I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tortuguero-Sea Turtle refuge - Part 5

I think visiting Tortuguero was one of my favorite parts of our trip to Costa Rica. It is home to more than 300 species of birds. I was glad we brought our binoculars. We stayed for two nights in wonderful wooden cottages built on stilts. My least favorite part was being awakened early in the morning by the howler monkeys. The meals were buffet style with lots of rice and beans, plenty of fresh fruit, and pleasant dinner companions. We took two cruises on the rivers in Tortuguero National Park and it was the only time we were rained on. No matter, it was still fun, and besides we were in the rainforest. We were treated to Carribean style music in the evenings. Interestingly enough, some of the young people working at the lodge were from Nicaragua. They have immigrated to have greater opportunities in a more politically stable country. Many of the locals go to the cities to work at the hotels. Our guide, a local man, used to hunt sea turtles with his father. They sold the meat for export to restaurants in Europe and North America. Because of the hunting, the sea turtle population declined. He is showing our group a turtle egg shell left on the beach after hatching. Currently, eco-tourism is providing jobs so people can support their families. A large conservation program was started by a Florida man and it promotes habitat protection, research, conservation and education. Many Americans volunteer with the Carribean Conservation Corporation to preserve the last major green turtle nesting beach in the western hemisphere. We were a couple of weeks too early to see the Green Sea Turtle arrive at the nesting habitat but during our visit we saw a life size model in a display of the work being done there.


Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Oh what fun to stay in those huts on stilts and be served that wonderful fresh fruit....And then to be seranated too...who could ask for anything more. I heard that the howler monkeys were very noisy...I might have heard that from you, earlier from Costa Rica.
This trip of yours was to me, like being in a tropical paradise...and thank you again for taking us on this journey with pictures.

I once saw a live sea turtle in a Florida aquarium years ago...very big, but I was saddened by its captivity.

April 17, 2006 1:48 AM  

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