While we were staying at La Caracola, there was a period of a few days where a mom and baby sloth had set up shop in one of the trees.
There were often sloths while we were out walking (and, of course, wild monkeys), but usually they were high up in the tree, or by the road and hard to see. There were a few times where we got close to sloths while walking on the beach with no camera or phone, as well. But this mom sloth was setting its baby free, and I think to do that they leave the baby alone when they go down the tree to poop.
That's our best guess about why this sloth was on the ground for so long. They usually only go down to poop. There were also ants all over it and it didn't seem to care. But we were able to get lots of pictures, and hold his little sloth hand.
Here he is "just hanging around"
Friends and fun: We were walking along the beach one day, cracking a coconut we found on the ground by throwing it repeatedly against a rock, when a dog came and starting eating it. Hey, dog! That's our coconut! The dog's owner came up and started giving us coconut tips. We chatted quite a bit and then this other guy, who is listening to a podcast comes walking up. We start talking and end up on the topic of ayahausca (aya) ceremonies, which are a staple mystical experience of people who travel to Central America. We end up getting the shamans contact info from the second guy, who we find out is a twenty-something American who managed to invest in a little hostel cluster nearby that we had recently wandered through. The first guy, we'll call him Jeff, is from NY but has been living in Central America for about 7 years. He's made friends with lots of the tribe members and help volunteer at a festival called Tribal Gathering, where several dozens of tribes come together in a festival that's only accessible by boat during certain times of the year. He ended up staying with us for a few days and we also found out he lived with Amazon tribes and helped them construct a special type of buildings and told us a lot about their culture (such as the men getting status by creating permanent scars with whips and brutal wrestling matches). As if this guy wasn't interesting enough, he also biked across the entire country of Costa Rica over a few weeks of determination, often turning down ride offers. Additionally, he wanted to do the aya ceremony, too.
Daniel and Jeff went on a trip to a local permaculture farm called Punta Mona, only accessible by boat. It's a library of rare and exotic medicinal and nutritional plants founded by a Miami native who was inspired when he witnessed from a tourist helicopter indigenous children getting sprayed from above by Chaquita banana crop dusters. We later met the founder as he was a speaker at Envision! Here are some pictures of the natural dwelling structures created there, and a snake.
Shaman: We had seen flyers for shamanic healing rituals in town and many were quite expensive. There was the BriBri tribe close by that had an ancestral shaman, and there was a Frenchman who had moved to Punta Mona and studied under the shaman for many years before attaining shaman status. This includes learning the cultivation and preparation methods of the medicine and gaining a great knowledge of its powers. Then, he had bought some land and started a farm full of more medicinal plants.
We had also spoken with the woman at the organic store about aya experiences and she had recommended the same guy. So we got in touch and set a time. He would have between two and ten people normally, and at this time there were four of us. Me, Daniel, Jeff, and another friend Nicolette, a very nice British singer. We took a taxi to the front of the farm and were met at the gate. We started walking through and were introduced to many medicinal plants and new yummy fruits along the way. We had been instructing to fast as much as possible in the days leading up and to wear comfortable, preferably white, clothing. I won't say much about the actual experience because its up to each person to go into such a thing with no expectations. I will say it was a very nice night, spent outside in the jungle, and if anything left me with a deep sense of calm.