Published: June 15th 2012June 14th 2012
Everyone is very busy with academic and cultural activities this week and several members of the group are putting together blog entries on other topics, so I will go ahead and tell you about our weekend trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. You already saw some of the photos from the trip there and the trip back, and Leslie's entry (the one right before this one) also included some pictures from there. Really, though, none of our pictures really can convey the magnitude of the natural beauty of that area. It is like nothing any of us have ever seen before. I have Leslie's permission to use some more of her beautiful photographs (clearly marked as hers), so between her pictures and mine, I'll do my best to show you.
One of the stops on the way included the Tarcoles River, where there is an overpopulation of huge crocodiles that can be seen easily and safely from a bridge above the river. As we started to cross the bridge on foot, it rained buckets, so we couldn't spend any time looking at the crocs. I don't even know how Leslie got the shots that she did (there was SO MUCH
rain), but they are amazing. We were soaked from the warm rain for the rest of the trip to the hotel.
Saturday morning, we hiked into the park and walked for about 30 minutes while Johnny, our guide, helped us to find many of the little (and sometimes bigger) critters that inhabit the forest. In addition to many crabs and lizards and iguanas, we saw monkeys and a sloth and a variety of unusual plants and trees. When we got to the beach, we spread out our stuff under some trees and some hit the water while others relaxed. Before long, a whole bunch of white-faced monkeys could be found in the nearby trees, and we were able to see them very close-up. After leaving the park several hours later, everyone had the chance to shop for a while at the vendors' booths near the park. It was very hot by that time, so we were more than ready to go back to the hotel for hot showers and some rest time. We were quite impressed by the air conditioning at the hotel! That evening after a wonderful dinner, some chose to go out and dance and have fun
while others retired to the hotel for the evening.
On Sunday morning after breakfast, again we were free to do as we wanted. Transportation was provided for some to go to the public beach, visit the vendors, or go to church. Others relaxed by the pool at the hotel. After checking out of the hotel at noon, we had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the ocean from high above the beach. The name of the restaurant was "Salsipuedes" (which translates as "Leave if You Can.") I literally heard several members of the group making comments like "I wish we could stay here for another week" and "This place is just too beautiful to leave." After hearing those comments, I truly understood how they came up with the name of that restaurant!
There are more photos below