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Published: November 30th 2013
Looking for fish
We traveled from Manuel Antonio to San Jose and spent a couple of nights in the capital. The highlight was the pre-columbian gold museum. The exhibition was huge and displayed in a purpose built bank basements safe, so it was interesting just walking through the giant doors (imagining we were in the Thomas Crown Affair or Oceans 11 or 12). The gold was so intricate in its design from tiny pieces to huge ornaments and all produced from pouring molten gold into molds. They had examples of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial pieces and an explanation of how they melted the gold with just wood for fuel. We enjoyed our short stay in the capital, it doesn't have the beautiful old buildings or character of some of the other places we have visited, but it is fairly easy to get around and has some nice parks and gardens. The way the transport network is organised in Costa Rica you have to pass through San Jose at some point so best to make the most of it.
Next stop was Manzanillo on the south Caribbean coast, not far from the Panama boarder. This is tropical paradise as shown in the bounty adverts! Gold
In the reserve
sand, palm trees overhanging crystal water, coconuts everywhere, jungle meeting the sand and reefs just a few meters off shore for easy snorkling, we couldn't ask for more.
The nature reserve here isn't run by the government so it is free to enter and explore. An easy to follow trail follows the coast winding into the forest and out to the most beautiful sea views, so you can wildlife watch without being too disappointed if you don't see too much as the views are so stunning, it makes you feel relaxed just being there. Mark spent many early mornings walking through the reserve looking for fishing spots. One morning he came across a monkey looking down at him, "that's nice" he thought until he walked under the monkey and ended up with monkey poo on his shoulder! Spent the rest of that fishing session smelling like fermenting fruit!
We went swimming every day in the hottest sea we have ever experienced, well I say swimming it was actually too hot to swim, we just bobbed around enjoying the tranquility. Manzanillo is a very small and friendly town with only about 250 people permanently living there. Most tourists stay
Last catch of the trip, ahhhhh
at the larger towns up the coast and only catch the bus down to visit the beach and reserve, so many times we felt like we had the beach to ourselves.
This was just what we wanted for our last destination. That's right the journey is over. We feel incredibly lucky and I'm sure you will agree we have seen an amazing range of countries, landscapes, wildlife and people along the way. Are we sad to be heading home? Not really, we both just feel really happy that we achieved our plan, and I am ready for a normal cup of tea and some marmite on toast!
Last thing to say is thanks for reading the blogs, hope you've enjoyed them as much as I've enjoyed writing them.
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