I am now in Costa Rica. It is beautiful here although I have spent the last day in the capital city. Today I went to check out the organization I will be volunteering with starting on Monday and I´m very excited. This organization works with Leatherback turtles which are the largest kind of turtle. What I will be doing is collecting, relocating and monitoring turtle eggs and then releasing hatchlings into the wild. I´m excited.
I climbed an active volcano in Granada which required wearing a gas mask due to the sulphuric gasses pouring out. I then went 102 meters into a cave full of bats. The bats were really cool and the babies can´t fly away so it was possible to look at them really closley, though I doubt they appreciate it very much. Then we went to look into the crater full of lava...the wiccans used to sacrifice virgins to this volcano because they believed that if they kept it happy it would not explode and kill them. The Spanish Catholics later thought it was the gate to Hell and so build a giant cross there out of wood.
I also went to Isla de Ometepe which is in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, the biggest freshwater lake in the....world? Central America? not sure. The lake itself is o ver 8000 k ms squared. We spent the first couple of nights in a town there and hung about. We climbed a volcano and talked to random travellers and a guy who lives on Ometepe but is from Sooke. He is a really crazy guy who liked to regale us with rants about the mayan calendar, murderers, and formalized education among other things. There is also a wreck on the beach of this town which is an old ferry. This is particularly hilarious if you have seen what the new ferry looks like...almost not seaworthy but it got us where we needed to go. I´m sure it too will be on the side of the lake quite soon.
After that town we went on a hunt to find ´Monkey Island´ which was rumoured to be an island full of monkeys which also had a hostel on it. Instead, Monkey Island turned out to be inhabited by evil person-b iting monkeys rescued from abusive situations. Needless to say there was no hostel there . We wound up staying nearby and kayaking over to and around the island. At one point I suppose we got too close because one of the monkies ran out onto a tree branch and looked like he was going to jump on our boat and kill us. Luckily my superior kayaking skills saved me.
After that experience we left Ometepe and crossed to Costa Rica in a very exciting manner. We took a 10 hour boat trip at night down Lake Nicaragua. Luckily I had a hammock and some valium. After arriving in San Carlos and waiting FOREVER to go through customs to leave Nicaragua we went on an awesome boat ride down the Rio Frio to Los Chiles Costa Rica. From the boat we could see Crocodiles, Turtles, monkies and countless birds. Unfortunately after that boat ride we had to wait another two hours to enter Costa Rica. Then we took a 5 hour boat ride to San Jose. Epic. I felt like Odysseyus.
Anyway here I am, alive and well in Costa Rica. Tomorrow I will leave for the Carribean coast where I hope to accomplish some surfing and diving before I head down to Gandoca for the turtle project.
I would like to send some emails oiut right now but the access to email is blocked at this hostel so I cannot. Loves and misses and I will see people im Vic in about 2 weeks.