Day 2 |
Oct 14, 2010

Golfo Dulce

By Astrid Guenther-Weigl, Biologist, marine biology, veterinary medicine

Weather: Warm, partly overcast, sun and rain

It was raining when I awoke this morning. But fortunately, by the time we set anchor in the bay of Golfo Dulce the sun had appeared.

I was with the first group, which disembarked at 7.30 am for a visit of the private botanical garden Casa Orquideas. And it was wonderful.

Accompanied by our two local guides Daniele and Hermane, we strolled through this carefully tended, immaculate and tranquil place, along palms, bromeliads, orchids, heliconias, shampoo ginger, spice trees and strangling figs. We saw scarlet macaws feeding and flying by, a brown mandibled toucan hiding behind leaves, hummingbirds hovering in front of flowers, as well as euphonias, tanagers and different beautiful butterflies. Combined with the fantastic surroundings, this was just a perfect place to be.

At 10 o’clock we climbed again into the Zodiacs and went for a 20-minute ride along the rainforest coast before we reached the Fundacion Santuario Silvestre de Osa, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center for orphaned or injured animals native to the southern zone of Costa Rica.

Carol and a spider monkey were waiting for us at the black beach. Earrings, necklaces, water bottles – every item interesting for monkeys had to be put in our backpacks. After a short introduction, we followed Carol into the rainforest to see and learn about the animals they take care of, accompanied by two very sweet spider monkeys called Sweetie and Winkie.

Not only the forest, but also the animals we saw, as well as Carol’s information, was amazing. We learned that tyras are little all-eating “monsters”, that kinkajous eat mainly fruit, that capuchin monkeys are the most intelligent new world monkeys and a lot more. We saw two-toed sloths hanging on branches, slowly opening their eyes, pecaris and a huge male curassow. It was a fantastic experience.

Meanwhile, the heavens had darkened and it was only shortly after I sat in the Zodiac, that it started pouring with rain. A real tropical downpour we experienced and when we arrived at the Price Albert II, it had stopped already.

In the afternoon I supplied the snorkel gear with the other members of the Expedition Team and listened to a very funny lecture on fish and their lifestyles given by Robin Aiello.

At recap I gave some information on tyras and kinkajous. I listened to the information Robin West gave for the following day at Isla Coiba and while the Prince Albert II headed for Isla Coiba, I enjoyed another wonderful evening on board.