Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Photo Blog becomes Video Blog - Part 3 - There's a good reason they call it the RAIN forest.

So I’ve gone from no time blog to way too much time to blog.

We’ve left San Jose and are now in Tortugero.  Or as our guide for the next few days has said, “Your hotel in the middle of nowhere.”

It was an hour-long boat ride to get us here.  There are no cars in the very small town up the river a few minutes.  You get in by boat, you get out by boat.  Or you can swim.  We could see a thunderstorm about a half mile away as we loaded the boat.  It was dripping a bit as we started down the river.  By the time we got here it was – and still is – pouring rain.  Not just raining, ‘cause you know, hey it’s a rainforest! – but plan-cancelling pouring.

We got in, got a little welcome-to-the-island drink and got oriented.  This is the only hotel I’ve ever been to that required an orientation.  Then we had lunch and then got our room assignments.

Hysterically, I’m in room 102.  (For those of you who didn’t teach with me last year, that was my classroom number.)

I didn’t take pictures of the hotel in San Jose because, while it was nice, it was a very standard ‘North American Hotel’ and I didn’t think it merited the disk space.

Now I wish I had just for contrast.

In San Jose I had a single king sized bed with pure white linens on top of a feather bed.  There were, no joke, 7 pillows on that bed.  It was about three and a half feet off the ground – I had to climb up on to it.  There was a robe on the back of the bathroom door and a bathtub I could have done laps in.

Here… well, let’s just say it's a good thing I’m a fan of roughing it.  I had a weird sense of déjà vu when I walked in and it took me a few hours to place it, but I finally figured it out.  This room reminds me of sleeping in the platform tents at Camp Dean as a kid.  Only with electricity.  And a toilet that flushes instead of an outhouse.  Though, that said, I’ve never been anywhere else that has a sign that says ‘don’t throw your used toilet paper in the toilet, put it in the trash.’  So um… not a WHOLE lot better.

Other than that, though, it’s quaint.  Rustic. 

Here, have a look.  I actually remembered that my point and shoot has video.  Go me! 

[ETA: Maybe there will be video tomorrow.  The connection here seems to be stable and strong for text and still photos, but it's telling me that my little two minute video will take something like 3 hours to upload.  So... yeah.  Working on that, but it may be a while. :)]

Anyway, much like what frequently happened at Dean, it’s pouring buckets here.  It’s so loud that I can barely hear the music or video I’m playing on the computer.  It’s so bad that a ‘rain or shine’-policy tour group has canceled our trip into town and moved it to where we were supposed to have free time tomorrow and we have the free time now.

Of course there’s one little hut that has – theoretically anyway – internet and a bunch of us headed up there to kill time and we discovered that the internet usually doesn’t work in the rain.  Sigh.

So now I’m back in my hut typing this up so I can just send it whenever the internet does work.

Oh FABULOUS.  Ick.  Just like Camp Dean, I apparently need to wear bug spray to sit on my bed.  Blech.

Anywho… Things I’ve discovered since shooting that video:
  • ·      There is no glass on my windows.  The roof extends far enough that the rain isn’t coming in, but it does present a bit of a privacy issue.  I’m wondering what else I may end up hearing howling tonight other than monkeys.  Also, I tend to sleep with my music or a t.v. show going.  I don’t think my neighbors want to hear that.
  • ·      That safe system is a hot mess and I don’t trust it.
  • ·      The rain is REALLY loud in here. I can barely hear my music even with the computer right on my lap and the sound turned all the way up.
  • ·      The wrought iron beds are cute, but when you want to lean against the headboard and work on something, they’re really uncomfortable.
  • ·      The mattress… um… isn’t.  It’s about six inch thick mattress/boxspring/something that sits on a wooden platform.  [ETA: apparently this is not a huge problem.  I just had a two hour nap on the thing and slept fine. :)]
  • ·      I got like 8 hours of sleep last night [and this after going down for an hour-long massage that I really, really needed] and yet the sound of the rain around me makes me want to sack out.
  • There is no phone, radio or clock in my room.  
  • Gekko's like my window screen.  Currently from the outside.  Picture tomorrow.

So anyway, we’re told we get two wake-up calls tomorrow.

The first is at 4:30 a.m. and will come courtesy of the howler monkeys.  The second comes at 5:50 and will be the wait staff coming room to room with coffee, tea or hot chocolate for us while we get ready for breakfast.  Weather permitting, of course.

Tomorrow is supposed to be two boat tours.  In open boats.  Can’t wait to see what happens if this rain doesn’t let up.  I also found out that when it’s cloudy, even at ISO 1600 (the highest my camera has), I can’t take pictures of the animals on the shore when the boats are going.  Just nothing comes out.  I’m hoping a clear day will help.  Or slower boats.  Or I may have to switch over to my point-and-shoot and help the ‘blur reduction’ setting helps. 

I can hear something chittering a few feet away from my window.  I have no idea if it’s a bird, a squirrel (do they have squirrels out here?) or a monkey.  And I can’t see anything.  Though everytime I hear it, I grab my camera and run to the window.

They said they’ll tell us tomorrow’s weather ‘later’.  Which I can’t figure means anything good.  If it was going to quit raining and be better, they’d tell us that straight out, right?  Guh.

I’m still waiting for that one day where I get to go out in the rain forest for many hours and just shoot and shoot and shoot and come back with 1000 pictures to sort.

Obviously it’s not today and with the rearranging of tomorrow, and the highly ambiguous weather report, I’m guessing it won’t be tomorrow either. 

Remind me to never come to a rain forest in the rainy season again.

Tomorrow night those of us who signed up are going to the sea turtle nesting sites.  They said that even though it’s a bit early in the year (they usually start coming in around July), that there have been some sightings and they say there’s a very good chance we’ll see a turtle come up to lay her eggs.  We can’t take any kind of pictures or video though which sucks.  Hopefully it won’t rain through that.

ETA: Okay, I've had two hours of sleep and the rain has stopped.  Of course, being near the equator it's also pitch black... but my mood is somewhat less damp.  Here's hoping tomorrow is both drier and better!

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