He pointed out the sights along the first leg of our journey – an active volcano, white gas shooting out of the top, the far away cloud forest into which we would ascend, and the vast fields of fruit. Dole, Chiquita, and other international brands growing their wares here. Banana farming has a complicated cycle which involves a several year growth pattern and a makeshift railway to ensure that the bunches of deliciousness don’t get crushed in transport.

Jonathan and our driver began chatting rapidly in spanish as the bus pulled over and then reversed for several yards. Jonathan opened the door and announced “are you ready to see your first sloth.” Um…YES!

There it was high up in a tree scratching itself far more vigorously than one would expect of a sloth. It was the three toed variety, but he was too high up for us to see his toes. Back in the van, Jonathan explained that the other variety of sloth was the two toed kind. With that the van screeched to a stop and there, having from some barbed wire, as a two toed sloth.

From there we spied monkeys and many, many birds, before saying goodbye to Jonathan and hello to Luis who took us about an hour upriver to Tortuguera.

Tortuguara can only be reached by boat. The Lucky River merges into a larger river and winds along towards a national park area. In the 60s it was founded as a sanctuary for turtles and other wild life, with the sea on one side and the river on the other.

We learned a bit about the migration habits of the turtles and walked the beach where they hatch, but it isn’t the right season to see them. The town of Tortuguara caters to the tourists who flock here with shops of souvenirs and boot rentals for those who have come unprepared for snakes.

A quick wonder through and we headed back to our hotel for a relaxing night.

The animal could includes both types of sloth, howler and spider monkeys, a toucan or two, several intimidating caiman,  and many species of birds who’s names I don’t remember.

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One Comment
  1. Lynn permalink

    The “Lucky River”? I would have asked just how many people perished in it and how. Nothing called “Lucky” can ever be. Has to be a thick layer of irony in that.

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