Another gust of wind ascends and lifts one almost out of the shoes. It feels like an earthquake, everything is shaking. After a second everything is quiet again. It was just another heavy truck rushing past the highway in Selva Verde. And here is supposed to be the rain forest? Car after car and truck after truck dashed down the road connecting Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí with San Miguel. But there it is: The rain forest starts right there, two meters next to the road. To the right and to the left stretches the rain forest of the Selva Verde Lodge. 500 acres, privately owned since the eighties.
It is 5.45 a.m. in the morning. Wafts of mist form up over the tree tops. The sun lightens the sky in a dull, pastel orange. It is time to slip over the rubber boots. The march into the jungle starts at 6 a.m. and the path are muddy and slippery here. The birds are up already. Chirping, tweeting and croaking their songs. There are over 300 in the Selva Verde rain forest. After a quick coffee we follow our guide (which does not look like Tarzan at all) to the first bird spot. Next to the restaurant building the guide talks about birds, the Selva Verde Lodge and suddenly he stops his talk. There is s bird. The firs one this morning is a hummingbird.
|The river Sarapiquí|
Next stop is the river. The birds are almost beyond recognition. Only small black spot in the trees. The guide knows to differentiate them all immediately. Even before taking out his binoculars. There you see a toucan, they are going to nest in that tree. Over there a woodpecker. Oh it is gone. But there, a parrot. Right there in the almond tree. Everybody pulls out their cameras, taking pictures through the binoculars. Bird are better seen in open spaces. We leave the river region towards the highway. The path winds on, passing the river, huge trees and bright red and orange flowers. Iguanas climb down the trees, squirrels hop from branch to branch and spiders spin their nets. It feels like being in Jurassic Park but with all the comfort tourists need.
According to the guide, the street is one of the best places for bird observation. After being almost knocked down by three trucks it is time to cross the street. The tour come almost to it s end. Some more birds are building a huge nest in one of the trees. A woodpecker pecks untiringly into the trunk. A monkey family does some gymnastics up in the trees. After two hours the expedition is over. Sadly, we never had to bushwhack and we never crossed the suspension bridge to the deeper jungle. It was just a bird tour and birds are better seen in open spaces. But still, it was a quite successful day: fifteen species of birds in 120 minutes.