Costa Rica (Days 8-10)

April 13th

This is my last day at La Tortuga Feliz. I went to bed a round 3am after having gone on a patrol last night. This morning we are working more on the hatchery. It’s hard work but good for building muscles plus you’re on the beach and there is little that I find more enjoyable than that. Around 2pm the snack boat came. This is a guy who brings glass bottle of Coke and fanta, plus snickers and Oreos (for those who miss the processed foods of the city). I stuck with the fresh mango and pineapple. Afterwards he took the volunteers on a wildlife tour around the canals.

Iguana (he’s blending into the center of the picture).
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Baby bats pretending to be a snake to fool predators.

I did have one final patrol. It was the first patrol since I had to leave early the next morning. We saw two turtles, however the poacher got to them first, both times. He would run up to us each time screaming “Suerte Yo, Suerte Yo!” If only we could have had a 5 minute head start, we would have found them first. He did however let me watch the turtle lay a few eggs before I had to stand back at a distance. After he left, we took the measurements of this beautiful, enormous, and majestic creature. Excretions from her salt gland oozed out of her eyes, thick and viscous. Her flippers gently moved sand out of the way as she gently dropped eggs down.

April 14th

We woke up at 4:50am to catch the boat, to take us to the taxi, to get us to the bus stop, so we could get back to San Jose. We got there around 9:30 am. Too early to check into the hotel. However, they let me stash my bag so I could walk around the city unencumbered. On the suggestion of the front desk agent, I went to the Gold and Pre-Columbian Museum. Among the exhibitions I enjoyed were: Numismatics, Music, and Death.

After that I aimlessly walked around the city, getting a feel for its flow, and looking for food. What I saw was more corporate widely known names. The same stores that are in the USA, the same food establishments, and the vibe was just as similar. There was nothing down here in the city center for me. As I walked along strips that were souveneir traps, I was reminded of Olvera Street. I essentially was walknig down Olvera St., but the merchandise said Costa Rica. I left, buying nothing.

I didn’t find any vegan places downtown, but after a quick yelp search I found a vegan friendly place near my hotel. I was not disappointed. After a week of only being fed rice, corn, and flour, I could finally replenish my body with the nutrients that it needed. I received the biggest bowl of vegetables, chocolate mousse, and coffee. My stomach was happy for the first time in a week. As I chopmed down on my kale a slightly familiar song came on overhead. The melody of Piano Man, except sung by a woman in spanish.

April 15th

Another day of waking up early and my final day in Costa Rica. I had decided to go on a tour of a coffee estate, Poas Volcano, and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. At the coffee estate we learned the rules governing coffee production in Costa Rica. 1. You may only grow Arabica beans, 2. You must pick the beans by hand, 3. After 25 years, you must rip out all trees and replant (for the benefit of growing good coffee and replenishing the environment).

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Coffee beans drying in the sun.

We couldn’t see anything at the Poas Volcano because of the fog.

Finally, we went to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This was probably the favorite part of my day. It is a resort/nature park/wildlife refuge. Luscious scenery and beautiful animals.

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A parrot waiting to be photographed.
One of the many waterfalls.

After the tour I relaxed for the evening since I had to get up at 4:30 for the airport. My holiday was over, but I hope to go back one day.

Thanks for reading about my time in Costa Rica.





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