Monday, February 6, 2012

Snakes and Ice Cream

This afternoon Juan and I set out with the GPS to track down some trees in order to identify their sex and productivity. As a treat we buy some pink banana ice-cream that is made by one of the local women. We bite holes in the corner of those plastic bags and suck out the cold sweet banana goodness as we climb the "Red Hill". Only a 15 minute climb, 7 if you're speedy (I'm not) up the almost vertical red clay hill. Exposed to the sun, we reach the top and me and my ice-cream are melting!

We are joined by Andres, a crazy Costa Rican with links to both GVI and ISV and a very keen interest in herpetology (snakes and reptiles). I'm still not sure if his presence was for the better or worse. The GPS kicks in and we make our way towards the first tree on our list. On the path for the first five minutes and before you know it ploughing through the forest. Juan thinks we are close to the tree, pulling out his binoculars for a closer look up into the canopy. I follow close behind and hear some leaves crackle as I walk past. Just ignoring it I continue to follow but Andres goes to investigate. Discovering a fer-de-lance, he drops all his stuff and is ready to get a closer look. The Jalova rule of not touching the animals is more than broken in this example as Andres catches the snake (something he's apparently done many times as an experienced herpetologist) before releasing it back onto a fallen tree.

Afterwards the thrill of the catch means that we are not very successful with our tree search and rather are turning over logs and peering into holes looking for the next adrenaline rush.

We return home via the beach in time for an epic pink and orange sunset and a twilight swim.

Back home a cold shower (there is no option for a hot one) is required and the days tales are retold over dinner. Bed follows soon after, exhausted from the day only to wake up and do it all again tomorrow.

-Kate, GVI intern at Drake Bay