I wish I could sleep in. 5 am is just too early to be up when you're on vacation. This morning's treat was no water. Apparently this whole side of the street has none so we were told to go across the street to brush our teeth and wash faces. Nevermind. Good thing I'd saved some water bottles and filled them last night.
We hopped on the public bus which costs 250 colones ($.50) and had breakfast at a cute little backpacker place before entering Manuel Antonio National park. It's the smallest in Costa Rica and the busiest. The paths are easy and there's lots to see in spite of all the people. We saw a couple of mask frogs (tiny little things tucked into leaves) as well as deer, sloths, iguanas and lots of monkeys. The sloths are fun to watch as you've never seen anything move so slowly yet seem so agile. The white faced monkeys are what "monkey business" must be named for. A lady had opened a pudding cup and turned around to reach for something and a monkey quickly darted in and stole it. Too funny! Jorge had warned us that they like to open back packs and know what grocery bags look like. Apparently they'll even take things they can't eat and especially enjoy bright shiny things.
It was so hot the ocean was a welcome reprieve from walking. I played in the calm surf till I was pruny and looked for some shade to sit and read. I managed to get sun burnt anyway, in spite of having a pretty good base tan. Not much reading got done as the men (all boys at heart) entertained us trying to get coconuts. They managed to get one for all their efforts. Cat had purchased a beach ball and we had some fun with that as well. The park is beautiful and I'm so glad we decided to stay here rather than go on to San Jose.
Back at the hotel we gave everyone a hug good bye and asked a lady in reception to call us a taxi. She was eyeing the bag of beer Glen gave us so I asked her if she wanted one. Her eyes lit up so we gave them all to her to share. She had no english and I very little Spanish so it was a fun conversation. When we got in the cab all 4 ladies came out to wave good bye with big smiles and lots of MUCHOS GRACIAS. I think they liked that better than the tip we left in the room!
We checked into the Hotel California where we found out we only have reservations till Monday. It's not as convenient to bus stops, restaurants and shops as the Le Priss but it's quiet. Instead of noisy, smelly traffic we've got cicadas, monkeys and the aroma of flowers. Hopefully they get a cancellation and we can stay till Wednesday or we'll be out on the streets again. Oh well. One day at a time and it's warm!
We hopped on the bus and met Lillian in town for 8 am at the Back packer's for breakfast. After purchasing tickets we did another trail in Manuel Antonio National park and sweated like crazy. It was worth it as we saw a three toed sloth and her baby, howler monkeys, toucans and a gorgeous view from the top.
Next we rewarded ourselves with time in ocean. We found the furthest beach where the least amount of people go and just relaxed with swimming, lounging, watching monkeys and iguanas and the occasional stroll down the beach.
By late afternoon we were starving so left the park and tried out the Back packers lunch. Awesome! I had a passion fruit smoothie and chicken stroganoff. I love the way all the juices and smoothies are just ground up fruit. Yum.
We got on the crowded bus and said goodbye to Lillian as she continued to Quepos.
All is sorted out. We can stay in the Hotel California (perhaps never leave??). The airport transfers all appeared booked and I was concerned we'd have to pay for a taxi (very expensive!) but Eileen at the desk called for us. We got a taxi to Quepos and went to the office where we booked it for Wed morning. It's cutting it kind of close with not getting there till almost 1pm for a 2:25 flight but everyone says it's fine. Next we went to the National Bank where we were told we could pay the departure tax. After going through security and waiting half an hour we were sent to the bank of Costa Rica. Okay. We found that one. Again through one door, wait for it to close, through the next door, through the metal detector, our bag searched, removal of hats, etc and we wait for another 20 minutes. In my pitiful Spanish I told him what I wanted. Si,no problema. Una momento. Okay. He came back with a sad look "no aeropeurto tax available". I guess we have to do it at the airport. I was hoping to have it done to speed things up when we get there as we're not leaving much time. Oh well. It's done.
Meanwhile we'll enjoy our last couple of days of sun and heat. We looked for Lillian but she wasn't around so we hopped the bus back to M.A. After a bit of shopping, stop for an iced coffee and a walk on the beach, we were sweating bullets and ready to sit by the pool. Back on the bus and to the hotel with a banana and beer for lunch and we're happy.
We might do a tour tomorrow or maybe.....just nothing. It's been a busy couple of weeks and we're on vacation.
Sorry Bari but I think this is the end :)