Village People There's a place you can go

Sunday, eh? Day of rest, apparently. Bit annoying therefore to be woken up at just gone 1am, rather than the more customary 5am. Not due to animals or jet lag or owt though, but the absolute pummeling rain. It's an incredible sound to behold, yet somehow manages to get even harder while we're both awake. Helen takes a look out of the window and sees that we're essentially living under another waterfall, for now. Blimey eh?

Back to sleep and a lie-in though. We've got basically nothing planned for Sunday. The river tour and jungle walk are the big hitters here, and if you're a bit more adventurous you can go kayaking or canoeing on yer own 'n that but we're not and we don't. Instead, after a lovely breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup Helen goes to wake up the folk at the local spa and get a 1hr massage, while I write up Saturday.

Headphones on and concentrating on the iPad, I almost miss the excitement as two people capsize their canoe. These waters have crocodiles and caiman in, don't forget. I'm not sure they're tourists, and there doesn't seem to be a vast amount of panic. They both manage to swim back to their vessel, and one crawls into it. A lone lass in a wooden boat sidles up alongside and the other one clambers inside. Then there's a lot of talking and handwaving and after a while they all float serenely past the deck. No-one but me seems to really be of the opinion that what just happened constituted mild peril.

Lots of planes come and go, which surprises me but probably shouldn't. When Helen gets back I mention it, and we both conclude that perhaps there are a ton of week long package deals set up by agencies or the lodges directly, which fly people in on a Sunday and out the following week. Who knows?

Back, relaxed and exfoliated, Helen wants to do a bit more day seizing. Up the way, north towards the airport, there's a restaurant called Wild Ginger on the Caribbean side that we fancy eyeballing, plus the local museum. It's a pretty nice walk beyond the extremity of the village; the restaurant doesn't look all that, and in fact is expensive and not open until 6pm anyway. The museum is actually a field station for the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Tortuguero's main fame is the sea turtles. It's one of the world's most important nesting sites for all 7(?) types, and ever since Archie Carr came down here in the 50s they've done great work in three types of work: research, education, and advocacy. Sea turtles spend 99.5% of their life actually in the sea, but they come onto beaches to lay eggs and then fuck off before the kids are even born, leaving them to make their way across the sand into the sea. The STC are the leading organisation for research and protection.

We had a private viewing of a 20 minute video all about them, can you tell? Obviously though this is great stuff, and it's very good that thanks to tourists like us (well... the ones that come in season) the turtles are worth more alive than dead. 500% increase in nesting over the last 10 years or summat.

Also there's a good infographic on how to react if you startle a jaguar.

And likewise if you startle a jaguar from a boat. They're good swimmers.

Via the beach we next walk to the completely opposite end of the village, to eye up the cocoa tour. There's only 2 a day, the morning one has just finished and anyway it's $20 per head so we ain't gonna bother. Instead, we head back to Casa Marbella for a siesta. Almost every business in the village is shut anyway - there's a black cat almost literally knocking on the door of the Buddha Cafe - and not many people about either.

A couple of hours later and it's all change. The village is in fact busier than we've mostly seen it. Again, we guess that the lodges have sent people over on guided tours as part of a package - there are two walking groups, which we hadn't seen before. We're in the mood for taking some pics of the village itself.

I am disappointed that Greggs is shut.

There are lots and lots of sleepy dogs.

And a few cats.

The village cab rank.

Loving the hand painted tripadvisor sign.

There are rusting old pieces of logging machinery, to reflect the 40s-70s industrial past.

The national park is at the southern end of the village.

That seems like we're done. Most of the places we've now seen 5 or 6 times really. Time for a drink, back at Buddha Cafe and alongside a cat that takes up most of the sofa.

While I attempt, and fail, to upload the previous two days blog entries, and discuss this very fact with whoever's manning the @AdobeSpark twitter account, Helen drinks a clerico. This is a moderately lethal combination of white wine, rum, fruit and cinnamon.

After these we shower, to get a bit freshened up and perhaps to try and shake off the effect of any moderately lethal drinks either of us may have recently had, and then slip back into our Tortuguero pattern: beer on the deck as the sun sets, then out for food.

This fella wants to join us.
You can see why.

I buy some beer, then we head out. We want to spread our custom around, so head to the wood cabin restaurant just up the way called Donde Richard. We have no idea where Richard is. The menus are laminated and unimpressive, and there's barely anyone here, though one table is reserved and by the time we come to leave it's busy enough that there's a queue outside and we're vacating to let someone else in.

I have a pork, rice, beans and nachos dish which is surprisingly presented and pretty nice. Helen has honey mustard chicken, which was lovely. Everything on the menu except beer has prices, which makes me worry that they don't actually serve it, but they do and all is well.

The beetle in the bathroom back at the casa freaks me out less than previous such interactions. Ditto all the ants, attracted by my empty beer can from the previous night. Perhaps I'm just not that bothered by animals any more.

Created By
Darren Foreman

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