While we were stopped at the boat departure point, they had a little band there that played music for dancing.
I suspect that the band was there specifically for the cruise ship tours and might not be there all the time.
We were unable to see any turtle nesting as we were there in February, which is about the only time that no nesting takes place.
There are several species of turtles that nest, and their nesting seasons overlap somewhat.
Green turtles are the most important species that nest at Tortuguero. An estimated 30,000 turtles come ashore every year between June and October. The greatest number arrive in September. Each female arrives two to six times, at 10- to 14-day intervals, and waits two or three years before nesting again. In spite of park protection, there is still some stealing of turtle eggs from the beaches, and armed men with high-speed boat try to catch the turtles at sea.
Mid-February through July, giant leatherback turtles also arrive to lay their eggs (with greatest frequency April-May).
Female hawksbill turtles nest in July.
The Costa Rican National Park website says:
Turtle Walks: No one is allowed on the 22-mile nesting sector without a guide after 6 p.m. Only 400 people are allowed on the beach per night, apportioned by sector; 200 maximum every two hours. Local guides escort walks at 8-10 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight each evening in turtle-nesting season ($10, including guide, who alone can buy tickets to access the beach at night). Strict rules and guidelines are enforced for turtle watching: no cameras or flashlights are permitted (they'll be confiscated); keep quiet, as the slightest noise can send the turtle hurrying back to sea; and keep a discreet distance. That said, a conservationist ethic is still tenuous among the local population, and you still find turtle meat and eggs for sale. You are asked to report any guide who digs up turtle hatchlings to show you--this is absolutely prohibited. Turtles are endangered; respect them.
There are no cars in Tortuguero at all. The only way to get around is by boat or foot. Some days it is as busy as a freeway & other days like a country road. At night there is a fair bit of "traffic" as residents go up & down the canal visiting.
I guess Canadians are not the only ones with an affinity for adorning the sides of their buildings with murals (see my Moosejaw page). How many species can you identify?
Let's see: there's the trogon, the red-lored parrot, the lovely cotinga, the scarlet-rumped tanager.....
One of the surprises that I came across in my wonderings around town. I was startled to come upon this brightly colored little chapel, just as pretty as can be under the swaying palms and surrounded by lush vegetation. Looks simple and functional.
Every police station in Costa Rica is painted shades of blue and they have the shield of crossed guns over the door or on the side of the building.
Costa Rica does not have a standing army, but armed police are everywhere. Some of them are heavily armed, so I understand.
The police provide the dual function of investigating criminal activity and preserving the national peace. Everywhere we went in Costa Rica, there was a police garrison nearby. And you did not have to look hard to find an officer out walking the beat. To me, Costa Rica seemed like a safe place, but as in all modern societies it is best to keep your wits about you because muggings and pickpocketings are not unknown.
One interesting aspect of Costa Rica is the use of gates, bars and barbed wire to keep intruders out of almost every kind of building. almost every home that I saw in Costa Rica had bars across the windows, doors, verandas, gardens, proches etc. Some buildings went to another level and strung barbed wire or razor wire over the bars. I understand protecting personal property, but I'd hate to live behind bars. I'd also hate to go to school in a classroom that was behind iron bars. This is a cultural difference that I do not think I could adapt to very easily.
Mom looks pretty serious, but as always the youngsters are looking for ways to goof off.
I always feel self-conscious when taking candids of people. I'm not the type of person that can get right up in someone's face and snap a photo (no future as a paparazi for me). So almost all of the photos that you see of people on these pages were taken from a lon distance using a telephoto lense. Even though momma seems to be staring me down--I don't think she even knew I was in the vicinity.
I shot this photo from a distance and did not hear the man play his guitar. But looking at the photo, I become quite melancholy. The man is missing his right hand--something I did not notice until I viewed the picture at home. It must be extremely difficult to make ends meet in Tortuguero with such a disability.
Locals hanging out at the village green, discussing grave matters I'm sure. Decades ago, attempts were made the clear the forests and grow plantation crops such as bananas. Timber was also harvested. The Tortuguero River and canals made it easy to move products down the coast for export. However, the climate was not exactly conducive to plantation crops.
In 1975 the National Park was formed and nowdays Tortuguero is known as a tourist attraction. The town is not exactly overrun with tourists as it is still difficult to reach since it is not connected by roads. But I would venture to say that almost every household in Tortuguero, now has some connection to the tourist trade.
What more does a boy need? I never had my own dog as a kid, but I sought out all the neighbor dogs and asked them to play. Where I grew up, most dogs were off leash and free to roam the neighborhood during the day--just like at Tortuguero. Funny to go so far away to be reminded of my own childhood days.
This kid is not locked up, he is practicing to become Costa Rica's next star goalie at the indoor football field. I don't imagine that there is a village or town in Costa Rica that does not have a football field. In Tortuguero it makes sense to put a roof over the facility--otherwise the kids would be playing their matches in mudpuddles.
Toddlers are always looking for mischief. I think that's a given, whether they live in Milwaukee, Timbuktu or Tortuguero, it matters not. Like the dogs, it seemed that the children had free run of the village.
Every dog deserves a napping spot. The hounds seemed to have free run of the village, but none seemed aggressive or threatening in any way. I imagine they help keep vermin under control and of course, they provide useful services as play companions for the villages children.
This guy came bounding out of his house and started yapping at the dog. "Woof, woof, woof." The dog quickly became frenzied and joyfully bounded around his companion and they set off down the village trail in front of me. On what errand they set out, I don't know, but both seemed happy and content with each other's company.