So, when I first signed up for the Avian Biology Maymester in Costa Rica, I thought that the Poultry Science Department was going to have us out in the middle of the jungle of Costa Rica. I was convinced that we would be spending the entire 3 weeks looking for birds in remote locations that not even the bus could take us to. I knew for certain that I would be sleeping in a tent in the middle of a non-stop rain storm and that I would eventually have to fill my water bottle up with water from the stream or use the rain water. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
We never had to sleep in tents nor did we have to band together to build a little rinky-dink fishing pole. We stayed in pretty nice places and not once did I have to gather water from a stream or from the rain water. In all actuality, it rained less than I thought it would. We were in Costa Rica during the traditional rainy season and in past years it has rained the entire time that the students were there, but this year it was more humid than anything else. I think it may have rained 4 times during our stay in the country, so that wasn’t bad.
Also, the places that we stayed ended up being less remote than I thought they would be. We stayed in alot of places that had alot of traffic from people wanting to see all the beautiful wildlife that the country had to offer. There were also two nights where we stayed in very touristy, resort style hotels.
All in all, the closest we came to actually camping was more like extreme backpacking. There were days that we would hike around looking for birds for a majority of the day. There were days that we would actually be hiking for about 10 hours a day, and some were longer if a night hike or early morning hike was added on for that day. Although the hikes were typically challenging, they were still fun.