Friday, May 16, 2008

A Note From Beth Anne-Day 3

So, today was one of the best days of my life.

First off, we are still at the La Selva Biological Station and actually we are isolated, but not without internet like we were told to expect. I have waited to send updates though so I could send a better email.

Yesterday, when we first arrived we ate lunch and then walked around a bit, had an orientation type of thing. Had some free time afterwards before dinner so we walked along a trail with our guide (one who will stay with us through most of the trip) ... we were not joined by actual guides who work here until today. Anyways, the trail was paved and we saw some birds, but nothing too exciting. Basically La Selva has a feel like 4-H Camp only in the jungle. We have been staying in a lodge with rooms that hold up to 6 people each - 3 sets of bunk beds. No one knows what humidity is until they have been here.

The rooms are hotter than outside sometimes ... you may shower, but you only feel clean for so long. All we do is sweat. However, they save all the air conditioning for the computer room and I am actually beginning to get chilly after being out in the heat all day. Anyways, after dinner last night we went on a night hike. Basically saw bugs and big frogs. Looked for crocodiles and owls, but were unsuccessful.

Today is where the real fun began ... We were up and outside by 5:45 AM for a morning bird hike/watch. It was okay at first, but by 7:00 we were all pretty hungry and kept seeing the same birds. We did not eat until 8 and then had down time pretty much until 1:30ish. Got some good hanging out and reading time in. We split up into two groups for the afternoon hike and my group ended up going on a 2 hour hike all over the forest. Saw poison dart frogs, a really awesome stick bug, the craziest looking spider, pecarries (think pig), more birds including but not limited to red lored amazon parrots, white crowned amazon parrots, parrokeets, keel billed toucans, chestnut mandibled toucans, orioles, woodpeckers, etc. Also, saw a cool snake and some bats!

But, here is the greatest part -- MONKEYS! Capuchin monkeys and then howler monkeys!! I kid you not I stood 5 feet away from a howler monkey at one point. One was on this bridge that we have to walk back on to get to the lodge ... he walked along with us! It was absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to show you all pictures (if you are interested)!

Well, enough excited rambling. I am in complete awe and so satisfied with my day. I better go though. Dinner is at 6 and I need to start walking towards the dining hall before it gets too dark! By the way, we leave tomorrow at 6:30 AM for Tortuguero. This is apparently where we are supposed to be headed to which believe me, looks a lot different from here!

Love to you all!

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