National Park Manuel Antonio

Quepos Travel Blog

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It rained very hard tonight. First we try to call Michel at MAD, but he’s not there yet. So first we have breakfast and then we will g back. The buffet is about the same as all other hotels and lodges: eggs, gallo pinto (literal translation painted cock), bread, marmalade, fruits and coffee. We go to our room to call MAD, no phone, no electricity, nothing, not even at the reception. So Timo takes the car to the center. They think at this moment there only is 1.7 meters sight, but they start a course navigation and we need to check later today if it changes. Our backup plan is Manual Antonio National Park. We park the car at 1.5 kilometer from the hotel (we’re getting lazy) for 2000 colones. We take a guide, Marvin and pay 25.000 colones and he will guide us through the park with two Americans from Santa Barbara, California. At the kiosk where they sell the tours, they have a telescope pointing at a sloth with a baby, very cute. We go at about 09:45. In front of the entrance we already see a parakeet and an iguana. Marvin takes his telescope through the whole park. We pay another 10.000 colones entrance fee for the park; this is becoming expensive, but we’ve saved a lot of money by not diving, so that’ OK. We see another sloth and another one and another one, about seven in total and both species: the two-toed and three-toed sloth. Marvin also points the telescope to some tropical crabs. They feed down between the roots of the trees. They also crawl on pieces of fruit beautifully red an orange. A grasshopper through the telescope is also pretty: a shining green body and red legs. Great. Then suddenly he zoomed in on a howler monkey and he apologizes because he can only center the balls of the animal. They’re big ones for such a small animal. There are many howler monkeys here and also white-faced capuchin monkeys. We walk all the time on a broad path and from time to time her stops and shows us a lot of things: blue heron, boat-billed herons, common potoo and a white bird of prey, a kite. We come to playa dos and playa tres of Manuel Antonio Park. This is one of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica, when we can’t dive later, we’ll come back and try snorkeling here. High in a palm tree there is a nest of termites. There are also some special trees here: guava and a toxic tree with toxic apples; don’t eat. We walk to the exit, jump on rocks over a river and walk back to the car. We take the car to the hotel and take all our stuff we need for our last chance for a dive. At the hotel all is still down, so we need to Quepos to MAD. Our last hope was also shattered. You can only see 1.5 meters, so no dive. We’re going to try and snorkel in Manuel Antonio, although we know it will be bad. We race up and down from Quepos to Manuel Antonio, we park the car on the same spot and we race over the beach to the exit of the park. We enter via this way and race on to playa dos. This beach should be the best. Timo tries, but he only sees 30 to 40 centimeters. We move a bit to the left where there are fewer waves, but here is a disaster too. The last time Eef snorkeled too. We’re not lucky with diving and not with snorkeling either. This sucks! So we drive back to the hotel, because the sky is getting darker and we know what this means. We already have the first drops on our way back. As a last greeting about ten squirrel monkeys cross the street using a blue cord over the street. That is a pretty sight. At the hotel we take a shower by candle light, not for the romance, but of necessity, all circuits are still down. At 16:45 we walk on the beach and see our first and only sunset this vacation, very beautiful and surprising. Then it’s dinnertime: vodka orange, gin tonic. With our main course we have a good bottle of red Chilean wine (Merlot) and we have nine shrimps con ajo (Timo) and penne primavera (Eef). Both of the dishes are very good, we let the other person taste a few times. We see bats flying right in front of us at the beach. We drink our bottle and we go to bed by the light of the last candles at 20:30. We had a good time and we’ve had enough of the rain. Because guess what, yes, it started again. During dinner it started, it stopped again so we could go to our room dry and then it started. Our next vacation will have to be dry.

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photo by: mpope9