Sunday, September 21, 2008

Manuel Antonio- The Beach

The Two Fearless Travelers have found- THE BEACH!

Jumping ahead in my story just a bit- I want to pull out the moment that is most fitting for my blog. It's a small world came true in Manuel Antonio. Standing with our guide in the national park I hear "Heather?!". I turn around and see Annalee. A girl I knew from the University Ward I went to here in SLC. She was in Costa Rica with her family. Just happened to be at the very same part of the park at the very same time. I loved it! What are the odds?!

So are you ready for the Manuel Antonio story?

Pictures or journal first? That is the debate. I'm not so sure my journal is so exciting... Pictures tell the story better- but the journal is a little different perspective. How about both?


We decided to make an early night of it tonight which is excellent for me because I have so much to write about. I fell in love with La Fortuna and being in Manuel Antonio/ Quepos is difficult. A part of me just wants to go back to the hostel, dance , and hike around the rain forest, see the lava better, and sit all day in the hammock or relax at the pool. I do want to do and see more- it's just hard to move on and start all over when we had it so good. I know that I am tired/sleep deprived and things will look up in the morning. I knew this trip would be interesting.

Our drive out here wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. It was a van from Interbus and I sat in the front. I could hardly keep my eyes open to see the country half of the time. The other half of the time they were just plain closed. I've been staying up late and getting up early everyday. Too much I want to do and see but it's starting to catch up with me. I wouldn't call this a relaxing vacation. At least not physically relaxing. We are constantly doing- moving from one thing to the next. I could really use day to relax- to do nothing. (am I really capable of that?) I haven't even touched any book except my Book of Mormon. I really need some time to stop. As we were driving in I thought the rows (acres upon acres) of palm trees fascinating. They are growing them like a crop/farm. I wonder, what for? But it was beautiful.
I admit, after Gabriel I had weakness for beautiful deep brown eyed Latinos. It took me months after to take notice of Caucasians. Just saying- there are some Ticos worthy of second glances...

As soon as we got to the hostel in Manuel Antonio we knew we weren't in Arenal anymore. The view was fantastic but, dead bugs on the beds- and the bathroom was frightening! I need to be traveling a lot longer and harder before I am willing to subject myself to that bathroom when I don't have to. I would rather spend a little more and be more comfortable on my vacation. Our first item of business was, naturally, find somewhere else to stay. So we took our walk down the street toward the ocean. As soon as I saw the mess of hostel- I just prayed. I was tired and it seemed slightly overwhelming to me at the moment. I am constantly amazed that God hears our prayers although at this point in my life I really shouldn't be. That is when he provided our first view of monkeys. I really do like monkeys- watching them climb and swing in trees!! I love climbing trees. That provided me with a little lift. They were just hanging out in the trees above the street. Perhaps you'll catch what else he provided us with...
I promise those dark blobs are monkeys...
Then we got to the beautiful ocean!
Unfortunately we didn't have our suits on us but the water felt so good lapping against my legs. And my first coconuts!!
I even climbed a tree!
On your mark- get set- go!
The face is because my feel just slipped and I had to hug the tree really fast so I didn't fall.
The tree left his mark...
Then we meet Jonathan and Eugene. (They are the guys in the background of my tree climbing pictures.) It is so much easier to meet people abroad! Especially if you are in a non-English speaking country, you meet others who speak English, and you are willing to just say hello. Jonathan and Eugene are Cali boys on vacation- trying to learn how to surf. They rented Scooters for the day and were willing to give us a ride back to the hostel. They gave us the info for where they were staying in Quepos. Let it be known that Amy did have to start their scooters for them and they weren't very good drivers as is manifest by my bruised hand from the almost really crashed, crash, we had turning into the hostel.
Jonathan and I before the scooter ride.
At their suggestion we grabbed our things and left on foot for Quepos for the Best Western. That is when Jose- a kind man saw us walking with our backpacks pulled over in his tourismo van and gave us a free ride to the Best Western.

Jonathan and Eugene were supposed to join Amy and I for dinner, but, apparently couldn't wait- stupid boys. But never fear- Amy and I have no problems hailing a taxi and painting the town on our own. We were off to The Avion a restaurant we found while searching for where we wanted to stay. A very cool US military plane was the main decor- it was shot down during the cold war. I'll just say we paid more for the atmosphere than for the food. But I got my pina colada!
While looking for dessert we meet 2 other guys... If only meeting guys was this easy in the states! Nice, but they were a little questionable "somehow we managed a hotel in San Jose that just happened to be in the red light district for four days. We didn't even know prostitution was so big there". Right... well, every tour book I read had a lot to say about the evening night life in San Jose...
And the day is over! I am grateful I can trust in God to prepare the way.
Today was a beautiful day. But I hate TV and Amy has it on again. ah, well.
to be continued...
I ran out of time to write. 2 reasons -1)I discovered Eugene was sick and went to his room to see if he needed any of my drugs I travel with. I hate being sick and I usually get something travelling, typically a cold- which true to form a couple days later I had a sore throat. I gave him a whole mix to choose from and got him some toast from the hotel. Then Amy and I struck out for dinner only to find Eugene's partner in crime Jonathan at Dos Locos where a live blues band was playing. (Somehow I didn't get a picture of Eugene- But Amy has some...)
That ended up being the second best night we had in all of Costa Rica. Well second for me- dancing #1. This was Amy's best night. The band was awesome- the people watching incredible.
The band and the tourists.
Drug deals, man with the prosthetic eye always getting stuck upwards- He definitely has done a few drugs in his time. One of the many who came to Costa Rica on vacation and just never left. -There were the groupies, tourists, locals, and homeless all congregated to enjoy some mighty fine music. We stayed all night. Even the Texan boys came by and were willing to dance.
Then there was the drunk- his dancing was the best. I have a video that I will load up later- (take too long for now). He started talking to Jonathan and yelled out hey Tokyo! Jonathan is 100% Chinese. It was a joke we kept up with the drunk all night. Then he tried to take a picture with my camera- which scared me a bit- but he was too drunk to figure it out. Partially fueled by Jonathan buying him a beer to keep him going and to thank him for the entertainment. Good times.
The drunk and I (my face says it all) oh- and at 9am the next morning we saw him- drinking again.
Earlier that day we got on the local bus and went to Manuel Antonio national park and had a guide show us all the wonders of the park. It helps to have a telescope to look at things. I was getting picture taling fatigue- which never happened to Amy. She has more endurance. So my pictures are a little limited here. The wild life is amazing. Because the beach meets the forest here,
there are the coolest red crabs running around in the forest!
The next day was our all day beach day- but it poured down rain all day. Amy swam at the hotel pool and I tried but, got too cold. So instead of a day at the beach we had a day to read! And truly, that may have been better for me anyway. At 5 pm we boarded the bus (with Jonathan and Eugene) for San Jose. That drive almost killed me. I was pale for hours afterwards. And that is all she wrote for Manuel Antonio. Except for a few more pictures that didn't fit the narrative.
Waiting for the bus in Manuel...
...and in Quepos.
Jonathan and Amy- But the real story is Amy and Eugene (but that is her story and not mine to tell)
Did you know that sloths move so slow they grow moss on them? I loved the sloths! I could have watched one for hours. The way the move is so fascinating!
I got some serious Latin loving in Costa Rica! My ear was licked, nibbled and sucked!
Not too bad eh?!

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