Last couple of weeks at Cano Palma

I´m in Nicaragua at the moment and it is fantastic!! More of that in a later post though, for now I have lots of snippets from the last couple of weeks out in the rainforest.  I posted some photos on Facebook, anyone who can´t see them let me know and I can try to send a link!

– Worst.Job.Ever. – Myself and about 5 others got drafted onto ´compost duty´. Cano Palma tries to be as ecologically friendly as possible which is even more important in that kind of location, where all rubbish etc. has to be shipped to Tortuguero.  So all uncooked food materials are separated and put into a big bin in order to compost.  It fell to us unlucky few to dig all of this compost out with a spade, put it into 20kg sacks, and haul it over to the community school garden.  Well I have never been so filthy in all of my life.  It did bring us closer together however, and at the end of it we all jumped into the canal to attempt to get cleaner! I´ve just tagged myself in a photo of the end result for anyone on FB..

– There are many different types of ants on the station, and all of them just love to bite.  (I have never been bitten by an ant before in other countries, despite having them on me before… why do the Costa Rican ones bite??) There are normal ants which are not too bad, but every so often we get an invasion of Army Ants.  These critters decide they are going on a certain path to somewhere, and off they go.  Anything and everything in their way just gets demolished.  And if they bite you, you know all about it.  I have managed to avoid getting bitten so far, but watching others jump and scream when getting bitten is amusing even if you are sympathetic to their plight! The last time we had these ants in the kitchen they had cornered a tiny gecko.  April managed to rescue him and he happily sat in my hand for a few minutes recovering from the shock, before I placed him back into the garden and off he went, hopefully not to be attacked by ants again.

– Somebody found a baby boa constrictor on base.  Well, strictly it wasn´t a boa constrictor, it was some kind of reticulated python, but it was close enough to a baby boa for non-herpetologists like myself.  It was mega cute! We all got to have a hold and a photo opportunity with the lovely wee snake, and the feeling of those muscles wrapping themselves around your hand was amazing.

– It´s been quite dry over the 2nd 5 weeks at Cano Palma, unlike the first 5 where it seemed to rain all the time.  When it rains though, it rains HARD.  We have a weather station on base where temperature, humidity and rainfall are recorded.  We got over half a metre of rain in two hours not so long ago!! I´m not a weather expert but is that not a LOT of rain? The most amazing thing is that it is just able to drain away, the ecology of the area is designed for that kind of moisture and when the sun comes out a couple of hours later, it all just dries up.  (Much to the dismay of the fish that have gotten out of the pond and are swimming around in the garden when their new pond starts to shrink away….)

– We excavated a Hawksbill nest on the beach a few days ago, and there were loads of live babies in there! Hawksbill Turtles are critically endangered so it is always fantastic to see a successful hatching.  It was a scorching day and so we had to ferry the babies from the nest down to the ocean so they didn´t overheat on the way there.  It was amazing to have literally handfuls of baby turtles.  Tally was 30 dead but 59 alive!

– Wancho.  There is a small caiman who hangs around base occasionally, and the old base manager named him Wancho.  It is at the point now whereby all caimans are now known as Wancho´s.  The dogs go crazy when they spot wancho in the water, and you can rile them up pretty well by just saying ´where´s wancho!… guaranteed to get the dogs running down to the canal to see if they can find him.

– I have now officially lost weight, I have not weighed myself but can now fit into a pair of shorts that I could not squeeze into at the beginning of the trip (but still optimistically packed!) Woo hoo!  It is not surprising though, I have walked over 200 miles on the beach so far.  My tally will be more than that over the next 10 weeks as well, since I will be staff and therefore doing more walking.

Now, onto the next post about my holiday in Nicaragua!


2 Responses to “Last couple of weeks at Cano Palma”

  1. Jo Says:

    Ever read The Poisonwood Bible, where a plague of ants comes through and like skeletilizes (sp?) everything in their path? It’s set in Africa, but I reckon you’d see some similarities to jungle life. Good book in general too!

    • jessofthejungle Says:

      Yes, and I also saw a TV ad the other night for a movie called ‘swarm’ where ants terrorise, um, a plane it looked like. And there was that infamous McGyver episode with the killer ants too! (scariest McGyver episode ever!!!)

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