Waiting at the collectivo stop// Views from the collectivo
This time I was determined to actually be able to see something from the collectivo, so I hopped (climbed) in first and staked out a place at the front. There were already a fair few people in the back, so I didn't get a seat - but standing was perfect. The back of the truck was just high enough that I could see over the cab, so I had a pretty amazing view. The ride to Carate was just over an hour, but it didn't seem that long at all - there was so much to see. Jungle gave way to farmland as the landscape flattened, then we were back into the jungle as we headed further away from civilisation and towards the ocean once again. The camp at Carate only ran for a few weeks (three I think?) so I was really lucky to get the chance to stay there. Carate is much closer to Corcovado National Park than the main camp at Piro, so although the wildlife seen there is pretty much the same - everything is so much more abundant. Its incredible how much difference a few miles can make.
The actual 'camp' at Carate was the staff house of an eco-lodge, so we stayed 'indoors' and slept on bunkbeds. I say indoors... but most of the walls were actually just mesh, so it still felt like you were outside. I think the mesh was supposed to keep the bugs out, but it wasn't that successful! After ditching our stuff in our respective rooms, we headed down to the beach for a beach clean-up. (I'll be writing more about this later, because I feel that it deserves its own post - its something that really got to me while I was out there.) The walk to the beach was about 1/2 hour along the road through the forest, and I found it stunning every single time I walked it. Although it was overcast, it was still hot (even at 9am!), but the fact I was a hot mess didn't really bother me because the views I had were absolutely unreal. We didn't spend long on the beach - just short of two hours, but we filled several rubbish sacks and walked a couple of kilometres before heading back for lunch.
A Halloween/Moon crab shell I found on the beach - the colours are amazing! // Leafcutter ants going about their business // There is colour everywhere in the forest
Lunch was followed by a long walk in which we attempted to locate a waterfall that one of the locals had mentioned - unfortunately we were unsuccessful but it was my first real walk in the forest and I couldn't get over how many different shades of green there were. So beautiful. I spent most of the walk wishing I knew more about tropical plants and birds so that I could identify what I was seeing! On the way back to camp, I saw my first group of monkeys - Squirrel monkeys - it was unbelievably surreal to look up and see them swinging around. I loved the fact that they seemed just as fascinated by us as we were by them
Squirrel monkeys! // So many shades of green