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Sun and Water, Wind and Waves

January 21, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s been nice. Three days without a computer, just camping out in a tent a couple hundred yards up from the ocean. Playing in the waves, wandering through mangroves and lagoons, playing with crabs, watching sea turtles. I felt like I’d found paradise.

It wasn’t all sun and relaxation, though. Our bus couldn’t make it all the way down to the beach because of the road conditions – giant potholes, steep slopes, large slabs of rock jutting out. We had to hike down the trailhead eight miles to the beach, and we started at noon. It was hot and sweaty going.

But that was my only complaint, and the hike made finally getting in the water all the more delicious. The coastline of Santa Rosa National Park is beautiful. Clear blue sky paralleling clear blue water. The waves were a lot stronger than I anticipated, but I’ve gotten better at swimming and dealing with waves in those couple days. I spent a lot of time in the water. But, because I’m on a biology-based foreign study and we’re all nerds, a lot of time was also spent exploring the wildlife around. There were also lectures on sea turtles and mangroves to attend, and a turtle walk to do after nightfall. We got to see an Olive Ridley sea turtle lay its eggs in the sand and return to the ocean. We used night vision binoculars to scan the coast, and spent nights just gazing at the amazingly clear sky.

It was over all too soon. The nights of obnoxiously loud card games. The night of drinking on the beach (that’s an exaggeration – I only took a sip of another girl’s drink). The sun and the hot, hot sand. The sand sphinx and head I made. The lagoon with its migrating hermit crabs. The hatchling sea turtle we helped overcome the tide.

We left Santa Rosa on the 17th, traveling 4 hours south along the Pan American Highway to get to Monteverde. Again, we had to walk to the field station – a roughly half mile uphill trek through cold mist. Mist was everywhere, and it was so chilly that day. I thought I was so underpacked for this part of the trip! Thankfully it warms up a little, and gets pretty hot by noon. It’s still cold, but bearable. I have enough wool clothing, I think.

Monteverde is really the first site we’ve been to that’s a classical rainforest – high humidity, very green, exotic plant mass, dark inner forest with large, buttressed trees. It’s an amazing environment. I’m especially fascinated by the epiphytes – plants that grow on other plants. On one large tree, there may be upwards of 20 species of epiphytes growing on the bark and branches. One type specifically, the bromeliad family, has spiky, whorled leaves (like the pineapple, which is in this family) that collect water, offering microhabitats for all kinds of small animals. So cool.

On the personal front, things are not going as well, but that’s a whole other can of worms. I’m keeping busy in the tropics, and everything else is too easy to forget. I wish I didn’t have to go back to the states…

Categories: geekpost, travelog
  1. The Journey of Will
    January 22, 2007 at 3:04 am

    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog! Could I ask you to send me some links to posts you’ve penned on D/s (your favorites), as I have a section on my sidebar for pointers to insightful writing which I want to fill up. You can reach me at the email address on my blog, or pass a message through our mutual friend.

    Warm Regards,


  1. June 1, 2009 at 11:21 am

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