We’re writing from Panama, where we arrived yesterday after breezing through Costa Rica with a quick stop in Parque Corcovado for some jungle trekking. In La Palma, one of the launch towns for treks in Parque Corcovado, we met Thomas and Tau, two friendly Danes. We quickly established that we were going on the same route and decided to join forces. Three days, many miles, animals and laughs later it proved to be a good match.
After getting pretty much no sleep thanks to our convenient location right next to the neighborhood earplug-defying disco we left at 5am in the back of a pick up bound for Los Patos, the first ranger station. The Danes were slightly disheartened because their attempt at making hammocks from plastic fencing and pvc piping hadn’t gone as planned. When they tested them, the plastic stretched and began to tear. They figured they might get half a night out of them before crashing to the ground.
The walk was about 10 miles through lush, noisey, very much alive jungle. We saw three different kinds of monkeys, tons of birds, countless little lizards and a few snakes. The walk was pretty flat and always shady. When we got to La Sirena we were ecstatic to find a covered camping platform and running water. The Danes lucked out and never had to put their hammocks to the test.That night we devoured a large can of Sardines and several packs of crackers while the Danes mixed a tin of tuna with some refried beans.
The next day we woke to the sound of howler monkies so loud that you can’t help but picture huge beasts fighting for their lives. After breakfast we watched a poor dragon fly land in the web of an enormous spider. The spider quickly ran over, bit and paralized the drafon fly, spun more web around it, cut it from the edge and brought it to the heart of the web.
Later we walked over to the river Sirena to try and see the Bull Sharks that swim upstream at high tide. No sharks appeared, but we did see two big crocodiles floating in shallow water.
In the afternoon we swam and hung around the station watching as various big rodents walked through the clearing. In the middle of the second night the whole camp awoke to what sounded like two Danes being attacked by a wild boar or poisonous snake. There was foot stomping and lots of yelling, something that sounded like “Uhl”. They said everything was ok, maybe just a nightmare, they weren’t even really sure. In the morning if was the talk of the camp, the guides kept asking where the Anaconda was.
Some of the truth surfaced when Tau told of a night in Rome where his girlfriend woke with a bruise on her leg after dreaming that an enormous gladiator was kicking her from the Collesium and he dreamed that there was something in his bed that he had to get uhl (sp?), out in Danish. Day three was a long, hot hike on and off the beach to La Leona, the last station. The view was mist rising from black sand, large rocks off the coast and a hillside of virgin jungle. The Danes saw a very large orange and black snake. We all saw an Ant Eater and then more rodents, monkies, birds and lizards.
We were totally wiped by the time we got to the end and then spent two bumpy hours in the back of a pick up to get back to civilization. We celebrated with a shower, hot meal and our jungle bed time, 7:30.