The trip started with Dago handing me a small yellow fruit that had fallen on the ground. "Good fruit" he says, "tastes like cheese." I'm thinking, I really like cheese and pop it into my mouth. The first bite was pretty good, but then it had a horrid aftertaste. My Nanzi fruit ended up on the ground of the parking lot.
So we are handed walking sticks after paying the entrance fee and begin our hike. Caleb really wanted to find frogs this time and Dago knows this, so he is constantly stopping and searching around the plants, under leaves and dead fall. We stopped for a bit and Dago told us all about leaf cutter ants showing us a humongous ant hill. The queens are apparently almost three inches long! After this we hike up stairs - I think Aiden counted 140 altogether. We crossed a few suspension bridges that were wobbly and make of metal grating.
The views were beautiful! Waterfalls and streams flowed below us and the canopy of the trees were at eye level. We spotted a few birds - one with red eyes, but I can't remember the name of it - and some hummingbirds. We saw a few anoles of different colours and then came out to a pool in a river with a short waterfall. Jim and Caleb immediately threw off their shirts and jumped into the cool water.
However, this was not the warm beach water that I had been used to and declined a swim until further on. After watching the boys swim for a while, we carried on with our hike. Dago led us across a bridge to the "natural shower" and here we all proceeded to get wet!
Down below the falls we ate burritos and Caleb found numerous "zebra legged" frogs. I can't find any info on these frogs, but they were really tiny with striped legs.
After coffee we continued on with the hike. We met up with a park maintenance worker who pointed out a baby eyelash viper snake. Through translations with Dago we learned that the worker was recently bitten by a viper, needing hospitalization and so he was putting a label close to the snake to show the danger. I have no idea how the snake stays near the sign. It must be akin to the deer crossing signs in Banff where the deer just naturally know where to cross!
Dago continued to search for frogs for Caleb. We must have looked for close to an hour in this last ditch effort before we left the park. I found a toad - apparently it releases a white poisonous substance - and I found some interesting plants here. The maintenance worker joined in the search and eventually brought over some frogs he called "rain frogs".
He also found a cool looking anole with a yellow throat that he pulled at in our benefit.
I felt sorry for the little creature! So Caleb did end up finding a few frogs in the wild.
Our last days in Manuel Antonio were spent eating at "Pirate Sushi" and playing at the beach! On our last trek down the hill to the beach we were treated to an amazing show by a three toed sloth. We stood and watched him work his way down branches, up the trunk and maneuver himself over to a neighbouring tree. He was absolutely beautiful!
On our last morning as we wondered why our villa was named Villa Titi in honour of the Titi squirrel monkeys we didn't see the whole time we were there - lo and behold a troop of Titis wandered through!
They were curious little monkeys who came fearlessly close, probably looking for handouts. We watched them for quite a while, chattering to each other while the Howler monkeys howled in the distance until our ride showed up to take us into the mountains of Monteverde.
We hired our amazing guide Dago to take us to Rainmaker - a private nature reserve about 45 minutes outside Quepos. We asked him to bring his sister along and some of her yummy burritos! So at 6am on Monday morning, Dago and his sister picked us up at Villa Titi and took us to Rainmaker. We passed many palm plantations along the way and workers collecting the fruit for making palm oil. They were using carts and oxen - no tractors in sight!