Lottie Carlton

Lottie Let Loose

Lottie Carlton

Lottie is let loose - come and see where is she heading this time?

Tierra Hermosa is the name of Alex Martinez' wildlife rescue centre in Sarapiqui where people bring sick and injured animals and birds to be nurtured lovingly back to health before hopefully being released back into the wild. It is up in the hilly countryside about a ten minute drive from Alex's B and B lodges Posandra Andrea Cristina. Alex acquired the area of land as a monoculture of hearts of palm trees that had ceased being cut for harvesting of the hearts of palms and had become fully grown. Alex is gradually introducing a more mixed forest with varied levels of understory. he showed us an area he had planted up with just six years ago and the growth was phenomonal, some of the trees having reached about 8m tall already! He showed us the bark ... read more

Breakfast at Alex's place is great. There's fresh juice, fruit, home made bread and jam, really lovely ripe avocado and scrambled egg. We meet a gorgeous little baby bundle of fluff, a nocturnal piccachu (that's not what it was really, but the name escapes me). Instead of taking hold of this little creature by lifting it up you have just put out your arm and it naturally clings to you with its paws. It wasn't quite old enough to use its tail to curl around yet. It kept tying to nibble my nose with its tiny little teeth. The poor mite had been orphaned and was being looked after by Alex. Whenever a bird or animal is injured people bring them in for Alex to look after and hopefuly release back ito the wild. The area ... read more

La Selva Biological Station is one of the leading research and teaching centres in the tropics. Basically if you want to learn about tropical rain forests this is the place to be. It was originally set up in 1954 by Dr Leslie Holdridge as a farm that experimented on the best techniques to improve mixed plantations for nature conservation. The Organisation for Tropical Studies bought it in 1968 and from then on it was declared a private biological reserve and study centre. We arrive in the humid sweltering heat of the afternoon and meet our guide for the day, Raimer. We are literally two steps into the reserve when he finds us a two toed sloth up high in the trees. Raimer tells us that sloths only come down to the ground once or twice a ... read more
Telling us about the two types of sloth that live at La Selva
Three toed sloth with her baby
Franziska watching the cute sloths

I'm awake really early again so finish packing, have a bit of grub and then head to the beach for a last look at the Carribean Sea before we have to leave wonderful Tortuguera. I get in a few silly selfies and Kathryn helps me out with some of my trade mark jumping photos. We board the boat, different driver this time, and find he's a bit of a speedy one. We zoom down the main river, wash smashing into the banks, and soon reach the turning into the 'Lucky River' not Luci river as I'd thougt it was previously! It's a translation of Rio la Suerte. Despite going quicker this time we still manage to spot quite a few things, the most abundant of which being the basilisks. These irridescent, brilliant green beauties are sunning ... read more
Lottie Let Loose enjoying the Caribbean Sea
Lottie Let Loose enjoying the Caribbean Sea
Saying goodbye to Tortuguero

In the afternoon a few of our group trek down to the park entrance, done our hired wellies and set off along what turns out to be a VERY long path running parallel to the beach. We pass my geocache at one point. Despite being on our own without the spotting and ID skills of a guide we manage to see and identify quite a bit between us. Some of our group are really eagle eyed and we see both howler and white faced capuchin monkeys, two little lizards in a fight, land crabs, leaf cutter ants and two really beautiful red and black butterflies later identified as Pierella and a type of Helliconious. But the most impressive bird we saw, thanks to Stu spotting it in the undergrowth, was this huge black turkey like bird ... read more
Cute girl at the wellie hire place
Land crab
Lush jungle foliage

Apart from arranging to go and walk the nature trail in the afternoon we have the rest of the day free so I decide to see if I can find the one geocache that's hidden at Tortuguera. I take my first proper look at the Carribean Sea and set off along the shore. I stop to chat to a couple of other tourists who it turns out are regulars to this idyllic spot in Costa Rica. They say they were up last night trying to get a glimpse of the turtles that breed here, but it really isn't the right time of year to see them. As I walk further I see little print trails in the sand that head towards the sea and guess these are likely from the little turtles. It's interesting to see ... read more
Setting off from the hotel's turtle gate
First look at the Carribean Sea
Lone fisherman

After my first decent night's sleep of the trip so far I wake refreshed and ready to go on an early morning canoe trip around the lagoon and rivers, or canals as they call them here. We meet Bill our octogenarian canoe guide and set off in our 15 seater canoe towards the 'entrance' to the national park where we have to pay to get in. The government uses money collected in this way for the upkeep of all the national parks.:-) It turns out Bill is a bit of a character and an excellent spotter of wildlife with information to match. He tells us he was born in 1928 which is the same year my mum was born. There's lots of banter thrown back and forth between the other canoe guys and Bill. He's obviously ... read more
Brian our twenty something tour guide
Marion enjoying an early morning canoe trip in Torteguero National Park
Anhinga cormorant

Trying to fall asleep in San Jose is a bit of a challenge to say the least. It's bad enough trying to outsmart your messed up body clock but when you add into the mix massively amplified music and incessant train honking it becomes nigh on impossible. It's therefore a bleary eyed group who meet in the hotel lobby at 8am, bags packed and ready to travel to Tortuguero on the Carribean coast. After a short van ride to the coach station we stuff our main bags in the hold then try to find a seat on board. Half of us squeeze long legs into seats with enough leg room for a four year old and the rest have to stand. We are taking the same road through the cloud forest and unfortunately after about half ... read more
Emerald basilisk
Intrepid group on its way to Tortuguero National Park
Bit different to the Broads bank side vegetation

Having finally made it to the right start point hotel (I got a taxi with a German couple from my group who were also at the wrong hotel) I finally get to meet Brian our Costa Rican tour guide (he looks like a football pro!) and the rest of my group. There's three more from the UK, an Ozzie who's living in the US, two Canadians also living in the US and one bonafide American. We get to know each other better over a meal in the evening and they turn out to be a fun and friendly set of people so it's looking like being a great trip. We meet the final two people the next morning and it turns out they are from Norfolk too - Hethersett to be precise. Moi heart aloive! We ... read more

After the excellent chocolate tour I say goodbye to the aged Americans some of whom were actually really lovely and friendly, and meet up again with Eric and we decide to explore some more of the reserve before lunch. First spot is a groovy stick insect - evolution is frickin' awesome! I also manage to get a great photo of a bejewelled lizard before it flickers off into the undergrowth. It is so warm and humid yet we start to feel spots of rain attempting to penetrate the jungle canopy. We reach another suspended bridge and half way over Eric clocks something and trains his scope on another surprise creature I never would have spotted otherwise. This time the scope brings into view two incredible little bats clinging upside down to the tree bark. They are ... read more
Stick insect
Pretty flowers waiting to catch people on the trail
Giant ferns seen from above

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