Wednesday, 26 August 2009

More Eye-lash snakes and volcanos

Another eye-lash viper that we came across today, cançt believe I didnçt panic as they are highly poisonous

Iguanas resting on a tree, some size for the male one
Emmerald Bassilisk, he just looks odd

In the last couple of days we have been trekking around the Arenal Area. Actually we did spent one morning on a safari raft that gave us the chance to relax and see some of the wildlife that lives by the river side.
Although Costa Rica seems to be a country that has managed to protect part of its environment pressures on it are very present.
Rafting down the river our guide not only pointed out the wildlife we saw, but also several of the issues that were already apparent.
To avoid erosion and flash floods river sides need to be forested, or so says the law. It is a law that makes complete sense, strong trees bond together the soil avoiding it being wash away everytime the river rises.
However, farming has led to a lot of this trees been cut. Rivers have become wider as flash floods have made the river sides collapsed. Sadly, for what we heard, most of this has been led by the big corportations that have been established in Costa Rica for a while and have turned this country into the main producer of tropical fruits such as pineapple.
In this case not only the environment suffers, but all the small businesses that have made a living out of tourism.

Bat having a nap by the river
Costa Rica's tourism is not only about visiting the large national parks, but also a lot of smaller enterprises that will provide services like the safari raft we took, or the small farm where we stopped for a coffee.
Nonetheless we got to see lots of things, probably more than in the jungle, as birds and animals are less shy and live on the open.
Highlights of the day were the cocodrile, tucan and the emeral bassilisk.
We were also told that there was a snake by the side, so against my wishes we got closer. When we could not see it, we were told we were looking in the wrong place. It was not in the river side, but hanging on top of us on a tree...
On the afternoon we visited Arenal Volcano, one of the few active volcanos in Costa Rica.
Now, I don't want to be critical, but how did everyone missed that it was a volcano until it exploded in 1968 destroying several villages.
It had the perfect volcano cone shape, there were hot springs around it, that got hotter as the explossion got nearer, and somehow people thought it was a normal mountain, doh!!!!
Since then it has been converted into a major tourist attraction. Until 2000 you could get to the top, but several people got fried following another explosion, nothing strange as it explodes constantly, we saw a small one.

Arenal Volcano after a little lava explosion with the rocks coming down the side
We have now moved to another part of the country, Monteverde, the activity capital of the country, to come and do some trekking on cloud forest, and some canopy walking, and worse, some zipping!!!
May God protect us!!!


  1. Great wildlife shots....make me wonder if you actually took them in San Jose zoo?

  2. Ha, ha
    I guess the shock is that I was so closed to a viper and did not passed out
    have a look at tarzan video today

  3. I'm in love with Emmerald Bassilisk...I want one. I adore his cape-let...very Kate