No paradise found.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, December 16, 2004

It's like a cheesy Hollywood movie. I have just arrived in beautiful Manuel Antonio with it's stunning beaches, where big surf crash in from the Pacific ocean. I'm walking down the beach in an incredible fiery orange sunset, when I spot Gabriella, the tanned Swedish babe, running towards me (in slow motion of course) to give me a great welcome hug. But there's no romance hanging in the breezy air, she is just a very nice and friendly girl. Well, we actually arranged to meet so we could celebrate her last day here, before she must go back to San Jose in order to fly home to Sweden.

On my first day here I believe I may have found paradise, but later on I decide it's not. I guess it may have been just about perfect a few years ago. But when you are perfect, it's difficult to stay that way. There's too many tourists here now, and tiny Manuel Antonio National Park, just next to the small village with the same name, seems to struggle a bit with the constant flow of them. The park is actually closed on Mondays to give the animals a rest. They also have a quota on the number of visitors that can enter the park on a given day. It can be seen that some of the mammals are accustomed to all the people visiting, and some of the monkeys can be quite aggressive as they have been hand fed by stupid and ignorant tourists. No matter what, it is a beautiful spot.

Gabriella's leaving party is also a success, as we all get pretty much drunk and end up dancing to cheesy old tunes. And so the days go by, sunbathing, boogie boarding, walking in the rainforest, spotting animals. All mixed with a cold beer or two.

And I will continue to look for the elusive paradise. Next up is Puerto Jimenez and Corcovado National Park in the far South-West. It's probably not paradise, but I still have high hopes for the place.
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