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two manatees

Corcovado National Park is magical. I was hoping to see turtles nesting at night on the huge golden deserted beaches, but we are not in luck, neither are the young British volunteers, and they’ve been out every night for a week.

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The highlight is tracking and finding pumas, a mother and a juvenile. They often leave the thick cover of the forest at this time of year in search of the newly laid turtle eggs.

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This will be the wildlife highlight for The Wife, but will be secondary for me, as the photo at the start may indicate. I particularly like the tame band (I looked it up) of coatis, that carry on eating around you like animated characters from a Disney cartoon as you pass them in the jungle.

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The place we have stayed in, Finca Exotica Eco Lodge is fantastic, but a tad expensive, for example, a glass of wine is $7, I drink beer to help or finances, but the budget is shot, and we both have a spare kidney to sell when we get home. Our room has open sides and bats fly through at night – not scary, very exciting. All guests eat together, which adds to the community feel of the place, as like-minded people share stories and break bread. I would highly recommend it, especially if you are only away for a few weeks. You can actually fly in, as there is rudimentary airstrip, that was once part of the gold mining in the area a century back. ‘The plane, boss, the plane’, is what it feels like when a plane arrives.

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The only drawback of being slap bang in the middle of a rain forest is all your clothes get damp, even the ones in your case, it’s a small inconvenience. If you are going for the wildlife alone, I would make the journey to The Amazon, everywhere is secondary to there. The collective is just as invigorating on the way back to Puerto Jimenez. The young guy in charge of the tickets has laconically said he will sort us a small hire-car out at what seems like a ridiculously low price for the nine days we have left in the country, it is the low season, and he has.

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So, we have wheels, something we should have done a week before and cut out a lot of hassle. We drive back to the seafront where we meet Tim and Chloe yet again. They have adopted a stray ranch dog they have found on the street in San Miguel, that kept following them. They are paying for the vets bills and the air flight to get him back to Colorado, about a US$1,000. In a way it’s commendable, although, I wouldn’t do it – all paid for by marijuana growing, you can add your own moral to this story.

We are trying to get to Monteverde cloud forest, but we are lost in the dark on a Friday night, weekend nights in Costa Rica are notorious for drunk/drug drivers, and we are on route 1, The Trans Pan-American Highway, full of uncompromising trucks and cars that don’t always dip their beams as the hurtle towards you. I’ve been driving for four hours and need to get off the road. We end up in a town called Oronita, driving the wrong way down a main one-way street, this is a strong indication it is time to rest. The people are friendly, the food is good. Our Friday is spent with the locals, mainly men, in bar singing karaoke songs. It is an interesting night, a window on another world: same but different. When the same very pissed guy tries to focus hard on The Wife’s face, but his eyes seem to go in and out of vision on her breasts, and when they abate for a second, he asks her to dance again. Forgetting she has refused him the first time, it is probably time for bed, and The Wife chooses me!

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Next Time: #12 Crocodiles, Cloud Forests & Selfies: Swimming with Dugongs: Adventures in Central America.

@thewritingIMP  www.ianmpindar.com

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Ian M Pindar writes books, and also about himself in the third person sometimes, so it looks as though he has a large team of dedicated professionals working around him. His latest book is in fact a novella and has the strange title of: ‘Foot-sex of the Mind’. It is not a Mills and Boon, but about finding out what is important in life far too late.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ian+m+pindar

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