Uvita – Wildlife and waves

We didn’t realize that Uvita was so close to Dominical when we booked our next hotel.  Had we known, we wouldn’t have bothered to stay there as we could have done the sights that we wanted to see from our great hotel in Dominical.

Our new hotel was ok (but not great); it was a rustic cabin set among the forest so it did provide lots of opportunities for more wildlife viewing and for some cannonballs into the pool from the most wicked bombing platform. We managed to spot the elusive Toucan, got woken up early by the loud noises of the howler monkeys and Trina got some excitement when she was walking from our room to the swimming pool.   I saw her jump and heard her shriek “snake!”  I thought (and said) she was being ridiculous and that it was a leaf.  I was wrong.  It was a Brown Vine Snake and was almost trampled on by Trina.  It’s not venomous though.

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Uvita is famous for the beach-reserve that when the tide is out, the water parts in two different directions and forms a sand version of a whale tail.  It’s uncanny really, because the area also hosts migrating whales – unfortunately for us not in November.  It was a decent walk out to the whale tail sand bar but worth the effort in the heat.  A refreshing swim was welcomed along with a chat to a couple from Maui.  It was during this chat that I happened to look over at Dominic who was busying himself carving expletives in the sand with a stick  – the little bugger!  The Americans found this somewhat amusing.

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Corcovado National Park is a massive tropical rainforest and one of the most remote parks in Costa Rica.  We thought it prudent that since we were down that way we should make the effort to go and see it.  Through our hotel we booked a day excursion, which involved us driving 45-minutes to a town called Sierpe, then hopping aboard a smallish boat for a 40-minute dash up the river (in the hope of spotting crocodiles and caimans), then another 40-minutes out on the open sea before arriving at the national park.  At the mouth of the river/entrance to the ocean things got a little bumpy and our guide instructed us to put on life jackets as the waves at the mouth get big.  It was also at this point he advised us that this was a breeding area for bull sharks and a regular haunt for local crocodiles.  I’m not sure which way would be worst to go – drowning or mauling by predator but we got through it safely enough albeit with some massive drops.

Upon arrival to the park we set off on a small 1-2 hour walk and saw some tiny frogs, scarlet macaws, bats and of course, monkeys (we’re getting a bit blasé about our furry friends now).  We did see the Spider Monkey, which was the one we hadn’t seen so far.   It was muddy, it rains here all the time and we had a couple of grumpy kids as they slipped and slided all over the place.  After both falling over and getting absolutely filthy they seemed to just accept it and calmed down.  Back to base for lunch and off into the water for a swim went Dominic and I.  It was a short swim though as another guide said they have crocs in the water there sometimes.  Thanks for the heads up amigo!

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It was a long and uneventful boat ride back to Sierpe with a couple of tired, irritable kids.  No crocodiles or caimans were spotted.  I think we’ve done our dash with wildlife and national parks for a few days.  The novelty is wearing thin.  The trip was ok but Corcovado is a destination for avid birdwatchers and keen hikers as the tracks are challenging.  We still feel it was better to have done it and know what it’s like than always wonder (even though we hardly touched the surface of it).  You can go really remote here if you wanted to but it’s tough going with kids.

Time for a change in scenery and activities as we head inland.

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