Breakfast was sausages – yes! Salty and oily they took my good friends rice and beans to a whole new level.
(Click the images to see them full size)
Today we set off from our hut, to the camp we are going to stay at for the next two days – N 09 08 09.4, W 082 57 38.4 are the co-ordinates: view on a map.
Our route took us along the river.
We walked for a couple of hours before climbing up to a point called Jardin. This area is completely different from anything I have seen so far on the trip – it’s a peat bog and is dominated by tree ferns that have islands of mosses, lichens and sedges growing around them. It was a rare break in the forest canopy and there were some spectacular views.
It was a really challenging crossing - impossible to know whether your next step was going to hold fast or leave you knee deep in the bog.
We then dipped backed down through the forest – not so much a trail as a thrash through the bush!
Once at the camp, I set up the equipment for sending you my post - solar charger and satellite phone - and made a little tour of the camp.
On the way here I saw the first sign of a wild cat – this is Ocelot poo, apparently!
Species of the day goes to Neil (though Alex is making a spurious claim!). It is in the genus Pilea (in the nettle family) and Alex thinks it may be a new species! He is a world expert in the nettle family and, in particular, this genus - although this looks similar to another species of Pilea it has a key difference in that the leaves are of equal size to each other as opposed to being different sizes.
If it is a new species Alex will be able to publish a description of it and give it a name, but he can only be sure that this is a new species once he has checked it against similar species housed in herbaria.
This really highlights the importance of the trip and of collecting in general. In order to know exactly what is in the park and make as complete a check-list of the species as possible, we have to know what lives here. These specimens will be available for future generations, who may have other uses for the data they provide.
Of course, it is important not to collect too much, we rarely collect a whole plant and always make sure we don’t collect without the correct permits which are provided by the Costa Rican government.