Welcome to the Monkey House (and the lizard beach)

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Jan 11, 2005

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Visit Klenske, Ink.

We are staying at La Mariposa hotel (the butterfly), which is perched on a cliff overlooking the pacific ocean and manuel antonio national park. The hotel is gorgeous, mostly due to the scenery and the vistas. There´s a swimming pool and two swim up bars, and an open air restaurant, and our room has a nice porch where we can get up in the morning (we´re actually getting up at 6am) and listen to the howler monkeys and see a toucan or so. (at night we also get to watch the lizards run around our window)

Our first full day here we had an early morning guided tour of the park. The park is full of rainforest which run up to numerous secluded beaches. The hike lasted around four hours and our guide, alberto, was doing it since 1993 and grew up in the area. It´s amazing what you can see when you hire a guide. At first we saw the usual birds and various lizards (including a jesus lizard, which can run on water). We also agouti, a pig-rodent like thing. The highlight was when we walked into the actual forest and saw a whole clan of white faced monkeys. They were jumping over our heads, throwing fruit, and wrestling around. We then were lucky to see a group of titi (squirrel) monkeys, which are endangered and are rare to see. Finally we were greeted by a curious iguana on the beach and saw a tucan on our way out.

We spent the rest of the day in the park, swimming in the ocean and laying on the beach. We met a couple from New York, Seth and Denise, who are on the honeymoon. We ate lunch with them by the beach and then spent the day with them. The beaches at the park are stunning, with bright blue water and little islands scattered about. The water is also extremely warm, and kara kind of got in, after I dragged her in. Otherwise she stayed close to shore.

We came back to the hotel for the sunset and drinks at the sunset bar, and then went out to dinner with seth and denise at the rico tico tex-mex restaurant, at the hotel si como no. It was a good time, and good food. We even got to watch them serve a desert that involves them turning of the lights, playing ´come mister tally man´ and pouring liquid fire over the table.

Our second day, we decided to do a zip-line canopy tour since we didn´t make the one in monteverde. I´m glad we did, since it was unique and fun. What it consist of is putting on a harness, climbing up into the forest canopy, and traveling from tree to tree via zip lines. Some of the cables were 380 meteres long. Kara was scared, like usual, but had a good time, and looked relaxed in the pictures (don´t you agree?). We also got into a part of the forest that was inhabited by a group of titi monkeys (and a falcon that was hunting them). It was fun watching them watch us, and seeing them show off by running across the cables without harnesses. We even got to see a baby riding on his mamas back.

The afternoon was once again spent in the park and the beach. Not much new, besides swimming and relaxing, and watching lizards claim their territory (maude, our old iguana, would have never made it here). There was one lizard that claimed his log in the sun, and everytime the small lizard came near, the large one would run after him, chase him away, and then bob its head up and down. As we were reading, we were also approached by a curious lizard from our otherside, who slowly approached us and then just sat and watched us. We also enjoyed watching some monkeys play by the beach and wrestle with each other.

Spent the evening again watching the sunset at the hotel, which have to be the most beautiful we´ve seen (dennis, you´d like the ones here). Now we´re here typing this, and then going to dinner with seth and denise. Hope you´re all enjoying the snow you´re getting in Iowa! We´re thinking of you here in the heat and sun!!
love nick and kara

Also, we´ll be posting more pictures in the previous entries in the next couple of days, so check for those.

Becoming a Travel Writer with Klenske, Ink.
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