Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Our visit to Corcovado National Park will be best remembered for the "great river crossing". Somehow nobody had thought to check the river level, and the river was only 200 metres from our zodiac landing spot. Recent rains had swollen the river to a point where there was some doubt as to whether we would be able to cross. Our expedition staff made a number of tentative exploratory attempts to find the best/least risky place to cross. A sort of human chain of expedition staff was formed and we were pulled across one at a time. I doubt that anyone even considered as to how we could return if river levels rose during our trek

The tourist write up is encouraging enough. Corcovado National Park is a reserve on southwest Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula that protects varied tropical ecosystems. Considered one of the world's most biodiverse regions, its wildlife includes scarlet macaws, tapirs, jaguars and squirrel monkeys. Hiking trails follow coastal and inland routes through habitats ranging from Pacific beaches and mangrove swamps to lowland and montane rainforests.

Anyway as we got out of the zodiacs I sighted a Coati close to the beach. It ambled around for quite a while until an over ambitious punter got too close and scared it away. A local guide gave us a short talk on the Park

Then off we set to cross the river. We were all a bit airy fairy to start with , trying not to get our clothes wet, but by the time we returned nobody really bothered about keeping dry. But a sensible system of getting all across prevailed, and everyone reached the far bank without any casualties. It was shoes back on, and into the jungle. Said jungle proved to be more daunting than we had been led to expect. Basically we walked up a wet river bed, and the most convenient way to avoid both the deep mud and the fire ants, was to walk through the water.

I had a couple of sore fire ant bites that drew blood, but did not have any further complications. We continued up this commando assault course without seeing very much in the way of animal life - a macaw and a few monkeys. Eventually sense prevailed with the local guides, and they led us out onto a sandy beach, which we followed without any further incidents, until we got back to the river crossing.

The combination of practice gained in the river crossing a few hours previously plus the knowledge that it was the only way back to the zodiacs, meant that the return crossing was much quicker and easier. Certainly a memorable yomp through the jungle

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On to next port - Orchid Garden Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Silver Explorer Oct 2019