Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Costa Rica: December 30, 2009

One interesting thing about the little bit of Costa Rica that I've seen is that everyone gets up really early.  It could how early the sun comes up or it could be that it is a primarily tourist economy, and tourists like to milk every minute they have, but I noticed here than other placed we've traveled.  At 6 am, people are up and things are starting to buzz.  It could be the howler monkeys that wake everyone up too.  So yeah, another beautiful morning, already 70 degrees.

view outside the Wood Chalet.

Anyway, today Danielle planned a nature hike in the National Park for us, and was recommended a guide (Estel) by the office of Manual Antonio Estates.  Estel and her driver picked us up promptly at 7 and after getting another small group, we were soon on our way to the park.  We had to stop outside the park while Estel purchaced guided tickets for us, so the taxi driver flipped down an LCD screen in the van an put on a DVD of Michael Jackson videos.  Strange, but soon we were on our hike.  Estel was more of a photographer than a guide, and really didn't have much to say about animals or plants unless asked.  What can I say, the naturalist/botanists at Lapa Rios spoiled us...  Estel was mostly just more interested in seeing and being seen by other guides.  But while I found her a little tedious, she did have the ability to spot wildlife with her Swarovski field scope, and she managed to come up with a few things to say about the animals we peered at through her scope (which would also photograph!)

Jesus Christ lizard.  (runs on water..?)

three-toed sloth.

Overall I found Manual Antonio to be boring and crowded and not worth the $90 we paid.  We stayed at the beach which was, well, a beach.  Honestly, the beach wasn't much of anything special.  Yes, the water was warm but the press of the crowds made it uncomfortable for me, and I really missed the seclusion of the deep rainforest.

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