Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Drake Bay Rookie

The second I arrived at Drake Bay Backpackers I instantly felt welcome by all the volunteers as they played card games, music and learned about each others home countries in their spare time. It was an incredible scene and a fantastic way to start my trip as unlike many of the other volunteers here, this is my first travelling experience. I was extremely nervous at first as I didn't know what to expect from the local culture, people and environment but I can happily say that I can think of no better way to introduce yourself to backpacking. Being surrounded by people from all over the globe with vast knowledge and tales of travelling, I quickly settled into the way of life over here.

I arrived in Drake Bay expecting to be working with the local community and turtles 24/7 due to the nature of the program, but quickly realized its so much more than that. At the hostel you spend every minute of every day alongside other people with similar passions and consequently develop very close relationships with interesting people from all over the world who make every day even better as you always have someone to share all the incredible moments with. I spent my first week in Rio Oro Beach where most of the work is done at night time when the turtles come on to nest, leaving 12 hours of glorious sunshine to take part in a huge range of activities to do. In the space of 6 days we went horse riding, fishing, climbed waterfalls, hiked through the jungle, swam and body-boarded the 6ft pacific waves, learnt how to lasso cattle on the local ranch, went to see live music at the local bar and of course, every evening we helped collect data on countless turtles. Being able to head back to camp after all these mind blowing experiences and share stories with fellow backpackers made every day and night that little bit more special.

Of course if you come to Drake Bay with an intention of seeing as many turtles as possible or helping out in the local community everyday then that would be encouraged, but for me the one thing that is left out in the information sheets is just how welcoming and friendly the volunteers are here and I strongly believe that is what I will remember most of all about this place. 

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