Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Costa Rica Trip (Day 8)

January 3 - Manuel Antonio Park and Aerial Tram
Mr. E and I decided not to head into the park with the early group at 7am, so I had a chance to swim in the rooftop pool for about 40 minutes before we had our breakfast and joined the lines at the park entry around 8:15am.

After about a 20-minute wait, including a very brief check of our minimal bags by security at the entrance, we walked the Main Trail to connect up with the boardwalk Sloth Trail on our way to the main beach, occasionally passing some other folks from our group who were already heading out of the park back to the hotel. Lots of other visitors were accompanied by local guides with cameras, and we saw a cluster of people looking at something in a bunch of trees. White-faced monkeys! These critters weren't shy at all, as they scampered around in the branches and jumped across the wires:

We also spotted a sloth:

Once we reached the main beach, we saw our Tour Director, who helped point us in the right direction towards the looping Punto Catedral ("Cathedral Point") trail. The beach itself was clearly a popular and lovely spot:

The trail we followed leading up to the overlooks on Cathedral Point passed by another less-crowded beach, and we had close encounters with several more animals:

The vista points from the trail were worth the [very, very hot and humid] hike:

After we finished our hike, I took a dip in the warm water of the secondary beach, which was very quiet and tranquil. Mr. E stayed on land to guard my shoes and hat and take more photos.

We met some more monkeys and raccoons on the trail near the main beach as we headed back out of the park:

By the time we reached the Park entrance, the gates were locked and no one else was being admitted. Our Tour Director had warned us that this could happen, since the Park is so popular, particularly during the holiday season, and the rangers will only allow a maximum of 800 people at one time. Mr. E did some shopping at the little souvenir kiosks right outside the Park while I cooled off in the big ground-level pool of the hotel.

We left Manual Antonio at 11:30am and drove for about 90 minutes to the site of our Aerial Tram tour through the rain-forest, where we also had lunch. As we were eating, we saw a beautiful toucan perched on a narrow tree trunk about 10 feet away:

The aerial tour took us through both primary and secondary rainforest, and we learned about the impressive efforts in Costa Rica to not only stop deforestation but also to recover some of the growth lost to earlier development. Our guide identified many of the trees along the route, and Mr. E spotted another toucan in the tree-tops:

At the end of the tour, our guide led us a few feet from the tram loading zone to show us a gold silk spider finishing up its meal of a lizard right next to a gorgeous flower:

We departed the tram site and headed towards San Jose for our final evening. Our wonderful driver, L, spotted a pair of brilliant red macaws preening in a tree at the side the road!

Our final lodging was a Quality Hotel, right across from a quick-service roast chicken restaurant with an impressive cow out front:

Before dinner, Mr. E and I walked to a nearby grocery store so I could buy coffee for CPCA. I also found a treasure trove of mini Hit cookies, but I exercised some restraint and only purchased four packages to bring home! Our final dinner included wine, and Mr. E and I both also enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails from the hotel bar.

La ultima noche de nuestro viaje...


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