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05 March 2010

Monkey Beach

9:25-ish AM. Friday, March 5, 2010.

I am sitting on a log at one of the most serene and paradisical beaches imaginable. It's still mid-morning but the sun is already searing hot and beating down on everything. Christina's taking a dip in the water. We're at Playa Dos at Manuel Antonio National Park. We just finished hiking a jungle loop trail around a small but hilly peninsula. The views were gorgeous.

It was so hot and the hike was strenuous, so we were both totally drenched in sweat. There was an older couple hiking the same trail (but at a more leisurely pace) - they're from New Brunswick, which I know as the only bi-lingual province in Canada :)

Yes, it's incredibly hot and humid but so beautiful too. There's now a breeze coming off the ocean... how refreshing.


10:30-ish AM.

Holy Shit! A raccoon just came up behind us and tried to steal our snacks RIGHT OUT OF THE BAG with me and Christina sitting right next to it!!! Christina jumped up and ran away. My foolish instincts prompted me to immediately start swatting at the raccoon with whatever I could grab - in this case, a carton of orange juice. The raccoon looked at me with a puzzled expression for a second, then continued trying to dig into our snack bag. I then grabbed Christina's shoe and began swatting it even more furiously, within 2 inches of the raccoon's nose, and finally the rodent got the idea and shrunk away, without getting a single swipe of our food!

It was totally just like Swiper from Dora the Explorer!

Jason: 1, Nature: 0


Midday, maybe 1:30 PM.

The ocean is hot...

We're back at Playa Tres. The water is much warmer now than it was in the morning - it feels almost like a hot bowl of soup - but once you get 3-4 feet below the surface, the water is nice and cooler. Christina's now reading a book by Paolo Cuelo, a Brasilian author known for The Alchemist. We hiked around most of the park, going to another beach (Gemelas) where we encountered a bunch of monkeys! They were entertaining and incredibly fun to watch. They're not afraid of people at all.

We walked around some rocks to this secluded beach, then returned back up the trail and onto the Mirador (viewpoint) trail. It was a long and exhausting hike - at least 1 km I'd say - and uphill! We had to cross a rickety bridge, and were giving up hope that there'd even be a viewpoint, but we did eventually make it to the vista. My right leg/hip was feeling achy for some reason.

We were tired and sweaty. We drank more of the juice we had with us; Christina had a brief conversation (en espanol of course) with a professor from San Jose who was traveling with German professors - they were visiting Costa Rica for a conference. I always find that conversations with other travelers are too often shallow and repetitive, but it's always interesting to find out where people are from and what brings them to this place.

There are a lot of hermit crabs on the beach.


2:30-ish PM

We've moved to the other beach. It's dirtier and has bigger waves and is muggier. The water's also cooler.

Today, hiking through the (Mirador) trail made me feel kinda like Indiana Jones. (thought: why is his name "Indiana"?) And chilling on the beach here feels like I'm in a Corona commercial.

Life is good.

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