In the past I’ve never understood the whole obsession with the sloth. In reality its a slow moving, creepy, beady eyed animal, with what looks like green, greasy hair. You always come across videos of them on Facebook and admittedly the babies are somewhat adorable but the adults are weird. But people worship them like gods.
What people do say is that you haven’t been to Costa Rica unless you’ve seen a sloth. So even though they freak me out to the point of having a nightmare where one slowly rose from the end of my bed and crawled over my sheets with those long claws that I woke up in a sweat, I had to see one.
This was in Monterverde, Cosa Rica and at sunset our whole group set out to the nature reserve. We met out tour guide who was rather interesting. He reminded me of an older aborigine version of Steve Irwin with plenty of enthusiasm with numerous jokes spouting out. Although I asked him if sloths make a noise which apparently they don’t but David Attenborough said they did on Planet Earth, so now what am I meant to believe. And this whole time I was jumping on my best friend Katie’s bed to wake her up in the morning with a long, high pitched noise that I thought sloths made. I’ve been made a fool of.
Anyway we grabbed our torches and headed out onto the night walk. Safe to say I get slightly scared of the dark and by this I mean I used to put my covers over my face until I was 17 because I was terrified something would be watching me. I’d like to say I I’ve grown up a little bit since then but yet I still couldn’t hack walking at the back of the group. I kept trying to move towards the centre of everyone but I think the others had this intention too.
It was extremely fun walking through the undergrowth shining our lights into the tree’s in the hope of finding something ourselves but our old and wise tour guide would literally turn on his torch into the direct spot of an animal. May it be a toucan, lizard, or a Green Tree pit viper that he said could kill you within so many hours. GREAT I LOVE BEING SO CLOSE TO IT NOW. We walked into another group all huddled around a scorpion with the poor thing scuttling away for dear life. We may have also seen a stick insect which I got way too excited for (background: I ended up having over 200 Indian stick insects when I was younger. Its not my fault they’re asexual and lay eggs like there’s no end). When I was young i’d always wanted a tarantula too so when he shined a light in its hole and you see the giant fangs and orange strips my heart lept. For me, the tour guide poked a stick in so we could watch it attack which is when Lee (my friend) and I acted like kids at a birthday party.
After 2 hours of wondering around finding everything but a sloth, our tour guide finally go the call on his walkie talkie. Someone had spotted one. I can vision us all now legging it through the pitch black forest then making sure we hadn’t left anyone behind. I was smacking into branches, tripping, getting whipped by leaves (call me calamity Jane) until we finally came to the open space with all the other groups on a tour. As you looked into the shining path of light into the trees you saw its beady little eyes and face, with it slowly (and I do mean slow) moving through the branches. The poor thing probably just wanted to eat and sleep, sounds rather like me having said that. But it was incredible to see and after standing there and staring at it for probably a good half an hour we had to head back.
Now I thought this would be the one and only time I would ever get to see a sloth in my life because of how long it took to find one and how elusive and quiet they are. Oh no. Not in bloody Manuel Antonnio. We started our walk through the forest in daylight and about 5 minutes in OH WHAT DO YOU KNOW there’s a sloth. Then as we get to the beach there’s another one above the toilet cubicle. They’re obviously not shy over there.
But anyway all complaints of sloth sight seeing aside, it was amazing to have that night walk and i’ll never forget the thrill and anticipation of finding the sloth. It was definitely worth it.