Where the Wild Things Roam

Gandoca Travel Blog

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My home for 10 days - The farm called Finca Lomas. My room is the top left...
So I found myself in the middle of a Rainforest on a farm.  The word "secluded" certainly applies.  Finca Lomas lies a 20-minute walk away from the nearest road, should a gravel track whose bridges disappear in virulent rainy periods be allowed such a name.  Similarly, the road is where the local civilisation lies, should we define civilisation as access to electricity, telecommunications and beer. 

The 20-minute walk itself is a challenge.  At the house of Doña Elena, we change into Wellington boots, the reason for which becomes immediately apparent as we wade through mud and standing water just outside the Doña´s back garden.  And we wend our way past a banana plantation and into the forest proper.  We cross several impromptu bridges and destroy a number of spiderwebs.
Bamboo, and big at that
  (See the menagerie section for an example).  We pass caminos de ormigas - I never realised that leaf-cutter ants actually make roads so their progress is easier with their green loads.  And it gets really close as the air seems to be mostly water without a simple breeze to evaporate the sweat.

The farm itself is sturdy enough and the work mostly manual.  Most of my working time was spent clearing brush with a machete, the blade being the least of the hazards.  During my 10 days, I saw one snake during a ramble around the borders of the farm.  A little blue and red viper.  However, they´re supposedly everywhere.  I can also not recommend hacking into wasps´ nests.  Their stings are certainly more immediate than the bite of a mosquito, although thankfully not as long lasting.
Perhaps hard to see, but there are leaf-cutter ants travelling down their little road.

Perhaps it was me, but there were three people to start with.  After 4 days, the elderly American woman who arrived with me left because of the heat which made here sick.  Then, the local farm hand seemed to throw a wobbly (my Spanish not yet good enough to understand what occured) and he left, along with the $60´s I gave him.  I´m a sucker for a sobbing man. 

As my friends will know, four days in my company is a trial for anyone.  I am not immune to being irritated by myself.  The solitude was fabulous for thinking and reading, but it was also a little scary.  If one get´s bitten by a snake, lowering the heart rate is essential.  Yet for me, help was at least 20-minutes away an would have involved exercise.
What 10 days in a rainforest does for you. Nice.
  It was also noticable I only saw wasps when I was suddenly plunged into a world of one.  Indeed, one of the wasps was bloody huge, just lurking under a leaf I was about to machete.  So I decided to call it a day when the weekend arrived.

My last night on the farm comprised of a bottle of rum, yet another plate of rice and beans and the singularly most incredible thunder storm I have ever had the priviledge to witness.  It was awe-inspiring.  Normally, the forest at night is pitch black.  Yet the sheet lightening lit the whole farm up in epileptic brilliance, reminding me of the old movies in which a murderer suddenly appears at the window in driving rain.  Which was a nice thought.  But it was the volume and pressure which really impressed.  The thunder hurt my ears and the pressure wave shook the wooden frame of the farm.  The noise was like God snapping a 50 metre tree like a twig and then hammering the forest floor with her fist.   I would not have missed it for the world.

And yet in the morning, all was the same - unless there was just a little more standing water and the odd elevated stream.  Perhaps it never happened?
smileatsusan says:
Very cool! I'm heading to Puerto Veijo in two weeks, and have enjoyed your stories!
Posted on: May 30, 2008
Mattyhill says:
It rained here too. One of the drains on our street overflowed.

I'm jealous of your storm.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2006
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My home for 10 days - The farm cal…
My home for 10 days - The farm ca…
Bamboo, and big at that
Bamboo, and big at that
Perhaps hard to see, but there are…
Perhaps hard to see, but there ar…
What 10 days in a rainforest does …
What 10 days in a rainforest does…
photo by: Paulovic