12th - 13th November
12/11/2011 - 13/11/2011
We left La Baula Lodge early the next day and set off along the Tortuguero and La Suerte Canals, this time with enough petrol to see us to our destination. After travelling for about an hour we were met by our minivan where we all squeezed in around our luggage like sardines for the next couple of hours as we made our way inland to the main office of Rara Avis.
Here we left our big luggage behind and packed all that we needed for the next couple of days in our daypacks. Our mode of transport for the next 4 hours was to be a tractor-drawn cart as we piled in and made ourselves as comfortable as was possible for the journey. We started out on country lanes which looked and smelled like the English countryside, and made me a little homesick for the countryside around Chichester and the South Downs. Don't get me wrong, I am loving my time here in South and Central America, but it is little things like that that make me look forward to coming home in a few weeks.
As we continued along the track it became more and more rugged and bumpy. At times there were great big boulders in our path and it amazed me how the tractor was able to scale these, taking all of us in the cart behind with it. We were tossed from side to side in the cart as our driver navigated our way up and into the primary rainforest. Arriving at Rara Avis we donned our headtorches and made our way to the rustic lodges where we would be staying for the next 2 nights. The accomodation here was very basic, with electricity only between 5 and 10pm. Having spent some time on the ranch in Uruguay and also in the Amazon Rainforest I had become quite familiar with this way of living.
The next day our guide took us on a hike through the primary rainforest to learn about the complex relationships between the plants and the animals. The rainforest at Rara Avis is packed with diversity in vines, orchids, birds, butterflies, insects and animals, along with the inevitable mosquitos! The trails were muddy, wet and slippery as we carefully wound our way through the thick vegetation. Our hike ended with a trip to the nearby waterfalls, but due to recent heavy rainfall the night before we were unable to go swimming here which would have been a welcome relief in the sticky humidity.
Evenings were spent playing card games old and new to pass the time before climbing into our mosquito net-surrounded beds just after 10pm when there was no more light.