First I should set a stage.

Where is the Osa?

Well it is about 5 to 10 hours south of us by car or an hour by plane. You can drive in on the southern end via the delightful Pueto Jimenez or you can drive/boat via Siepre to Drake Bay or fly to Drake Bay.

It is without question one of the most bio diverse places on the planet and well worth a visit next time you come to Costa Rica. As Wiki puts it " The Osa Peninsula is located in southwestern Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas Province, on the Pacific Ocean, at 8°33′N 83°30′W / 8.55°N 83.5°W. The Osa Peninsula is home to at least half of all species living in Costa Rica. The main town on the Peninsula is Puerto Jimenez, which has its own airport and provides access to Corcovado National Park as well as the coastal villages of Cabo Matapalo and Carate."

Our group of students took off from Unity College, Maine and landed here few days ago, stayed the night at the Pura Vida Hotel and then headed on by van and boat to the northern tip of the Osa, Drake Bay.

For those with a interest in marine life, wide eyed views of the world and funny tales of adventure in Costa Rica . . . you may want to add yourselves as followers to this interesting and often funny blog: <http://ucme.wordpress.com/>

Just for the next 2 weeks you'll get delightful tales from 20 year old college students traipsing around the Osa jungle, swimming in Drake Bay and exploring the amazing wildlife down there. These marine biology students are down here for 3 weeks getting an eye and brain full of Costa Rica. Full disclosure: We met them as they entered the country, they stayed a night and we waived them on their way by van to the Osa.

Every day each student (and professor Emma Creaser) blogs about their experiences - here's a short entry from last night:

"Today we went sea kayaking to explore the coastline from another point of view. We´re all getting used to the humidity and the heat now, and the first wave of sunburn is peeling off people. Today at the hotel we saw some men from the government measuring distance on the shore. Apparently, there are to be no buildings 50m or 200m from the high tide line as the government owns the first 50m of land. Of course plenty of people live in this strip of land so it appears that the government is doing some sort of eminent domain decision to obtain the houses. It will probably be better for the environment, but it seems a little harsh on the locals."

And you can imagine Amanda's mum back in New England stumbling into this entry about her daughters first trip to the jungle: "Today we went sea kayaking which was a lot of fun. We started by going up a river but had to turn around because the tide was changing. I saw a small crocodile which was cool however Amanda had just fallen in - good thing there were none around then. We then went out into the ocean and I saw more frigate birds and pelicans. There were lots of fish jumping- wish I had a fishing pole! Our tour guide was very helpful. It was fun riding the waves. Later today we are getting a talk on Corcovado Reserve which should be very interesting."

This was one insightful entry after just 2 days in the country:

Hooray! It´s Travelling Day!

May 13, 2010

  1. Costa Ricans have the right idea – A GPS means a map and a laser pointer.
  2. On the coin colones, there are 3 mountains representing the three large mountain ranges in Costa Rica. Also, it looks like there is only one ship before the mountains, but the dot in between two of the mountains is actually another ship. Each one sails on a different ocean that borders Costa Rica.
  3. When the tour guide says, “Pay attention, there’s going to be a quiz later,” he means it. There could be a t-shirt at stake.
  4. When the tour guide says that he just went into the butcher shop to get the throwaway bits of meat so that we can feed crocodiles later, he means it.
  5. Feeding crocodiles off a bridge is SO COOL.
  6. Howler monkeys really do howl (well, the males do anyways).
  7. Time always seems to go by very slowly in Costa Rica.
  8. When the heat and humidity are getting to you, and all you want is for it to rain, remember to be careful what you wish for next time.
  9. Riding down a river in a small boat going rather fast is very exciting. Especially when the rain is pelting down so hard that it hurts your skin, and it’s thundering and lightning outside and you’re in a metal boat in the middle of the water, and there’s fog everywhere, and you can barely see out of your glasses… I’m quite serious, though… it was very exciting.
  10. HOLY GUACAMOLE OCEAN WATER IS WARM HERE!!!
  11. Mangroves are really cool… well, at least I think they are. It was hard to see them with all of the fog and the rain.
  12. Hammocks with ocean views are the best idea ever.
  13. Never underestimate the book exchange rack at the hotel. There just may be a fantastic book there that is waiting for you.
  14. And most importantly… PACK LIGHTER NEXT TIME!!!!!

I just wished they'd post more photos like "Amanda falling in the ocean, "croc advancing" etc etc. If you leave a comment on any of the blog entries you'll get the option to be emailed daily posts. They finish in 2 weeks but the blog and their experiences will be there forever?