Monkeying around

So, we are here in Costa Rica and I, Alice, am literally monkeying around. We spent our first ten days or so here looking at houses to rent from November to September, surfed every day and got to meet people in the community, get our bearings, sampled the local cuisine in Guiones and Nosara where we will be living this winter. Ross is shadowing the other surf coaches to learn the ropes here at Surf Simply, you can check out the video of his first week with customers here. I have been out and about looking for work in the area, there are a couple of options lined up for the winter season but for now am getting my pocket money through tips working in a couple of local bars and restaurants.

I don’t often campaign for wildlife specifically (with an exception of the marine life campaigns through Surfers Against Sewage) though like many, I am always disturbed to see polar bears starved to death through lack of ice to hunt on, or dolphins, whales and sharks killed for their fins, teeth, meat or oil. The reason I don’t tend to shout about that stuff is because I honestly just don’t know where to start, and there are so many campaigns to support. However this time I am directly affected by what is happening here in the jungle on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Central America, so I feel the need to share with you all what is going down.

‘Monkeying around’ you say… I have been volunteering at the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre a few times a week. It is a twenty five minute run up some higgledy piggledy steep steps into the jungle and along a dirt track to the top of the hill. By the time I get there I am drenched in sweat as it is 30˚c outside. It’s a fun way to wake up at six in the morning – that’s for sure. Straight into work; I chop lettuce, mangos and cook sweet potatoes, wash out the kennels and put the laundry out to dry. Sometimes if I am lucky I get to hang out with the baby monkeys (the size of an orange) in the sun so they can get some fresh air. They climb up your arm or leg to sit on your head or the back of your neck which makes me laugh. The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre has taken in over 80 monkeys this season – when I say ‘wildlife’, it is pretty much just the monkeys that they care for. The monkeys are found crying on the road side or in the jungle because they have been electrocuted. You see what is happening in Nosara is new properties are being built, the area is becoming a popular tourist town, the jungle trees are being torn down, and replaced with power cables laced in and out of the mango trees. Mr/Mrs Monkey swings along with family in tow to get some fresh mangos for breakfast and bzzzz zap fiissss. They get electrocuted. Some die straight away and others loose limbs, tails and family. Their first stop is the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre where they are rehabilitated before going on to SEBU the half way house, and then are hopefully released back into the wild.

The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre are in need of old towels, unwanted bed sheets and antibacterial cream, so if you are visiting Nosara then save space for a towel or two in your suitcase. And of course, they are looking always in need of new equipment so donations on their website are always appreciated, to donate just click here http://nosarawildlife.com/donate-now/

To find out more visit their website http://nosarawildlife.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nosara.Wildlife

Monkey photos by the talented Laura Florence http://lauraflorence.com

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What’s in Ross’ panniers…

Alice had a top 37 things in her pannier, I have a top 11 in order of most importance. You may notice there’s a lot of things that go in my belly, it’s hungry work this cycling lark.

1) Welsh Flag – Always representing! I have a Welsh dragon pair of boxers too, and if enough women (or men) like this post I’ll post a picture of me in them 😉

2) Lager – After six hours in the saddle, one of these little buggers caressing your dry throat is a almost as good as a thigh/arse massage.

3) Banana – If my mam were here she’d say “you’ll end up looking like a banana if you eat any more of those” But she also used to say my eyes would go square from watching to much TV, so I’m gonna keep at em.

4) Merino underwear by Finisterre – Lightweight, super comfy, I’ve actually ridden in them for a few days straight and they don’t smell, honest, ask Alice.

5) Coffee – Eye opening stuff! Black, two sugars (level teaspoon) in my own man cup is the perfect start to the day. I’m positive it’s helping me get up some of these hills.

6) Sunnies – Not one bug in the eye yet!

7) Head torch (Bear spotter) – I’ve scrambled round the tent on many spooky night looking for this bad boy to check out the noise outside. No bears yet though. It also helps with evening reading and doing other things in the dark.

8) Pioneer Mix – Man I go through some of these. Feels like I’ve got nuts in my mouth all day;) waahaay… Very nutritious I’ll have you know.

9) Finisterre Jacket – Early morning descents have been exhilarating and comfortable, campfires have been a joy and it’s a bloody awesome pillow.

10) Sharkies – Organic all natural energy sweets that remind me of one of my best mates cos he’s got an unhealthy love for the men in grey suits.

11) It’s low on the list because it hasn’t been super hot yet but I know it’s gonna save my forehead real soon. Smells like coconut.