In search of bigger Animals!

Published: July 30th 2012
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Wheres me monkey?

Worked out that today was Saturday and we wanted to see some animals a bit bigger than frogs and parrots. Further down the coast is the Park National Manuel Antonio it's a bit of a drive about 50 miles each way but we think it will be worth it. Particulalry as we'll see lots of coastline as well.

Popped in the pool before breakfast to cool down a bit even though it was actually reasonably pleasant – as soon as I got in the pool the dawn chorus of Scarlett Macaws passed over and landed in the tree outside. Got some good pictures – at one point must have been 10+ in the tree!

Had a good breakfast – Ramon arrived to turn on the pool filters and we got away not long after 9 am. Nice drive down the Pacific Coast road. As we got nearer to Quepos the road is straight for miles through kilometre after kilometre of Palm Trees being used to produce Palm Oil. We saw the nuts being harvested and the Palm Oil factory.

Then we continued to drive to the National Park. Got stopped by the local tourist police who wanted to see my passport – I hadn't done anything wrong I think they were just trying to record who was going into the park. We stopped at the “official” car park just outside – though I'm sure we could get closer – but the park rangers weren't letting us. So we unpacked what we needed and headed to the park.

It was hot, hot hot again and I was completely sweating before we got to the Park entrance. Cost $10 each to get in and we ignored the requests to go in with a ranger as we could see the animals for ourselves. On the trail to the beach we saw big Spiders, a snake, a Sloth, racoons and numerous frogs and lizards.

Arrived at the beach – and it really is a lovely beach. Lovely sand, warm water and we were in... Spent time in the water cooling down. Some monster ants near our bags hope the pictures come out – they were about 2 cm long each. Wouldn't want to get bitten by one of them!

Once cool it was back up the hill and back towards the car. Catherine's foot was hurting so Eleanor and I went on ahead to get the car – but by the time we'd got the car and headed back they were out of the park and coming towards us.

It was raining and raining so we were all really wet and decided to find somewhere to eat with Internet. Found a great place but no Internet – but one of Oliver Norths planes at the front. Brought me back to the early 80's... Eventually found a great place with Internet and good food plus great views – again got some good pictures. Uploaded a blog and checked Facebook and emails.

Then we drove back to Tarcoles – stopped off to pick-up a cooked chicken and some fresh bread – lovely. As we arrived back Patri was at the house – still no Internet but they are trying very hard to fix it. Interestingly the solid DSL light on the router is now out – DSL – they think the problem is at their end.

Swimming, chicken and Olympics in that order...

Bed calls.

Sunday Sunday

Our first Sunday in Costa Rica – so we thought we'd have a quietish day. Got up and had a swim before breakfast and then had breakfast outside on the Lanai. Very peaceful – it had obviously rained a lot during the night as a number of leaves had come down from the trees surrounding the pool.

As it was Sunday we thought we'd have a walk round the village so we headed right out of the house and did a complete loop of the village – it was getting a bit warmer but the locals were playing Sunday morning football – interestingly we walked along the beach and then cut across at which point a cow took a good look at Eleanor and she eyed up the cow! Didn't need a swim when we got back we just picked up what we needed and got in the air conditioned car.

We had seen an advert for NeoFauna on the way back home last night and decided to visit. They have butterflies, a Septanarium and some reptiles. Drove back towards Jaco and headed upto the location. Seemed to be at the back end of the village – passed a number of churches which seemed to have packed audiences.

Arrived at NeoFauna and went in – we seemed to be the only ones there and the guy wanted to charge $15 each – but I agreed on $60 and we all went in. The guide was very knowledgeable and explained all the different butterflies and pupae. We kept trying to get a picture of the giant blue ones but they wouldn't settle anywhere! Spent quite a time in the Butterfly aviary and then went into the frog area. Not a good place to be if you don't like frogs! Fine for us though.Our guides English was really good but every now and again he'd go “Rivet” , “Rivet” like a frog – it wasn't until a little later that I worked out he was actually saying “Repeat, Repeat”.

After the frogs we went passed a monkey and to the turtles – which he kindly got out for us and let us handle - including a snapping turtle which has an expression you have to see to believe�

Then onto the snakes and frogs – poison dart frogs including one that 1 drop of poison would kill about 100 people – the most toxic animal in the world. Finally the snakes and we were allowed to handle a cousin of the Boa - very nice. Interesting pictures.

We then headed down to Playa Hermanda just past Jaco to see if we could find somewhere to eat. The Backyard which is right on the beach was very nice – parked outside went in and did a bit of WiFi. Food was good – I had Burritos (no not a donkey) and everyone else had really nice Burgers. My Burrito was gorgeous. Managed to Foursquare The Backyard which was good.

We drove back to the house – but stopped at a big supermarket and also starting looking at souvenirs – lots of frogs out prepared people (croak).

Once back at the house – time to relax, swim, and watch a bit more of the Olympics.

We actually cooked today as well!

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