Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Honeymoon - Day 24 - Manuel Antonio National Park & Transfer to San Jose

After such a wonderful day relaxing and seeing all the wildlife at our resort I was almost tempted to not get up early and go see Manuel Antonio National Park but I reminded myself I may only be here once so I urged myself out of bed without waking Emily and headed off at 6am.  It was worth the effort as I saw lots of wildlife in the park and some beautiful beaches.  I even arrived back at the resort with enough time to relax one more time at the beach with Emily before we had to pack up and head to San Jose for our return flight the next day.  Click the title to read on...

Today I woke up super early at 6am to walk to Manuel Antonio Park.  By this time I had guessed that I probably wouldn't see too many more animals than were at our resort but I wanted to at least walk the trails since we are here anyway.  Halfway to town the local bus picked me up to save me the walk and I was able to buy my $10 ticket and enter the park as it opened at 7am, with a lot of other people (mostly older folks it seemed).  I spent the next 2.5 hours quickly walking all the trails that I could see in the small park.  I heard plenty of howler monkeys, saw a bunch of capuchins, a sloth and some brilliant butterflies.  I also saw several of those nutria-looking mammals munching loudly on nuts in the forest as well.  

When I got closer to the beaches I saw a lot of white-faced capuchin monkeys who were clearly used to people as they just sat on the wooden rails of the fences as we walked by.  There were also a ton of lizards along the beach tanning in the sun.  The park was nice but with animals everywhere else in the region as well it didn't stand out to me for the wildlife.  What was amazing was the beaches within the park.  They were beautiful and had several sea stacks off their shore, kind of like Oregon beaches but tropical and more lush.  

When I first got in the park the beaches blew me away but once the park filled with people who took over the beaches on the hot day it became less special.  When I say "hot" I mean HOT!  It was probably 95 degrees out and after days of drinking rum and coke I was dehydrated and really feeling the heat.  Soaked in sweat at 10am and knees hurting from all the walking our honeymoon I decided to head back to the resort to meet up with Emily. 

After buying a fresh coconut on the beach in Manuel Antonio which really helped hydrate me I boarded a bus and met Emily at the beach around 10:45am where she had been for a couple hours and had fallen asleep.  It was high tide so the beach looked a bit different to me but the water still felt wonderful.  At noon we made our way back up to our room, took a dip in the pool to wash the salt off our clothes and packed up all our stuff for the trip home.  We ate our leftovers and were at the reception by 2pm where our very nice driver picked us up in a large van for the drive to San Jose.  The service only asked for $90 whereas the resort quoted us at $160 for the transport... quite the difference!

The drive to San Jose along the beaches past Jaco then up into the mountains of interior Costa Rica was very beautiful.  Our driver asked to stop for coffee and dinner and we were more than happy to step out and stretch.  We had stopped at butterfly farm with a very beautiful garden with pheasants as well.  Apparently there used to be a toucan but it had flown away.  Our driver offered us some of his favorite sugar candy and it was just an hour from there to the Adventure Inn again where we would spend our last night in Costa Rica.  Seeing our last sunset in Central America for a while was a bit sad on the drive, but being able to watch the Patriots beat up the Colts in the playoffs and get dinner room service from the Moon Glow Restaurant in the hotel cheered us up!

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