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 chagres national park | crocodile | pocho | costa rica | giant wave surfing video | river kayaking video | san blas sea kayaking 

December 2009

 I Trip Reports   II News  III Agenda  IV Suggestions V Picture

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I. Trip Report        

Aventuras Panama´s  Chagres Challenge, Oct 2009, with Jorge Herrera (Spanish)



More on this trip HERE

II News                                                                                      TOP

17 ft long Croac Pet (material was sent to us with out providing source)



If you thought the legend of the horse whisperer was impressive, here's an animal tale with even more bite.

Rather than trying to tame wild stallions, fearless Costa Rican fisherman Chito prefers a playful wrestle in the water with his best pal Pocho - a deadly 17ft crocodile.

The 52-year-old daredevil draws gasps of amazement from onlookers by wading chest-deep into the water, then whistling for his 980lb buddy - and giving him an affectionate hug.

Crazy Chito says: "Pocho is my best friend. This is a very dangerous routine but we have a good relationship. He will look me in the eye and not attack me. "It is too dangerous for anyone else to come in the water. It is only ever the two of us."

Chito made friends with the croc after finding him with a gunshot wound on the banks of the Central American state's Parismina river 20 years ago. He had been shot in the left eye by a cattle farmer and was close to death.But Chito enlisted the help of several pals to load the massive reptile into his boat.  He says: "When I found Pocho in the river he was dying, so I brought him into my house.

"He was very skinny, weighing only around 150lb I gave him chicken and fish and medicine for six months to help him recover. "I stayed by Pocho's side while he was ill, sleeping next to him at night. I just wanted him to feel that somebody loved him, that not all humans are bad.  "It meant a lot of sacrifice. I had to be there every day. I love all animals - especially ones that have suffered."

It took years before Chito felt that Pocho had bonded with him enough to get closer to the animal. He says: "After a decade I started to work with him. At first it was slow, slow. I played with him a bit, slowly doing more. "Then I found out that when I called his name he would come over to me."

At one point during his recovery, Chito left the croc in a lake near his house. But as he turned to walk away, to his amazement Pocho got out of the water and began to follow him home.  Chito recalls: "That convinced me the crocodile could be tame." But when he first fearlessly waded into the water with the giant reptile his family was so horrified they couldn't bear to watch. So instead, he took to splashing around with Pocho when they were asleep.

Four years ago Chito showed some of his tricks to friends, including getting the animal to close his eyes on command, and they convinced him to go public with a show.  Now he swims and plays with Pocho as well as feeding him at the lake near his home in the lowland tropical town of Sarapiqui. The odd couple have now become a major tourist attraction, with several tour operators, including Crocodile Adventures, taking visitors on touring cruises to see the pair. On the Crocodile Adventures website it describes the spectacle as: "One of the most amazing things that no cruise ship passenger will want to miss, the adventure show between the man and the crocodile."

American crocodiles, which inhabit North, Central and South America , can live to around 70 years old. It is estimated that Pocho is around 50 - almost the same age as his owner. They are also said to be less aggressive than their Nile or Australian counterparts.

Chito, whose real name is Gilberto Shedden, was given hi nickname by friends, who also call him "Tarzan Tico" - Tico being a familiar word for a Costa Rican. And he certainly plays up to the name, wearing a tattered pair of leopard-print shorts for his half-hour performances with Pocho. A keen conservationist, he also offers boat tours, where he eagerly points out a variety of wildlife. But he only charges a few dollars to watch the breathtaking crocodile show, claiming he does not want to cash in on Pocho.
He says: "He's my friend, I don't want to treat him like a slave or exploit him. "I am happy because I rescued him and he is happy with me because he has everything he needs."



III. AGENDA for December 2009                                   TOP

DATE TOUR  NOTES Price exclusive for members
offer subject to availability


Dec 21, 2009 Embera Native Village Regular price:  $ 110.00 per person

  $ 65.00 per person

Dec 22, 2009 Rio Grande White Water , upper section, in duckies

Regular price:  $ 125.00 per person


$ 75.00 per person

Meeting point: Penonome at 8:30am

Jan 21-25, 2010


100-80 Sea kayaking at  San Blas Archipelago, 4 nights  Regular price:  $ 1,350.00 per person

$ 950.00 per person

Meeting point: Albrook Airport at 5:30 am

Jan 23-25, 2010

 Sea kayaking at  San Blas Archipelago sampler, 2 nights   (adapted for only 2 nights, Days 1,4,5 of described itinerary) This trip is a shorter version of our usual trip at an incredible value

$ 550.00 per person

Meeting point: Albrook Airport at 5:30am

 For reservations please call us at Phone 260-0044,  Cel 6679-4404 or email us at . Payment is required at least a day prior tour date.

 Note:  Listed prices for above dates are good only for residents of Panama that had joined "Atrevete a Vivir !" Ezine previous to current month.  Tour participation is subject to availability and our own Terms and Conditions.

If a member is interested in a particular destination or activity we welcome suggestions. This ezine is also available to post members available preplanned trip into the outdoors. 

IV Suggestions                                                                TOP


Dream Result


This is the trailer for the full video, "Wet Dream Result," a film of vast importance to all humanity, and a tribute to those who push the limits so hard that the limits are like, "Ow! Stop pushing...

Aventuras Panama's  Resources  around 2,200 links to websites related to adventure, paddling, Panama, and the outdoors.

V Videos                                                                                          TOP

Mike Parsons (born March 3, 1965) is a surfer sponsored by the Billabong company who famously successfully surfed a 66-foot (22 meters) wave at Cortez Bank, CA in 2001, for which he was awarded $66,000, the highest prize ever awarded in the history of professional surfing. This money was awarded by the Billabong XXL competition which has run since 2001 paying tribute to the biggest waves ridden each year. This feat at Cortez Bank was popularised by the film Billabong Odyssey. Parsons is famous for a video clip of him riding a wave about 65 tall at Jaws, shot from a helicopter, that many believed was the biggest wave ever surfed. Parsons recently broke his record on January 5, 2008, at Cortez Bank, when he was photographed surfing a wave that the Billabong XXL judged to be 70+ feet, which should put him in the Guinness Book of World Records, officially, for biggest wave ever surfed. Unofficially the biggest wave ever surfed remains Ken Bradshaw's wave at Log Cabins, Oahu on January 28, 1998, at over 80 feet.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Par... (23 Sep 2008)


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  chagres national park | crocodile | pocho | costa rica | giant wave surfing video | river kayaking video  | san blas sea kayaking 


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