We spent the last four days hiking and nature watching in Corcovado, the largest of Costa Rica’s National Parks and reportedly one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. We saw a ton of cool creatures, took over a thousand photos & over an hour of video footage, ate a ridiculous amount of tuna and peanut butter, worked the hell out of our legs, and returned to civilization the dirtiest and smelliest we’ve ever been. All in all, a great success in our book. =)
We spent three nights at Sirena Ranger Station, deep in the heart of the park. To get there, we took what I’ll now term a “potato bus” (more on this later) from Puerto Jimenez to the end of the road at Carate, then hiked a beautiful 20 km along the Pacific coast, at times working our way up and around large rock outcrops or wading through streams and rivers. When we had originally gotten our park permits and spoken with the park staff in Jimenez, we were told we’d need to be on the trails by 6am in order to hit the final river crossing (at the Rio Claro) during low tide - crossing at high tide is not recommended, partly due to dangerous currents that could suck you out into the ocean, and partly because the deeper waters allow bull sharks and crocodiles to make their way up the river to feed on fish (or unlucky tourists). We thought we’d take this fairly seriously, and decided to catch the bus to Carate the night before the hike to allow us to get a nice, early start.
Our original plan was to arrive in Carate and find a nice secluded spot to pitch a tent, probably somewhere along the beach. As we were boarding the “bus” from Jimenez, however, we bumped into a couple frazzled-looking backpackers first words to us were, “DON’T CAMP ON THE BEACH!” – they had just returned to town after having their bags stolen from them while camping on the beach in Carate the night before. Yikes – we rode to Carate, and with only a couple hours of daylight to spare and no real idea where we’d end up spending the night, we began our trek down the beach. We were starting to get a bit worried after about 45 minutes in, until we noticed a quaint little property just off the beach with a perfectly mown lawn, impeccably kept gardens, and a few small huts – where the hell were we?? We wandered in and struck up a conversation with the only guy in sight, an older gentleman named Bob who quickly realized we were in a bit of a pickle and said he had no problem with us pitching our tent on the grass. It turned out that he and his son Kelly were on vacation from Northern California, spending a week of it on the property which was owned by a friend of a friend of theirs. In no time, Bob and Kelly were sharing with us their dinner of beans & rice (what else), some great conversation (did you guys know about this Ison comet that’s approaching extremely close to Earth?), and even the last of their special stash (which we smoked from their little seashell pipe). Chelsea and I felt like we’d stumbled into some fairytale paradise, and were happy to contribute one of our very precious chocolate covered coffee beans and a Snickers bar, which we all shared for dessert. An unexpected but most excellent evening!
We finally made it to Whitehorse! The last stretch was painful!
If you can't see the above slideshow, click here.
We are now over half way through our 4 day 9 hour Greyhound bus trip. We left Kitchener at 10:15pm on Tuesday night. Spent 11 hours in Winnipeg yesterday and got into Edmonton this afternoon around 4:30pm (we were supposed to be here at 1:10pm but left late).
Right now we're just hanging out near the (sketchy) greyhound station in Edmonton charging our computer and iPods. It is a looooong way to go on a bus, but there are surprisingly a lot of people doing long hauls like us. Every bus has been packed so far. I guess its a popular thing to do these days? It feels like time has stopped, we never know where we are or what time or day it is, we just keep moving. seeing lots of country. I saw a bear near Wawa and Andrew saw a moose and fox last night between Winnipeg and Edmonton somewhere. No flood damage to be seen in Edmonton, but some of the prairies were flooded. Not over the roads, but the ditches were full of water. We passed a fallen down robot telephone pole as we were driving into Edmonton. Apparently there were strong winds last night and tornado warnings near Edmonton, so we think that might be what knocked it down.
Anyways, tonight at one minute past midnight we depart for the non-stop drive from Edmonton to Whitehorse. Well, sometime after midnight anyway. None of our busses since Kitchener have been on time. Usually an hour or two late to depart. lots of stressed out people upset about their seats, or the bus being full, or the driver freaking out about time, lol. We're doing well though. Just going along, playing frisbee when we stop, walking around, and then sleeping, audio book and watching movies on the computer. Pretty chill.
Will update when we get there. Andrew says "word to your moms!".