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Day 5 & 6- Rara Avis

Rara Avis
Rara Avis is situated in the rainforest in Costa Rica and borders Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Zona Protectora La Selva. Apparently, there are more kinds of plants, birds and butterflies in Rara Avis than in all of Europe.

As we tumbled through villages on the way to the rainforest, the local people would wave to us, as if we were on a carnival float, as opposed to tourists wearing wellington boots, being bounced around in a cart pulled by a tractor. When the settlements petered out, we instead waved to cows with floppy ears.

The route became muddier and bumpier as we journeyed further and further into the rainforest, and videos of this make it appear almost like a rollercoaster ride, with occasional screams.

It was dark, wet and muddy when we finally reached Rara Avis and to get to the remote lodge, we had to cross a river, letting a rope guide us across.

Our rooms were without electricity, so we quickly turned to drinking games and Nicaraguan rum. A drunken haze proved a good cure for ignoring the creatures that might have invaded our rooms that night. Some people found scorpions and tarantulas.

In the morning, we shoved our wellington boots back on, grabbed wooden sticks and began to follow the guide through the squelchy mud as we slipped and he pointed out snakes and bullet ants, but it was when killer bees appeared that people started to run.

Later, we jumped into a pool, where the water was cold and the current was strong, but it still felt fantastic to swim at the foot of a waterfall in the rainforest.

I fell ill with a stomach bug that left me feeling terribly weak for days, so avoided playing an extremely muddy game of football and instead wandered for a while by myself through the rainforest, stopping to gasp at the tangles of leaves and branches and how green everything was.

Photos on Flickr: Rara Avis, Costa Rica. (I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, since my camera had problems with the humidity.)

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I have always been a fan of your pictures but the one with the single leaf and the one with the purple leaf are amazing! I had a packet of silica gel in my camera bag to absorb the moisture and kept the whole thing in a plastic bag, but dont know if it made any difference.

Some of the others on the trip had silica gel, but said it didn't really help. :( Often when my camera was working okay, I was running away from bullet ants and any kind of buzzing noise, so wasn't stood still enough to take photos much anyway! (Or was too busy looking at the mud to make sure I didn't slip and break the camera.)

Running away from bullet ants sounds exciting but a bit scary..

I was quite sad that I didn't dare climb inside the wonderful hollow trees, because of what might have been inside there!

Thanks for your updates. I find them very well written and your photos are excellent. It certainly sounds like an interesting tour. I know I have wanted to visit the rainforest but as yet have not got round to it.


It was interesting, indeed! The rainforest is certainly worth a visit, as is the cloudforest.

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Ah, there were plenty of bugs around even without turning over fallen leaves. :)

It was. Although sometimes scary, but I suppose amazing things often are.

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