From the volcano to the jungle boot camp. We kid you not. After a long car journey — complete with wifi — to the airport we boarded a tiny plane that bumped and dipped its way to the Osa peninsula and the Corcovado National Park. It was a white knuckle ride which did not end on landing: the runway is handily placed next to the cemetery.
Then a 45-minute journey in searing heat along an unmade road, made bearable by Jason, the driver, who spent the whole time telling us how he longed to live in a cold country. En route we encountered this common potoo, with her chick — see its little open beak?
On arrival we were given a whole set of ecological do’s and don’ts, mealtimes, etc., but it was all good. No aircon, wifi only in the lobby — but we survived. It’s been a wonderful stay in a cabin surrounded by all the sights and sounds of the forest, with the natural and rather scary wake-up call of the howler monkeys, whose bark is considerably worse than their bite (or so we are told). This one’s a capuchin though.
Our chief photographer didn’t even need to stir from his armchair to capture this hummingbird…
… and butterfly. Exactly the way he likes it, in fact.
Overhead, croaking away, our old friend the toucan — the yellow-throated variety this time.
The coati was lurking in the bushes nearby, possibly to recuperate from that nasty gash under the eye.
We went to look for dolphins in the Golfo Dulce, or “sweet gulf”, a so-called tropical fjord. Over in those trees they’ve been filming Jurassic Park: Island Survival, now in pre-production.
Our luck was in: we saw not only bottlenose dolphins, which swam alongside our boat…
… but also spotted dolphins, rather more reserved than their cousins.
Pelicans — or as Ronny, our Capitán, called them, the Costa Rican Air Force — provided a low-level flypast.
Then it was off for one more birdwatch before we move on to the next port of call. Our smudger claims he took several prizewinning snaps on this jaunt. Sadly he managed to delete them “inadvertently” before they saw the light of day. So the red-crowned parrot and black-throated trogon above were taken with his phone through the lens of a telescope, which is a bit of a cheat. The redbreasted blackbird is a real eyecatcher, while the menacing caracara is a vulture which we had seen before, in Patagonia.
So as the sun sets on our visit to the Pacific side of Costa Rica, we prepare to head north again, to colder climes.