Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Close encounter with Puma

Out last day in Corcovado was a rainy one. We spend most of the day looking for the elusive Green Frog, which looks like this but never could find one.

There was one trail system that we had not yet hiked during our stay, so Anne and I decided to hike that loop even though it was raining hard and we were soaked. When we had been in Corcovado during our honeymoon seven years ago, a friend of ours had an encounter with a Jaguar so we hoped that this trail might lead us to a big cat. We were not very optimistic as it was raining very hard and all the wildlife seemed to be taking shelter. This trail is the steepest around the ranger station, going straight up a knife ridge. It eventually stopped raining while we were half way through the trail, which is when Anne stepped around a tree like this one.

We had heard a troop of Howlers sounding off close by, we assumed they were warning other monkeys to our presence, but when we stepped around the tree we saw what they were truly concerned about. All I heard as Anne stepped around the tree was almost a whisper, "Chris there is a Puma right in front of me" without turning her head. I walked forward some and looked around the tree to see the large golden Puma not 10 feet away. It was incredibility beautiful, his coat was a smooth golden color and he had a very large head. From this distance I could see the different striations of color in his ires. I was trying hard to get my camera out of its box but I ended up not being able to get the shot, here are some pictures of what it looked like. The cat we saw was larger than this, it had to weight at least 200lbs. It took a good look at us and then just walked on by. It was an encounter that we will not soon forget and one that solidified Corcovado National Park as one of the most incredible places in the world.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Wildlife in Corocovado

We applied special camouflage to disguise our sent so we could sneak up on wildlife better. This turned out to be completely unnecessary, the wildlife cared not one bit that we were walking around. We saw Tapirs, wild pigs, crocodiles, snakes, frogs, countless birds and many white faced coatis. The concentration of wildlife in this jungle is just amazing, in all my travels in South America, including the Amazon basin in Brazil, nothing even comes close to this park and how it consistently yields close encounters with wildlife.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Tropical Paradise

We arrived at La Serena Biological Research station in the rain. It soon stopped and we had a few hours to hike around and watch the beautiful sunset, there is simply nothing better than relaxing on a warm beach in the middle of no where.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

To Corcovado National Park

Today marks the beginning of our week off. We planed a trip down to the Osa Penisula and one of my favorite places in all of Costa Rica, Corcovado National Park. The only way to really describe this place is to think of a tropical zoo without any cages. Getting there was an adventure in an of it self, involving first a flight on a small plane, then a bone jarring 4x4 ride for over an hour followed by a hot 13 beach hike. One at La Serena biological research station you can chill and go on small day hikes around the station. We planed on camping at La Serena for a least three nights.