Delta 1’s phase took place in 2 locations, starting out at Vivero hatchery in Playa Hermosa and moving to Carara National Park. We arrived by bus at a spot next to the sea to set up our basha bed village among the coconuts, palm trees and crabs.
We split into 2 teams nicknamed the Tigers and the Sharks to help us deal with working shifts during the day and night. These teams worked really well for scheduling or work in the hatchery and duties around camp.
During the day, work involved digging a ditch around the hatchery to protect it from waves and helping to set up the fence that surrounded the hatchery. At night, we patrolled the beach to look for turtles and their eggs which are at risk from poachers who unfortunately still look out for gaps in the patrols and steal the eggs and nests. Us being there however massively reduced that risk.
We managed to collect many eggs and each nest averaged 100! We were also very lucky indeed to see several turtles laying nests and to release hundreds of baby tortugas – we even saw a turtle laying its eggs during the day.
In our free time we massively enjoyed paddling in the sea, learning Spanish and playing cards in this most beautiful environment.
When we moved to Carara National Park, we found the work and environment to be very different! We dug drainage ditches to improve the paths during the rainy season and beyond, and lived in the jungle. Looking around, we saw how much work Raleigh had done there – we found many bridges engraved with the Raleigh name and venturers’ names dating back to 2004. Oscar, the ranger, was very pleased with our work and gave us a presentation on the park to say thank you.
We encountered tons of wildlife, including a variety of lively monkeys and slick snakes, and even took a trip to the crocodile bridge one day.
Delta 1 have formed a great bond and are sad the phase has to end, but are excited about the next part of our adventure!
DELTA 2 – PART 2 (Playa Hermosa)
Exhausted after our jungle adventures, Playa Hermosa came as a pleasant surprise! The sun, sea and sand were life-savers. But excited as we were to relax into our new location, we were also eager to get involved in our new turtle conservation work.
The group was split into day and night shifts, beginning on the day we arrived! At 12.30am we ventured out into the dark to start ‘turtle patrol’.
Walking along the beach at night was amazing; apart from seeing the Milky Way we were able to collect hundreds of turtle eggs and spotted a ‘Lora’ turtle just as she was making her way back to the sea.
Adjusting to the day shifts was harder than becoming nocturnal! We had to swap lie-ins for getting up and ready at 5.30am. But just like the night shifts, day shift work was also very rewarding! We were able to release a batch of baby turtles into the sea, as well as working no our tans while we planted coconut palms.
We all had such an epic time at the beach that we were almost devastated to leave it. Next up: the challenge of the adventure trek!
Our time in Duchari has taught us how to handle new challenges, from the difficult trek we faced to and from Duchari, to the hard work building the school. Yet despite the hardship, we all had fun and got on really well together. We spent long days working no the school, having to dig holes for 5 days before the final foundation post arrived and the endless amounts of sawing (without a chainsaw, note Delta 4!) and hammering. Hanging around the local community added to the significance of what we were doing. Playing around with the children and having a game of football led to a magnificent opening ceremony where all the locals danced around in circles. Our great relationship with the Cabacars led to a few tears when we had to depart, and we also formed a great relationship with Delta 4 because of our proximity to them (and sharing the trek experience of course!).
When we finished the school, we couldn’t quite believe that the building we had been working on for 3 weeks was finally complete and that our time in Duchari was over. It wasn’t really until we got on the bus back to Fieldbase that we were able to achieve.
We finaly finished our school on the 19th. The locals put on a wonderful opening ceremony, including songs and prayers for us. We presented the laque and were pleasantly surprised to receive gifts in return. Coffee followed the ceremony which were all very much enjoyed.
The uphill walk home was a challenge in the heat, however, in true D4 style we annihilated the walk home and are all safely happily back and Fieldbase.
Despite the challenges we faced, we all learned how to work in a team and all had the opportunity to lead the team. Overall it was a thoroughly rewarding experience.