Casona, Santa Rosa National Park (2/25-28/08)
Day 13 (2/25):
Today we took the bus to Casona, Santa Rosa National Park.On our way out we stopped at a Cat Zoo called Las Pumas where they had Jaguars, Margays, Ocelets (my favorite), Pumas, and Jagaurundis.It was so amazing to see them up close.They had so much grace and peace, but were incredibly alert at the same time.It is sad to think that they are all so highly endangered because they aren't able to find large enough territories due to human alterations to the land.They also had toucans there, which were so cute as they would hop around with red butt feathers, blue legs, and such colorful beaks.
We ate lunch in a rafting town nearby after which we drove for a while and spent about 2 hours in Liberia checking emails, getting stamps, calling Ben, and eating the most delicious Guaynabana ice cream.We arrived to Santa Rosa where we ate, lectured, and went to bed.
Day 14 (2/26):
We woke to about 15 white-faced monkeys playing in the trees at our campsite.They were so active and we even saw a baby hanging on to its mom's back.After pulling ourselves away from watching them we went to El Casona, an old military base where a famous battle took place to claim Costa Rica's independence from the tyrant William Walker.We also hiked up to this platform dedicated a famous hero of Costa Rica, where we were able to see a beautiful view of Santa Rosa National Park. We also did a lot of species reports today.Santa Rosa is really dry so we don't sweat in the same way as at San Pedrillo or Palo Verde, but we still get overheated.At our campsite there are lots of blue-jay magpies and green parrots flying around.I even held a tarantula this evening after holding a snake and bats.
The showers are a bit shady.I took one at night, making sure to bring a lantern.I ended up showering with a cockroach, ants, and about 7 snails.Very interesting.We also sang again tonight.I love when we do this.
Day 15 (2/27):
We had a mammal diversity day in Santa Rosa today so we went to a classroom where there was electricity.I couldn't believe there was electricity so close.It didn't make it feel like camping at all.We have a few of these diversity days throughout the term when we will go through whole groups of organisms, breaking down defining characteristics.In the evening we took a school bus on a drive to a beach about 1 hour away.We swam and watched the sunset.I was so excited to watch the frigate birds and brown boobies.After, we went out to eat and I had a whole fish.It was the yummiest thing I have eaten here, until I figured out it was Red Snapper.
I shared a tent in Santa Rosa with Katelyn by the way.We had so much fun doing tent talk in the evenings.It is nice to have someone I can open up with on this trip.Definitely needed.
Day 16 (2/28):
LAST DAY OF THE FIELD TRIP! If you have read this far I am so proud and grateful.So, today we left Santa Rosa to head to Monteverde.We stopped at Rincon de la Vieja, an active volcano where there are beautiful hikes to picaresque waterfalls and mud pots.I walked to these mud pots, which were hidden after a long loop through the rainforest, in a large patch of dry area.The views were amazing because we were so far up and there was probably 60 mile/hr winds.At lunch I had a Coati almost take my sandwich, it was very friendly.I walked to a nearby watering hole and soaked my mosquito bites.Yay.
The drive to Monteverde is known as one of the worst roads in Costa Rica.We went by lots of cattle farms and we went uphill the whole way while we were on the most bumpy and potholed road, but there were great views.I also noticed lots of small dogs.Arriving at the station was great, it is truly beautiful here and feels like a home.