Tag Archives: caribbean

Episode Thirty Three – The Way to San José

The time we spent in Tortuguero felt like no time at all – probably because it wasn’t really any time at all. The community around us seemed to live in a different dimension in that respect: one the one hand, I felt like they were in slow motion compared with us, but on the other, one of their days seemed like nothing in the grand scheme of things. They seemed to plod languorously by the flip-flopped, hammocked permanent residents like the turtles we saw sliding to the sea: I guess ‘permanent’ is the word. There was a reassuring constance about the place – a sense that the community would shift and change only superficially, its roots and trunk remaining firmly grounded and secure. Continue reading

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Episode Thirty Two – Turtle Town

In Tortuguero it seems that everyone makes a living from tourism. Those locals with sharp enough eyes and ears, and a keen enough interest for wildlife, must have started their tour-guide training as soon as they can pronounce ‘resplendent quetzal’. Our boat guide, Riccardo, was able to spot wildlife on the move that I still couldn’t make out after 15 minutes of pointing: it seemed impossible. I’m still not sure I was looking at the right grey mass at the top of that tree 100 metres away; but the guide and a girl with the foresight to bring binoculars both insisted that there was a sloth up there. Continue reading

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Episode Thirty One – The Slower Path

When I first arrived in the Caribbean, I cried.

Mum seemed a little offended by this, and I was quick to explain that they were not sad tears – although exactly what kind of tears they were I couldn’t say.

I think part of it was stress and exhaustion from a long day’s travelling. Our bus from San José to Cariari was three hours long, and once there, a man with a strong Caribbean accent and no official uniform stuffed me and our luggage in a taxi with a French couple and whisked Mum off on foot to the bus station on the other side of town, from where our next coach left. Turns out he was legit, but at the time I was less than at-ease. From this other bus station, it was another 90 minutes of bumpy, non-air-conditioned journeying to La Pavona where we waited an hour for a boat to come along and take us on the two-hour ride to final destination Tortuguero. Continue reading

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