The ranger station was in a remote location; no phone, no TV, no communication possible with outer world. We didnt know what day it was or what time it was. Surrounded by forests; amidst chatters of the Howler monkeys and the Cicadas, it was bliss. Food was simple; we packed pasta and tomato sauce, tapioca, carrots and tuna for meat eaters.
The second day was rest mostly. But we did have short treks of 5-6 kms early in the morning. We spotted few animals unique to the place and a poisonous snake. We saw Tapirs again. William was sweet enough to get rubber boots to both of us as it required to walk in slush and we were not equipped.
A drizzling morning; in a secluded area; only you and nature; no one else to spoil the moment. We were basking in this moment of what? I cant express the feeling. It was out of the world; English or rather no language has any apt word to describe the feeling. Both of us were questioning each other if this moment was for real or were we dreaming.
Click on the photos to see it in large frame. You can appreciate it better and it will be a good feast for your eyes :-)
Can you spot the rainbow? We saw rainbow 2 successive days. I consider myself very lucky. I have never ever seen rainbow on 2 successive days; I am not sure if I will get a chance in future
Also saw Tapirs 2 successive days. We were the only lucky ones. There are people who camp for weeks together to get a glimpse but they dont get to. These two had a collar around their neck. William was very disturbed and was mentioning someone would be studying them and that he has to report to the forest department. He was really very concerned.
As we started a short hike the 2nd day; William just stopped on the trail and showed this to us. If it not for him; we would not have noticed. He said there were around 135 species of snakes in Costa Rica and 17 are poisonous are most deadly on earth; and they could be found in Corcovado. They are rarely seen by tourists. This one is Fer-de-lance; a venomous pit viper and the most poisonous. This was a baby; curled up on the walking area.
William said that it takes less than 10 minutes for a person to die if bitten by this baby
So he disturbed it and made sure it went away from any vicinity so that its safe for humans and also for it. When we mentioned to other campers that we saw a Fer-de-lance, no one believed. They were like how could you see Tapirs both the days and now this? Uuumpph!! We had to show this photo.
Rio(River) Sirena joining the sea.
An American crocodile in Rio Sirena. These crocodiles are smaller than the Australain Caimans and are salt-water crocodiles. They are not a threat unless dumb enough. We did play in the river and bathed. William didnt mention anything abut crocodile presence. It was only after we saw this; he mentioned about them. Later we saw many more. But on an average they kill 1 person annually and recent times; they have treated themselves with tourists :-S He also mentioned about Bull sharks and Hammerhead sharks coming in from the sea during high tides.
William also quoted incidents when he has tourists from Australia and they ask him to show caymans. After seeing this smaller ones, they are disappointed as they end up visualizing Caymans as big as Australian ones. The largest here can grow up to 6 ft; bigger ones are generally 3 to 3.5 feet.
Anhinga or the Snakebird. Looking for fishes.
Sirena Ranger Station in the middle of nowhere :-)
The three-toed sloth. I understood after seeing this thing why there was this idiom "As slow as a sloth". Watching it in action seems watching a scene in slow motion. It just hangs from a branch and its color of fur provides a good camouflage. Its so so sluggish.
The Golden Silk Orb Spider. Builds large webs. Closely examining it; we saw her mate's half eaten body. She had eaten off her mate.
One more type of Cicada.
A typical tree; strangling one another.
Norops polylepis - a species of lizard. William explained that the female ones have a orange-yellow dewlap under their neck. Males dont have them. He captured a male earlier and then this one.
A vibrant orange-yellow dewlap.
A temporary exotic earring for William :-)
Can you spot the bird? Clicking birds were really tough. They just flew away. We saw so many birds but couldnt click all. This one is Crimson collared Tanager. We could spot them on such plants. Flying from one plant to another. Their neck, breast and tail are crimson;
As we were talking back to the Ranger station after this short hike; William stopped near a rolled not yet mature banana leaf. He held it close and seemed to push something out in a pumping fashion. 5-6 creatures flew out and he caught one. When he showed it to us; we were perplexed for a while and then realized what it was. It was a bat; safely snugged inside the leaf.
Suction cup bat. I held it to have a closer look and poor thing was helpless. It had sharp teeth. They have flat adhesive suckers attached to thumb and hind feet which helps them to climb and adhere to leaves
A close look at the suction cup
A partially colorful spider delicately crawling on a leaf
A Tamandua Anteater just walked across the ranger station.
Playing soccer at leisure
The front porch of the ranger station
William realized that I did not like the spaghetti and tomato sauce. My first evening went in eating tapioca and carrots. Second evening; he was sweet enough to bring the meal the office sponsors for him. Wonderful gesture that was. He had to make do with spaghetti.
Rice, black beans, cabbage, mashed potato and avocado.
This is a Cane toad. It was loitering around the dining area. Saw many such toads hopping around. They were as huge as football.
Thecadactylus rapicauda - a large gecko with turnip shaped thick conical tail. Found this thing preying on an insect near the rest room. It is capable of changing color.
William just took us somewhere near the station and showed this one. This is the Red-eye green tree frog. Their red eyes are bold, green body and their toes are orange. Gautam held it. William immediately took it back and washed the frog with water as Gautam had his hands smeared with insect repellent cream which was poisonous for the frog.
Dining area; other campers
He got the lizard down for us to have a closer look. All of a sudden, the gecko released its tail as a defense mechanism. Closer look at the tail revealed its conical shape and we watched it slither for more than 5 minutes. I am refraining from putting the picture of the tail as not all would appreciate that; most of you might find it gross :-)
Our tents. Gautam kept food bags in my tent; a rat was loitering inside and disturbed my sleep. It had eaten half an apple as well.
The Great Tinamou. Was loitering near the station
William's machete and its holder - custom made for him. This leather holder had "Costa Rica - Pura Vida" and "Parque En Corcovado" etched on it. Also were macaw, horse, toucan, humming bird and turtle.
Sorry folks, I forgot its name :-(
We started off hiking back the third day. Saw few more animals and birds; hike spiced up with interesting conversations, coconut water and hot coffee. This and other visits in the concluding post which is the next post. :-)