Costa Rica, here I come!

I can hardly believe that at 6.15am tomorrow morning, I begin the most exciting trip of my lifetime… to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. I will be based at the Piro Biological Station and meeting good friend, Andy Whitworth, there. To find out more about my trip and the Osa Peninsula, take a look at my previous blog post.

Here is Andy, talking about some of the work he did in the rainforests of Peru… he is doing some similar work with trail cams at Osa and I am taking some Bushnell out with me, obviously! I will be working with Andy over my week there and hopefully bringing back some pretty incredible footage!

I have never travelled that far on my own before and I would be lying if I said I was not a little nervous about the journey ahead… it is a pretty epic journey! I leave Birmingham and head to Frankfurt, where I pick up my flight to Houston, Texas. Several hours at the airport there and I then fly to San Jose, in Costa Rica. A stop overnight in a hotel there, as I do not arrive to 8.20pm (their time; 8 hrs behind us!) An early start and I fly to La Golfito. From there, I have to take a ferry across to Puerto Jimenez. I will then be met by one of the Osa Conservation staff, who will take me to the centre, which is about another hour. I will arrive around lunchtime on Monday, which will be Monday evening our time!

 

The Osa Peninsula is a pretty special place:

One of the last places in Costa Rica to be settled and still sparsely populated, the Osa is covered almost entirely in magnificent, virgin rainforest extending all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Separating it from the mainland is the Golfo Dulce – one of only four tropical fjords on the planet. The Golfo Dulce is in fact the only place on the globe where populations of both Northern and Southern Humpback whales meet to birth their young. The Osa packs an unparalleled amount of land and marine species and diverse ecosystems in an incredibly small area, including:

  • The most significant wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests of Central America
  • The largest remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica
  • 2-3% of flora found nowhere else in the world
  • 323 endemic species of plants and vertebrates
  • The largest population of scarlet macaws in Central America
  • More than 4,000 vascular plants
  • More than 10,000 insects
  • More than 700 species of trees (which is more than all the Northern temperate regions combined)
  • 463 species of birds
  • 140 mammals, including 25 species of dolphins and whales
  • 4 species of sea turtles

These incredible ecosystems provide invaluable services to the people who depend on them for clean air, drinking water, food, jobs, cultural resources and a stable climate – and so their conservation is critical.

You can imagine how excited I am…. I’ve been reading up all about the wildlife and it is frankly mind-blowing!

I may well explode when I see a toucan or macaw in the wild. When I was a little girl, I had a book about the rainforest. Its brightly coloured pages were full of exotic looking wildlife and I was captivated. I cannot believe that I am actually going to see this for myself and I feel very humbled and privileged to be in such a position.

I’m not sure how often I will be able to update on my progress, but keep an eye on my Twitter feed. Needless to say, when I have wifi, I will be tweeting!