Monthly Archives: May 2008

Escaping the RAIN!!!

We have just bought a plane ticket from Panama City to Lima, Peru!  I think we have timed it just right as the rain has started and we and everything we own is going mouldy and starting to smell more than when we were just sweaty….. So we fly on Thursday 5th June. Just need to get down to Panama City now as we are currently back in San Jose.

Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary

From San Jose we traveled west to the rainsong wildlife sanctuary, 

http://www.rainsongsanctuary.com/index.htm

here we got to meet..

Kinky the Kinkajou. Who had been badly burnt on an electric power line. We got to hand feed her a banana in bed for breakfast, and stroke her incredibly soft fur while she very gently nibbled our hand and arm. As she is nocturnal we went back in the evening when she was out of her cage and both got to hug her while she searched in our hair- she particularly liked looking in Chris´beard. It was amazing how loving and gentle she was with us.

THE MEXICAN HAIRY PORCUPINES!! On our second day at the sanctuary Chris got the job of bottle feeding the 2 baby porcupines, while I was cleaning out the adults sleeping boxes. The boxes were really dirty so I had to take them out of their enclosure to hose them down. I returned to find Chris cornered by 2 very angry adult porcupines (they did not like having their beds taken away) and the babies running loose on the roof of the enclosure above his head. After this Chris chose to spend the remaining 3 days working up on the farm well away from the porcupines!

San Jose, Costa Rica


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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

We have had a bit of a culture shock arriving here in San Jose, Costa Rica, it is so different to everywhere else we have been. It really does feel like Nottingham city centre, it is not like London, any American city, and especially not like any other central American capital, everything about it feels like a British city centre…..

And it is raining and cool!

Such a relieve to get out of the heat, very strange to think that the day before we were sat in the baking dry heat waiting for a bus on Ometepe, but the rain is on it’s way up Central America, so I do not think they will have to wait too long for it.

We also found a cow parade, of cows decorated by local artists, So we have now seen the Edinburgh, London and San Jose cow parades.. 

Project Bona Fide




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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua, is an incredible island surrounded by the waters of Lake Nicaragua, (which is also home to the world’s only species of freshwater shark!) as it consists of two volcanoes, Concepción (1610 meters) and Maderas (1394 meters), joined by a land isthmus.

We got to the island on a very rickety looking wooden boat, in search of project Bona Fide an organic farm we had read about on the internet but had not yet got a reply from. And after a long hot bus journey across to the smaller of the two volcanos which make up the island, trekking in circles in the sun with all our bags, heat exhaustion, and 3 nights else where we finally found Project Bona Fide!!
And it is just as hot as it was in Leon but it does cool down a bit at night.

The farm is set up the side of the Volcano Maderas, with an incredible view of volcano Concepción, especially as the sun sets behind it – a view best enjoyed in the shower whilst washing of all the dirt and sweat from the day (my feet are still black 4 days after leaving). 4 other really nice people were living there while we were there, Mai, Ashley and Rachael who where working there for 6 months, and Graham another volunteer like us who was staying for a month. Mai looked after us and gave us all our jobs to do.

We did lots of watering (plants and trees) as it is just before the rainy season and everything is bone dry, and were getting quite strong by the time we left as it involved carrying big buckets of water all over the farm. We also chopped down banana trees, rebagged plants in the nursury, did more watering, and Chris sawed up lots of logs and broke the axe. We worked from 7am until breakfast and then until dinner time. When we had fish from the lake with rice and veg.

After a few days we got the hang of not standing in the way of the biting ants (which would get all over your feet so quickly!) and cheacking for scorpions (whose bite is very painful but not dangerous). We also saw the biggest spiders, which were at least 15cms wide and very hairy. So we were pleased to have a tent to sleep in which we could keep zipped up nice and tight.

The photo is of chris holding chillies collected from the garden, which were made in to chilli sauce. We also got to make our own chocolate with locally grown beans, and it tasted so good……

Leon




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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

This is a Mural in a park in Leon. It shows the C.I.A. (the Snake, centre) destrying the Employment (left), Democracy (top) and Education (right) of the people of Nicaragua.
We were showed this during an impromptu tour by a lady called Maria who was part of the Sandanista revolution and showed us a few sights around the city.

Being Hot in Nicaragua

It is really boiling here in Nicaragua (Chris ´watch said it was over 35 oC today as we were stood in the back of a pickup truck waiting for it to leave to take us to a town called Rivas, fortunately we only had to spend about 30 minutes in the truck and got a lift in the back of a nice airy covered lorry for the rest of the 2 hour journey) but tomorrow we are getting the boat to an island called ometepe which is made of 2 volcanoes sticking out of the lake, and there is apparently a constant breeze over the lake and it even gets a bit ´nippy´ there at night. really looking forward to feeling a bit cooler as it is just too hot to even think at the moment. We have found out about a couple of organic farms we could go and work on there, and one of them is also involved in a nutritional programme for children, so maybe I could also help out with that.

So hopefully if is a bit cooler, and one of them is right for us and not too much to stay at we may stay there for a few weeks – if not we are just going to fly straight down to Antarctica and sit in the snow!!  

After that we may spend a few weeks in costa rica, helping at an animal sanctuary, and then fly down to south america.

We have been trying to get hold of a south america handbook so we can plan a bit more where we want to go. but at the moment we intend to go to Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Patagonia. lots of nice cold sounding places

Carved heads from Copan


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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

We have been on buses all afternoon traveling from Leon to Granada (Nicaragua) which will hopefully be a little bit cooler than Leon as we have just been being boiled there (by 8am the temp is over 30 oC). Granada is by a large lake so there should be a bit more of a breeze here. We have just come back to the hostel after having chicken and chips for tea, and large ice creams, which we definitely needed after spending all afternoon on hot minibuses.