Written by JoJo, typed by Marianne
A quick glance at the tourist town of Quepos got us all in the mood for Manuel Antonio Parque Nacional, a small park consisting of beaches, jungles, rivers, and wildlife.
Our camp was on the edge of the park and some of the wildlife was in our camp for the evening. Firstly we had a visit from some racoons, lizards and a few smaller creepy crawlies. Later with the help of some local firewater (can spirit) we created some wildlife of our own at the bar.
We had our own Karaoke bar happening (Peter showed us some hidden talent) plus many forms of drinking games turned normally sedate folks WILD. Caroline decided that she was a marathon swimmer and tried to swim to Australia so she took along her camera, watch, money & clothes. Unfortunately she forgot to bring them back. In the morning we were amazed to see her emmerging from her tent, wearing her jeans, T-shirt, half the beaches sand and a coconut???
Others had terrible trouble finding their own tents but some gentle directions from fellow travellers saw them home.
A leisurely breakfast set the pace for the day with groups wandering off during the morning for walks through the park. A small creek crossing at the entrance was a fun way to start the walk and help keep us cool.
The beaches were pure paradise with most of the group spending a lot of time in or on them during the day. Wildlife was plentiful with many sightings of monkeys (many of which tried to share our lunch), IGUANA’S, assorted birds, spiders, crabs, and some beautiful butterflies.
The highlight for me was seeig a twotoed sloth making its way across a creek. They move like they are in slow motion and it was an experience to watch it in action.
The jungle was a tropical forest with huge palms, ferns, hard wood, a variety of funghi, flowering orchids, mangroves criss crossed by streams and waterfalls.
Some magnificent views of the islands were seen from the top of the circular walk through the forrest and after the slippery trip down the hill, a swim in one of the beaches was more than welcome.
Leaving the park was also interesting as the tide had come in and our creek had become a river and an enterprising young local offered boatrides across for 100 colomes (50c) per person, not too bad if you think that in peak season the park has approx 600 visitors per day.
A quiet afternoon was spent by most at the beach or writing postcards and diaries etc., whilst a few more adventurous cuasght local transport into town and spent the afternoon sipping cervesas and chatting to locals.
The evening got under way at a local restaurant where the group enjoyed good food, good beer, excellent bloody marys, entertainment by out 11 year old waiter Andreas, and many laughs whilst being analysed by Bob (our own shrink). Most then retired as a result of such a hectic day (typical of Central America) while a few others spent more time on the beach stargazing. “It’s a difficult life?!?!”
A morning in Quepos shopping and resting saw some purchase of some “Marraccus” and the formation of the musical group “Las quatro amigas mucho locco” and as we left Quepos for San Jose the truck reverberated with the sounds of “La Cucaracha” as we continued our Central American Adventure.