Google maps informs me that I am about 12000 km from home, but to be honest, staying out here in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle feels like I’m on a different planet. It’s said that Costa Rica contains 5% of the world biodiversity and that around about half is found right here on the Osa Peninsula. By my calculations that means I still have an awful lot left to see but in my first week here I’ve certainly made a good start.
My most exciting sighting to date is probably the two toed sloth which moved into a tree just outside of camp (I’m counting on him staying there for quite some time which is a bonus). I’ve also been lucky enough to see some Pacific Green Turtle HATCHLINGS, Spider Monkeys, Tucans, Scarlet Maccaws and Tamanduas (I’ll stop my list there before I get carried away). I’m growing increasingly suspicious that I have yet to see a Fer de Lance snake as they’re apparently pretty common around this area (I’m hoping I’m not just bad at spotting them).
Life on camp is like nothing you will have experienced before but so much fun. I must say, I’m really warming to the idea of sleeping in a hammock, which, after a wee bit of “hammock-yoga” is surprisingly comfy. I’m also in love with the outdoor showers, it sounds crazy but you’ll understand when you get here. My advice to anyone coming out here is to make sure you get on as many surveys as possible. So far I’ve been involved with the turtle, bird, primate and turtle projects which have all been really interesting (and much more enjoyable when you finally embrace the fact that you will be eternally drenched in sweat). Even when you’re not out and about on a survey there’s plenty to do. I was very glad to realise that the weekly volleyball match was more about enthusiasm than skill. This weekend I’m going snorkelling which should be really cool.
All in all, just 6 days into my stay here, my biggest regret is that I not going to be staying longer (I have a sneaking suspicion that just three weeks won’t be enough!!!).
By Jenny Dent, Forest Research Assistant
Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.