February 19-20, 2008
Corcovado National Park Trek Day 3
This morning we walked with Martin and Helen, a German and British couple who recently had been spending most of their time living and working tourism and nature conservation in various parts of Central America. The walk out of the park had a few more knee-deep river crossings, but otherwise was uneventful. We eventually ended up on a road and took the opportunity to get a ride the rest of the way back to Puerto Jimenez. The weather was cooler but with constant rain, and I needed a whole day just to clean and dry out all of my stuff.
For me, Corcovado National Park was unspoiled and full of wildlife, but it still was lacking something intangible. I think if I had chosen to travel through Central America at the beginning of my trip instead of the end, I would have viewed it differently. After all, how could a tapir in Corcovado get my heart pounding after coming face to face with a puma in Noel Kempff Mercado in Bolivia and a jaguar near Blanche Marie Falls in Suriname? How could the antenna-laden view atop the 3475 meter Baru Volcano in Panama be awe-inspiring when I had already reached the 6000 meter summits of the Cordillera Real in Bolivia? How could seeing some coral and a single stingray while diving at Bocas del Toro, Panama dazzle my eyes when I had already swum with dozens of sea lions and fifty eagle rays in the Galapagos? And how could Panama City's ten-minute parade of an excuse for Carnaval quench my thirst when I had witnessed the massive acts of hedonism in Brazil and Argentina in previous years? One of the downsides of travel is that it becomes increasingly difficult to be impressed the more places you go.