Monday, April 21, 2014

In the Rain Forest: La Selva

I had high hopes for La Selva. I was promised lots of critters and I was not disappointed.

La Selva isn’t really a tourist stop; it’s mostly used for research. I heard they produce one scientific journal every 72 hours or something insane like that. There are endless things to study in the rainforest apparently… and yet people still cut it down, stupid people.

Anyway, so last weekend was my second field trip with my Tropical Ecology class and I don’t think you can get much more tropical than the tropical rainforest. Once again, everything was paid for (except my ice cream, that was much needed) which again was amazing because as a broke college student, I will take a free trip wherever I can get one.

We arrived in La Selva and it was ridiculously humid and hot. You have not felt humidity until you have been in the rainforest, let me tell you. I felt disgusting and I also felt the need to avoid any and all photographs because, ew. But here is one..
As soon as we got to the rooms we saw the first blue jean frog, which is a super adorable little guy who is tiny and beautiful and poisonous. I was so excited. I saw one before, but it was in a mini-zoo so it didn’t count. This one was wild, therefore it was 20 times cooler to see. Although my professor said that there are a lot of blue jean frogs in La Selva I wasn’t going to take the risk and miss my opportunity to take pictures of it. Luckily, she was right and we saw too many to count, so naturally I have an absurd amount of photos of them and I regret none of them.
Before going on a walk with the class a couple of us were walking around taking pictures when I noticed a lot of things falling from the trees which made me think, “MONKEYS” and I was right! We got to see a group of howler monkeys eating in the trees above us. Did I mention I get really excited when I see animals in the wild, or in zoos, or like dogs walking down the street? Well I do, so I was pumped to see these cuties! At the time I had no idea that they made sounds that I can only describe as demon-like. As soon as the sun started to go down all you hear is the portal from hell opening up… it is frightening, especially walking the trails in the dark with them howling all around you.

Through our walks we saw frogs, pig-look-alikes, lizards, birds of all sorts, spiders, bullet ants (which are named that because if you are bit or stung it feels like you were shot), an armadillo, and of course tons of different species of plants.


While the day walks were fun, the night walks were just filled with horror. When people say ‘the freaks come out at night’ they mean it. Bugs were everywhere and when I say everywhere, I mean it. Bugs flying in the mouth and ears, crawling around my feet, and harassing me constantly, made me so on-edge I just wanted to go hide in a safe enclosed room. I saw spiders that were so freaky and huge that I almost screamed out loud. Somehow I found a little self-control. Luckily for you, I didn’t photograph all these little weirdos because I was trying not to pee myself from being scared every other second, so I will spare you from most of them, you’re welcome.

After a long night of struggling to sleep due to paranoia that I was covered in bugs and the howler monkeys summoning Satan to my doorstep, I was happy to go on our last walk, have lunch and go home to San Jose where I could sleep safe from the nightmares of the rainforest at night.

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