"Oh! But Gautam, I dont think we should be distracting them. I am not sure if talking to them while flying is allowed. It does seem like a bus journey to you, eh?" was what I said.
Yeah, this was Gautam's and my excitement seeing that tiny plane.
That day, after we got ourselves seated in the ferry that was bound to Puerto Jimenez, we were still worried about what to do and whom to approach on our intention to visit Corcovado National Park. We were overwhelmed with the nature, the surroundings and the people at Golfito. It was drizzling. As the ferry was waiting for few more passengers, entered a guy who seemed in his early 30s while munching a snack; which seemed like fish.
At least that whats Gautam thought. The meat was tender and Gautam thought it looked delicious. "Oh look at that food. Its so tempting. That guy is just enjoying it" was his comments.
The 1 hour journey started and this guy with food in his hand approached us and initiated conversation in his heavily Spanish accented English. "You tourists? Where are you going? Oh you want to see Corcovado? Guide?"
"I am the guide"
This revelation made both of us a bit apprehensive. How do we trust a person just like that? Will he charge nominal price for his services? Should we dismiss him and approach a travel agency? But we started talking. I was so tired that I left Gautam do all the blah-blahs. By the end of the journey, we got convinced that he would be our local guide. We confessed that we trust him completely and he can plan for us.
Our guide Mr.William told us the plan. He helped us rent an accommodation, took us to the government office to get entry tickets to the national park, took us to the bank to make the payment. He took us to the travel agent to book our return flights. He went to the supermarket to get 3 days of food supply for our trekking. He told us he would take care of our trekking equipments like camping, stove and other utilities. We went to a nice restaurant by name "Carolina" where the chef took extra care of me to prepare a nice veg meal of pasta with primvera sauce. It was decided that we get ready and assemble at 5.30 AM for our trekking. After hectic day of flight and travel, we rested to begin early the next day.
Day 2 - Corcovado National Park
We were alive and kicking, excited to visit Parque Nacional Corcovado. Its a national park in Osa Peninsula. Its the crown jewel of Costa Rica. Whats unique to this place is its ecological variety. Its is "the most biologically intense place on Earth" as quoted by the National Geographic. This park has the largest primary forest on the Pacific coastline and is one of the lowland tropical rain forests remaining in the world. It is richest in biodiversity. One can find wide range of flora and fauna in this small area.
More on Corcovado - Parque Nacional Corcovado
We had a stomach filling heavy breakfast of omelet, arroyo pinto and bread with coffee at 6 AM in a cabinas. William was dressed for hiking with a machete hanging by his waist, gum boots and all. Gautam was dressed in shorts and T shirt. I for one dressed as if I am going to walk the ramp!!; in a jeans capris and a T shirt. I got a disapproving look from my guide. At least I had my walking shoes. While having breakfast, saw a old man; trim and smart with cowboy attire. I could not help but admire him and clicked a photo with him.
The potential "father-in-law"
Our first awe and disbelief was when we saw a Morphus. The morpho is a jewel in the Costa Rican rain forest canopy. The upper wings of an adult male are of a iridescent blue that appears to flash with every wing beat, reflecting the light and making the butterfly very easy to spot in the rain forest. Its underwings resembles the color of foliage - grays, blacks, browns. This coloring is a built-in mechanism. At night, the butterfly folds its wings up, so only the mottled underside is visible. This helps conceal itself from predators. By day, the bobbing incandescent flashes of blue visible makes it hard for the predators to track.
That was exactly how it was, it was huge for us to keep our eyes follow it; even though it was fluttering right in front of us and around us. They were huge. This amazing optical engineering has fascinated observers for long time. Today, research is done in attempting to reproduce the dazzling blue of its wings to create counterfeit-proof colors for credit cards and money.
Next, we saw Spider Monkeys. They are large, and their arms are significantly larger than its legs.
We stopped at a shop and had cafe kaliente con leche. Thats 'hot coffee with cream/milk". (I am brushing up the Spanish I learnt :-D).
A snap by the shop. William in his proper hiking attire. Check out his machete by his waist.
Even before reaching Carate for our hiking to begin, we saw birds like egrets, ibis, toucan. Nothing excited us as much as two Scarlet Macaws perched on a small tree. We could see it at close range. I have only seen macaws in cages, seeing them flying free in twos made me so happy. They are so gorgeous and beautiful. They feed on the almond fruit tree which is lined throughout the border of the Pacific sea coast. Their constant chatter is a music in its own way. Could not capture them as we were lost seeing them, by the time we got our camera at work, they soon flew away.
Scarlet Macaws. They are always in pairs and partner for life.
The actual hike in the next post :-)