Quiero ver los monos!!
Trip Start Jan 07, 2011
9Trip End Jun 15, 2011
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Victor was driving us from San Jose to Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park. This is a beautiful beach area with the Pacific Ocean on one side and a National Park full of wildlife on the other side. While heading there, we were grasping the craziness of our relationship and letting the idea settle that we were in Costa Rica together. Of course, we were also chatting with Victor about the country and the places that we would be seeing in the next week. Halfway there we stopped at this bridge that is a small tourist attraction, which aparently is a home for alligators
Once we checked into our hotel, we said thank you/goodbye to Victor and he headed back to San Jose. From this moment on, Jane and I were pretty much together and alone for the next 9 days. We really didn't leave each other's side, except for when I had to go to class. Just the two of us being together, traveling together, and getting to know each other was really nice. We caught the sunset and walked around a couple of shops before being hungry enough for some dinner across the street from our hotel. We sat down with a couple from Israel, who had been traveling for a few weeks at that point and had already spent ample time in Manuel Antonio. So, they were a great source of information for us. They had told us to get a tour guide for the National Park, which was a great piece of advice because you see things that you would never be able to spot on your own. They told us to find the beach in the National Park because it was like a lagoon and very remote. They had videos of monkeys around their hotel and videos of whales and dolphins from an excursion close to domincal. This was getting me even more excited for the rest of the weekend. I was really looking forward to seeing and playing with some monkees!
In the morning, Jane and I woke up to a wonderfully fresh continental breakfast at our hotel
Jane was laying out and reading while I was working hard on my sandpit. I was sweating profusely. Its such hard work to dig up sand in the hot sun!! Luckily, when the time was right, Butch came by and I ordered the first round beers. While working on the sandpit, a little boy wanted to help me. So he jumped in the hole and helped out for a bit, then we proceeded to have a sand fight! He was about 8 years old, so about 1 year older than me. Being all sandy/sweaty, it was time for Jane and I to jump in the water
The next morning we were up early in order to enjoy another fantastic breakfast and make it to Manual Antonio National Park by 10. We were waiting outside the gate of the park when a man came up to us and asked us if we wanted a guided tour. I jumped on the opportunity and was pleased with the outcome. It ended up costing us $30 a person for entrance into the park and pretty much a personal tour (we were with one other couple from Canada). This was exactly what we wanted to do and it was about a 60% discount! Our tour guide was awesome! One of the first things I said to him was "Queremos ver los monos!!" He showed us orange crabs crawling around, toucans chilling in the trees, sloths being lazy, bats sleeping, other birds, a herd of ducks in the distance, and of course MONKEES!!
The most important thing for me was to see some monkeys and we saw a ton of them. I took a bunch of pictures and videos... go check them out!! It was an indescribable experience... We saw howler monkeys, white face monkeys, and squirrel monkeys!!! We were so close to the white face monkeys that I could reach out and grab them if they wouldn't run away. I don't know if Jane was up for trying to catch one of the monkeys. As for me, I wanted to grab one and play with it for at least an hour. Taking it home would have been an adventure too, but I was informed that they are quite destructive animals. The white face monkeys were hanging out next to the beach close to people's stuff. They only went after things that interested them such as anything that resembled food. One monkey was eating some crackers that he found. Another monkey was eating an entire mango that he snatched from someone. The national park security guy blew his whistle when he saw the monkees eating food because people were not supposed to feed the monkeys. The people didn't feed them, but it is their fault for leaving the food out for the monkeys to grab
Before we went back for some more monkey action, Jane and I chilled on the beach for a couple hours. This was the lagoon beach that the Israeli couple had recommended to us. We were pretty much by ourselves on the beach, other than people off in the distance and a few people that had walked by. We enjoyed the peaceful combination of the sand, water, and the animals. I had field day with my camera and the lizards on the beach. I captured 5 different lizards (some missing their tails) on my camera running around the beach. I was attempting to capture the lizards from all different angles. My favorite is the one with the lizard running away with the ocean in the background. When I had finished playing with the lizards, Jane and I were about ready to head back over to the monkeys. We seemed to be full of fantastic ideas on this day because when we went back I made the best monkey video of the weekend
We were back on beach where we saw the monkeys before, but they weren't there... Jane told me she needed to go to the bathroom and on the way to find the bathroom we found more monkeys. Thank you Jane!! At first, there was only one. Then there were two! And then we finally spotted a crowd of about 10 monkeys messing around, wrestling, chasing each other, rough housing, and doing it! I was able to get a video of all of this stuff... THIS YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY CHECK OUT!! I was videotaping these monkeys from a distance ranging about 6 ft to 30 ft. It was incredible! I really wish I could have played with these monkeys, but I didn't know if they were as friendly as they looked. After I got my monkey fix, I joined Jane on the beach where I continued to take pictures, but of hermit crabs. My camera was able to zoom in and get some cool detail of the crabs, which made these pictures really interesting to me. The park was closing at four oclock, so we jumped in the water and enjoyed the remaining time there. Leaving the park was interesting because the tide had come up where people exited the park. There was a boat service to take people to the other side, or you could walk through stomach/chest deep water. We walked through the water of course!!
Jane and I went looking for some margaritas and we found a place that was doing 2 for 1! Perfecto! We enjoyed a couple rounds and then grabbed a beer to go, so that we could catch the sunset