Moving faster than a sloth
02/08/2015 32 °C
Day 6 Feb 8, 2015
Wow! Beyond my expectations. Never thought we’d see a sloth up close in the wild. Saw four, no five (one had a baby!) along the side of the road. Two three toed and 3 two toed. The mom with the baby we could have touched but we didn’t and she didn’t even acknowledge us. There’s more but back to the beginning…
Last night we meet the members (12) of our Intrepid Group. Mostly from the UK including Scotland plus one younger couple from California. We are probably the oldest then next is the couple from Scotland (love their accent) and the rest of the group in there thirties. Our tour leader/guide is Jamie who is a native Costa Rican and very knowledgeable about the human history, geology and natural history of his country.
After breakfast at the hotel we piled into our van and headed out over the valley rim and down towards the northern Caribbean Coast specifically Parque Nacional Tortuguero which covers an area of 77,032 acres (31,174 ha). It is bounded with an elevation range of 0–230 metres (0–755 ft), of a sea coastal region to low hilly topography. The park has over 20 miles of coastline, which provides sea turtles a protected place to lay their eggs.
It was on the road to the park that we encountered the sloths sleeping in nearby trees. Apparently that’s what they do 75% of the time. Sloths are arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America. Much of their time is spent using their energy to digest the leaves they eat rather than moving around. They’re not lazy, just spend a lot of time digesting. Jamie informed us that its very unusual too see so many Sloths in one short trip.
We also saw these amazing bird’s nests that hung like ornaments on the kapok trees.
The road got rougher, eventually being dirt, when we neared the river where the adventure continued with a boat ride. Within 2 minutes we came across a 6 ft alligator resting on the bank. We saw 3 kinds of egrets and then some very tiny, cute bats.
After about 1.5 hours we reached our ‘resort’ that is ‘rustic’ but fine. It’s at the end of a small town that’s main ‘street’ is a raised concrete sidewalk lined with small stores and restaurants. All the buildings are on stilts over the mud. It’s a higgledy-piggledy place comprising a warn of narrow sandy trails lined by rickety wooden houses. However we had a great dinner right on the water at a little restaurant. There is no real dry season on this part of the coast, it just rains less.