Edit Blog Post
Published: January 20th 2012
After a few days in San Jose, Brad and I headed to the Osa Peninsula, where we were promised birds, plants and wildlife. We took a light aircraft flight with the company Sansa to get there – a little twelve seater Cessna something. Though much more pricey than the bus, the flight was 45 minutes compared to the 8 hours on the bus! Besides the time saving, it was a great birds eye view of Costa Rica... the plane rose sharply (and bumpily) over the central valley and mountains, then headed out over river deltas and Parque Nacional Manual Antionio, hugging the coastline until we reached the small Drake Bay airstrip. Though I may have been ashen faced the whole time, it was definitely worth it!
We were met at the door of the plane with some serious heat and humidity... and by our lodge host Edu. As we walked down the airstrip to his place, Edu pointed out Toucans, Vultures, Parakeets, Hummingbirds and White Capuchin Monkeys in the trees on our 750m walk along the airstrip to his house! Edu and his girlfriend Sabrina (who is Swiss) run the Rio Drake Lodge, composed
of a few rustic (but clean and secure) buildings with a combination of palm frond and corrugated iron rooving, plus the necessary hammocks. All overlooking the Rio Drake and lagoon and the beach! As we sipped juice straight from the coconut, we realised we’d hit paradise.
Over the next couple of days, Brad and I did a bit of walking to see the area. We bought supplies to make lunch and walked through the agricultural area of El Progresso. Permiculture style, it was cool to see chickens running through the taro plants, with banana trees here and there and maize on the edges. Or papaya trees with pinto beans growing underneath. Back along the front of the beach (pebbly) we swam and then watched the best movie you will ever see – a marvellous sunset over the Pacific Ocean! We also walked part of the trail between Drake Bay town (Aguila) and one of the rangers stations in Corcovado. Beautiful! We stopped at some rocks and cracked a couple of coconuts and dug into a watermelon! Scarlet macaws were eating then preening themselves in the Terminalia trees above our heads, Brown Pelicans and
Pale Headed Caracara’s were diving for fish, hermit crabs on the beach, crocodiles just offshore.... some beautiful plants too.
We headed off on a day trip to Corcovado National Park. Background here – we were hoping to organise to get a boat to Corcovado, explore the trails around the major ranger’s station, stay a night in the research station, then walk out through La Leona rangers station on the other end. Over and over again we were told it was not possible – first there was no space at the lodge, you have to book a month in advance. Then, no one just takes people out the national park by boat. Then, you need a guide! Finally we gave up and went on a day trip.... Overall, it was great, we saw the four kinds of monkeys (Squirrel, Spider, Howler and Capuchin), a heap of beautiful birds. We watched Squirrel Monkeys ripping the heads off grasshoppers and eating them, cool! We also saw a herd of smelly (really smelly – I thought it was bad BO from one of the guys on the tour!) Peccaries, wild pigs, within 3 metres of us which
was pretty cool. Also saw some weird Agouti ‘s(giant rat/hamster thing), a Coati and a Tapir. We finished off our tour with a swim in the Rio Claro!
The same day, we went on a night tour with ‘Tracie the Bug Lady’. We read about her tours in the Lonely Planet, which highly recommended it. BRILLIANT! I would definitely recommend this to anyone staying in the area. Tracie and her husband Jon took us on a 2 ½ hour tour, showing us insects, frogs and snakes. Some small (tiny spiders), some big (a Tarantula spider), some creepy (Stingless Scorpian, see photo!), some beautiful (a glass tree frog and baby northern cateyed snake) some smelly (a giant cockeroach that smelled of maple syrup) and a couple of rarities (a velvet worm and a trapdoor spider). Since the tour Brad and I have become slightly (more) obsessed with looking for creepy crawlies.
The rest of the time at the Rio Drake Lodge, we did some canoeing up a lagoon where we saw a load of birds (Boat Billed and Green Backed Herons) and interesting plants... including Cat’s Claw
Creeper in it’s natural environment. And Brad did some fishing.
The day we left, we got up with Edu at 3:45am for a coffee, then a brisk walk to the local bus, which we took up to the mountains behind El Progresso. Near the top of the hill we saw a Paca (another large rodent looking animal) cross the road in front of a bus. As we watched the sun rise, we went searching in the bush for spiders and frogs, calling back and forth to a Motmot in a tree and listened to the distant rumblings on Howler Monkeys. For the next 4 hours, we walked along the road bird watching... and saw some beauties! Edu also pointed out some unique bird nests and plants. This morning bird walk really made our trip – thank you so much Edu!!
We left Drake Bay via a ‘water taxi’ from the township to nearby Sierpe. A great boat ride along the jungle lined coastline, then through an estuary with some of the tallest mangroves I’ve ever seen! As we went through a narrow canal, I swear I
saw some sort of cat like animal perched in a mangrove tree sleeping. A beautiful adventure. All and all, I highly recommend this area – beautiful scenery and sunsets, we saw about 40 birds in one day within 7km, interesting animals, not too touristy. Rio Drake Lodge is rustic but perfect – Edu and Sabrina take great care of their guests and cook fantastic meals (gallo pinto breakfast is delicious)!
Tot: 0.091s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 9; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0603s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb