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The Gap Year Blog

1 Week in Costa Rica

11 Apr 2019 17:20 PM

Hi, I’m Flzent, (sadly) only here for 1 week. It was 2018 when I started looking into Frontier Costa Rica at the big cats, primates and turtles adventure.

Apart from only going to Italy last year, this was my first solo travel holiday, I did all the preparation myself, despite little experience, but thankfully I had the great people from over Christmas and after, to guide me through. In comparison to South Yorkshire, Costa Rica was a huge difference to be around.

The wildlife has always been an interest to me, and life on Camp Osita was not a let-down, hearing the natural side of beauty where ever I went was brilliant, whether been in bed, on James’ hammock, or mine, the sounds were brilliant. Even now back in England, I still wake at 4am, except there are no howler monkeys now.

From meeting Tom and the other new people for lunch, right the way to arriving at camp, I felt the great vibe all around me. I was asked what I wanted to see the most, and seconds later I saw baby monkeys carried by their mums high up in the trees, my adventure had started. I was a nervous wreck, stumbling, forgetting, getting mixed up, shaking, mumbling; but the fabulous personalities made me feel welcome. The days flowed by, I still felt I was letting them down, though they said otherwise.

On my first full day, starting with a howler monkey wake up call, I got things underway with a amphibians and reptiles survey, seeing the beach sunrise and a Praying Mantis was awesome. A trip to the turtle hatchery with a presentation was very interesting; sadly, I saw none in my time, which upset me, but those around me cheered me up. I saw Macaws, a baby Iguana, lizards and a crab, which I named John, Ply, Zuzzirst, Qull, Blay, Norting, and Tiff. More interesting presentations followed, as did the laughs and good times, sadly I was still struggling, but given time by such caring people.

Next were footprints and a big bird been spotted on the big cats survey lead by the influential Varvara, followed by a recognizing of monkey’s just metres from camp, my luck ran out by time I got my camera, luckily the wonderful Lucy was there.

Following this was my first turtle patrol, a sight of panic, but relief, following a scrappy fishy smelling cloth. This day also brought my turn for cook and cleans, well more cleaning than cooking, apparently too much clean, but I was not even halfway through. Bonding with the camp dogs and cat was just as good.

I also experienced my first Nurtles, a stunning night beach walk with the view of a star filled sky of aww, a view I had never seen before, just like the festival on Sunday, what an interesting day it was.

I never saw a snake, turtle, big cat, or tapir, but we did have a bat fly into the kitchen. I read some poetry when possible and received great feedback, and I was allowed to spread my magical world on the walls of camp, see if you can find them.

Last morning arrived, I was a river of tears, a wonderful send off by everyone for me and Vic, even Betty (one of the camp dogs) came to say goodbye. I so didn’t want to leave. From that moment to arriving back in England, I cried over 40 times. I Am going to miss such a bright and caring atmosphere that I was lucky enough to be around.

I want to return already, I miss everyone so much, and they made such a caring fuss about me at times, I had some of the best people around me, and this is where I believe you will meet such fascinating characters too. They made life special for me, hoping to see them all again soon.

There’s plenty to see, do, feel and hear in this spectacular surrounding, what are you waiting for?

By Craig - Frontier Costa Rica Volunteer

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!