My last visit to Piedras Blancas was really fun; I arrived with Jo and Tanya who then took one of the project managers to Panama for a visa border run, so I had an extra day to spend with the group.
After wading that same river another 20 times to the rangers station, seeing a tortoise, getting lost and arriving a sweaty mess we had a chilled afternoon. The day after was a day off so I was lucky and got to spend the day talking to everyone and swimming in the river. It was so hot and humid, and ironically we had to make christmas decorations which felt bizarre as we sweltered in the heat.
On the third day we woke at 5am for a quick breakfast of porridge and got ready for the daunting journey ahead. I knew what I was in for but the walk was even worse than the previous time, as they had gone a further kilometre so that made the full walk around 10km in what felt like 100% humidity, mostly uphill on slippery clay whilst lugging 10kg of kit. It was torture and I don’t know how they did that everyday as I had to muster all my mental and physical strength to make it back. I remember taking a freezing cold shower and crouching on the floor as I didnt have the energy to stand up after that. I was also totally dehydrated which was my fault as I only brought 1 litre of water for 8 hours of work. The rest of the day was fairly relaxed, and ended with a bonfire and gallo pinto with plantains for dinner which the rangers had cooked for us. I always had the most fun at Piedras Blancas, despite the gruelling walk, a combination of fun people and being completely isolated in nature.