I actually wrote up a bucket list a while ago, and one of the items on that list is to see a sloth in the wild. Two-toed, three-toed, I'm not particular. Along with mountain gorillas, sloths are my absolute favorite animal and have been since high school. And despite having been to Central and South America a few times, I have yet to see one. They have green fur, for Chrissakes. Green. What animal moves so slow that they have mold, ok not mold, algae, growing in their fur? That is my kind of animal! No I'm kidding. I'm more like Hammy the Hamster on caffeine in Over the Hedge. But, I do seriously relate to the goofy, annoying, always misunderstood Sid the Sloth in Ice Age, which is, by the way, my all-time favorite kids' movie and a serious contender for general fave. It's so funny and the dialogue between Sid and Manny is so spot-on. And it's about evolution!
At any rate, what brought on this post in the first place is that I may get an opportunity to cross "seeing a sloth in the wild" off my bucket list. I am headed to Costa Rica! I haven't been this excited about a trip in a while. My first and only other trip there was in 1999, when I was still married, and Discovery Channel sent me to live-blog about leatherback sea turtles (which you can see here, archived at the Wayback Machine, Love & Death on Turtle Beach - I've linked to day 6 of 11 days, but it is my favorite of all the posts). After that year, my marriage sort of started the downward spiral which I won't get into here! But it was a pinnacle of my career. I loved that trip so much. I remember being so in love with the country, with walking the beaches in the pitch-dark night looking for sea turtles with a gazillion stars overhead, and the phosphorescence in the sand at Santa Rosa National Park - estrellas de arena, or stars in the sand.
So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to go again! The previous time I went to the Pacific Coast and Arenal Volcano (some of my photos here) but this time I get to go to the Caribbean coast! I can't tell you how important aquamarine waters are to my soul... ever since I first viewed that color in Australia as a college student in 1991, I have been absolutely in love with the crystal blue sea... so naturally I'm absolutely thrilled right now!
While there, I am going to cover the Planet, People, Peace conference, the 3rd annual international conference on international sustainable tourism. It will be held at Earth University in the town of Guácimo on the Caribbean coast. And after the two-day conference, I will be going to a couple of sustainable developments and ecolodges. We will be staying at the Selva Bananito - look at the photos! Doesn't it look amazing? I just read that there's no electricity there - wow! Or maybe just not for high-voltage things like hair dryers. At any rate, I will also be staying one night at the Almonds and Corals hotel located in the rainforest of the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge - looks pretty sweet! I might just not come back...
While there, I hope to also see my old pal Jason Kremkau, an amazing photographer who accompanied me to the Galapagos Islands for a story we did for E/The Environmental Magazine - Cruising the Galapagos with a Carbon-Neutral Conscience. He now lives there, just a few miles from where I'll be staying.
But back to you - what animal is on your bucket list? Any wild creature you would just love to see before you kick the bucket?