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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Costa Rica


It’s 4am and my alarm is blaring, it’s time to wake up. Dragging myself out of bed to find my good friend the kettle, dodging the cane toads in the dark, to make myself a big strong cup of coffee to fuel myself in this predawn hour.

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The Potoos - mysterious and enigmatic birds belonging to the neotropical family Nyctibiidae are strictly nocturnal. Their general appearance strongly resembles the well- known European Nightjar, however unlike nightjars they roost in a stiff, upright position.

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A flight from Heathrow to Miami, closely followed by another from Miami to San Jose and then a final half an hour in the skies seems daunting, I won’t lie. And whilst I was nervous for the vast majority of this time, my intense excitement easily made up for it.

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After a confusing morning, I hopped onto the collectivo bus which is an adventure. You’ll drive through the most beautiful scenery straight into the heart of the jungle on a dirt road.

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Waking up at 4 am to get ready for work isn’t what every girl dreams of on their birthday, but for me, it was the DREAM. Even if I am getting older, the sound of howler monkeys as your alarm clock does not get old.

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Having dragged my 54-year-old body to the beautiful country of Costa Rica, there was a real feeling that I was going to be spending either 5 months trapped in a self-arranged prison sentence, or I was going to have the time of my life.

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Since stepping off the aeroplane on the very first day, the beauty and the tranquillity of my surroundings have yet to fully settled in.

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I may not be fluent – yet – but I’ve come a long way and couldn’t have had this amazing time without my Spanglish skills.

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My trip out to the jungle was an adventure and a half! From crazy trips flying out of Dubai on the 2am flight, landing in Heathrow at 8am, and going straight to the London office for training fuelled by coffee!

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This week we have been doing a lot of work on the beach. The weather has been glorious – sun shining all morning and well into the afternoon, which makes it perfect weather for excavating Turtle nests, building bamboo cages to protect the nests, and also beach cleaning...

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