Friday, November 20, 2009

Costa Rica Days 17 & 18 - Puerto Jimenez: Vampire Bats and Tail-less Whip Scorpions

We woke up to the happy sound of parrots and macaws going nuts in the trees right above our tent. The nesting Mangrove Black Hawks and the Roadside Hawk pair were pretty chatty also. We walked around a little bit and saw a bunch of the Boat-billeds, a Blue-black Grassquit, Grey-necked Woodrails, creepers, a Prothonotary Warbler and lots of other stuff. Also found a Rufus-tailed hummingbird nest, always cute!
(Feb 4) Zac woke up with about 20 mosquito bites but I lucked out and had zero. We walked into town and got got coffee and papaya juice and a huge plate of tasty fruit. Yum! Walking back, we saw a leatherback in the bay- I always get insanely excited when it comes to sea turtles, so i did a little happy dance. We got our reservations to backpack in Corcovado! Later on at low tide, we wandered around in the mangroves for a while until the mud got too deep and kinda gross, so then we went swimming some more and saw quite a few dolphins nearby, dolphins! Zac stayed back while I attempted to swim out fairly far.
At night we went to check on the caimans and tried to find some of the crocodiles...still no crocs but lots of the caimans. We watched one grab a frog and eat it right in front of us, ohh, ahh! Then we went to bed...sort of.

(Feb 5) Last night we had a fun little surprise at about 3 17 am. The Police decided to shine 3 of their gigantic laser beam spotlights into our tent, saying things in Spanish we didn't quite understand. We got the "hola, la policia" part, which they repeated numerous times. They became uninterested after Adonis came to our rescue and walked away. However, they didn't leave the property- they were out with their lights for a good hour afterwards, looking in the trees, the mangroves, everywhere. This was, as you can imagine, significantly discomforting and disturbing.

In the morning, Adonis told us that the cops were looking for some thieves, and that they go through and hide on his property because of the mangroves and trees. Interesting. We shook that newfound knowledge off and got ready to go play. Zac rented a bike, I borrowed one from Killian (Adonis's kid), and we followed Adonis on his own. We rode about ten miles, through 6-7 rivers, down the road to some land that he owns. There is a tiny shack (above the bat) on the property that was home to a handful of vampire bats - nice! I watched them while Adonis grabbed some firewood and made some coffee in this nifty contraption below.
After the leisurely coffee break, we bushwhacked it out to the jungle. Seriously, bushwhacked. Adonis kept telling us days before, to make sure we wore pants and high boots (because of poisonous snakes) - he mentioned this over and over. So we were both pretty shocked when he booked it out there barefoot! What!? The man is out of control! There was no trail and the veg was extremely thick - I was horrified of walking into a fer-de-lance.
We were walking in a little creek (Adonis still barefoot) early on and came across a giant freshwater crab. I wish I had gotten a picture of it, it was definitely at least 12 inches across, and that's minus the legs! Such a cool thing! Soon after that we saw this crazy looking...?...I have no idea what this thing is. Insight anyone? It was about three inches long - pretty freaking creepy.
Adonis really wanted to find a snake and a poisonous frog to show us. We had no luck with the snake, but we did finally find this Striped Poison Dart frog! We were all pretty pumped about the find - we actually saw three of them.
I'm not sure how far we went, a few miles I'm guessing - it was a gnarly hike, I can't believe how thick it was, there was no break in the vegetation, awesome stuff. Adonis pointed out where he had seen a jaguar two years before. We saw a lot of cool fungus (like the top photo and the one below). The creek got pretty deep (waist high) at some points, so my gaiters didn't really help out all that much...
Some of the birds we saw were a Slaty-tailed Trogon, Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Mealy Parrots, Black-striped Sparrow, and Cinnamon Becard.
Right as we were leaving, I found an adorable little tree frog - I cant identify it further than that though. He was super duper camo. Took a few pictures of him before we rode back into Puerto Jimenez. Really fun day and we really appreciated Adonis taking us to that great spot where no one else goes!


Gabe said...

Oh I meant to post that under this post...
Ampblypigid-Tailless whip scorpion...

Johnny Nutcase said...

Nice! Thanks, Gabe! I'm relieved to finally know what he is!