In My Free Time, I Like to Push Boats Through Croc Infested Waters

February 17, 2009

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crocodile-costa-rica1This morning we headed to Tortuguero, the turtle area of Costa Rica.  First, we took a van to Limon and then a boat ride through the rivers and canals all the way up to Tortuguero. Today’s adventure was mainly our transportation… and crocodiles.  After the standard wildlife spotting of monkeys, sloths, herons, caymens, and crocodiles our boat got stuck in the shallow water.  So although we could see the marks in the mud where the crocodiles had been resting, we had to get out of the boat as they pushed it around the corner into the next canal.  As we climbed back onto the boat, I was thinking, “phew, that was a close one” and then we motored on our way.  About 20 minutes later, we got stuck again, unfortuntely, this time there wasn’t exactly a “shore” area to stand on, and the guides weren’t able to push us out.  So, half of us got out in the knee deep water and pushed the boat back and forth to try and create a space to push the boat out of.  After a few minutes, they asked the rest of the group to get into the water, too.  A few people got their foot stepped on and issued some gutteral screams that seemed like they were being swept away by a crocodile into an imminent death roll.  And then three local guys came walking down the river with machetes, and we’re thinking, hmmm… friend or foe?  Friend of course, and with their help, we were able to push the boat into deeper water. And then there were 10.  I’m only kidding, we didn’t lose anyone.

After our adrenaline shot morning of pushing the boat through croc infested waters, we stopped for lunch and much needed beers, before continuing on to Tortuguero.  Today’s boat ride was a really cool way to get from point A to point B. A memorable experience for everyone, if nothing else.

tortuguero-costa-ricaTortuguero is a little village that is part of the Tortuguero National Park, that was created to protect the turtles.  You can walk from one end of “town” to the other in a few minutes, but there are a few local restaurants and bakery.  The hotel is right on the beach and I spent an hour reading in a hammock listening to the waves.  Tomorrow we’re taking a three hour tractor ride to Rara Avis up in the Braulio Carrillo National Park.  It’s so muddy there that you put rubber boots on before you leave, and that’s pretty much the only shoes you need there, except for flipflops inside.  Craziness.  So, after dinner, I went shopping for long socks.  ¿Tienes calcetines?  I ended up buy some men’s socks at the supermercado for $1.50.  Good deal, and quite fashionable, especially with rain boots.