Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Manuel Antonio

We decided since we were already on the coast we might as well go a little further east on the coast to Quepos. To get there we took a crowded bus (not the most comfortable, but very cheap). The only reason the girls and I got to sit down for the two hour ride was because my husband told the bus driver I was pregnant (true) so he kicked out the people from the front seat (reserved for pregnant, old and disabled people) for me.

Quepos is a tourist trap of a town. Many people stay there because it is only a short distance from Manuel Antonio National Park. We stayed in the Best Western on Friday. From the reception desk I could see the pool where I noticed three older white guys with much younger looking darker skinned girls clinging to them. They say Costa Rica has something for everyone.

We only stayed in the Best Western one night. Then we checked in to a much more fun little hotel a little farther along the road to Manuel Antonio called The Blue Monkey which I highly recommend to any one who wants to come this way. Thus began our adventures in Manuel Antonio.

You have my husband to thank for this picture. He spotted these black and orange crabs hiding among the trees as he was exploring the area near our hotel.

A couple of days ago we took a tour of Manuel Antonio Park with a guide named Leo. The park is a beautiful place with lots of plants, animals and gorgeous beaches. Leo, however, seemed like he had been doing tours for too long-- too much rushing around talking a mile a minute and not enough taking it easy and explaining things. Anway, to get into the park you have to cross this little bit of water so these guys have their boat there so they can charge you a small fee to walk across it like a bridge. The sign in the background says that crocodiles live in the water. I suspect those guys put it there to help their business. As you can see, they have no problem standing in the water. =)

I believe this is called a spiney backed lizard. These are abundant in the area. There's one living on the roof of the room across from ours at the Blue Monkey.

This is my little one who is a lot of work to travel with. She just turned two a couple of weeks ago. I think the lack of her normal routine is hard on her, but she does well considering.

Yesterday we went on a mangrove tour. We rode in a boat with two other couples and the tour people around the Las Damas estuary.

That thing on the tree is a huge wasp nest. I was glad not to have any encounters with those critters.

These are some of the mangroves. There were three or four varieties that we saw. Very interesting trees. They can only live where fresh water and salt water meets and where the temperature is at least 70 degrees Farenheit. Our guide told us lots of interesting things about these trees and pointed out any critters she saw.

One of the other people from the tour company caught this little fellow to let us all have a close up look.

Here is where the river water meets the ocean. By this time it was raining. That strip of land you see in the distance is Manuel Antonio. Our hotel is somewhere on the right hand side of it.

Today we went to a place that had a butterfly farm as well as reptiles. The butterflies are always a big hit with my girls so we don't mind seeing more of them. This croc here is just trying to keep cool. He can't play in the water because big Elliot (the dominant crocodile) is in the water and no one bothers him.

The nice girl who showed us around the place picked a couple of these flowers up from the ground, put one in her hair, and gave the other one to my daughter. Later, as we were waiting for the bus to go back to our hotel, my daughter asked me to put her flower in her hair. Of course I needed to take a picture. I told her she looked like a Hawaiian princess. She said I should put this picture on my blog and see if anyone could guess who she was.

That's all for now. Tomorrow we head back to Alajuela for a couple of days. Then my husbands uncle and aunt are coming to visit and we're going to go around and see a few things with them.

Pura Vida.


Dina said...

Wow, is that Ellie? It doesn't look like her at all. She does look like a princess and she looks so old all of a sudden. Beautiful Ellie!!!

jenni said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the pregnancy, Natalie!!! I am also expecting =)

Your daughter looks so proud and indeed like a true Hawaiian Princess! It sounds like you all are having a wonderful vacation! =)

Brittany said...

Wow. What a great 2nd honeymoon (ha ha) you guys are having! I'm so glad you're posting photos!!

Danna said...

How fun it all looks and sounds Natalie! I love seeing your pictures! We miss you, we just have not "clicked" with any families out here! Keep the great pictures comming!! :) Love ya!

Heather said...

wow everything looks so beautiful! congrats on the pregnancy!

restaurant gal said...

Happy birthday to your baby! Nine years old...and then they're 19--next month.

Best to her and you, The Gal

restaurant gal said...

Natalie--oops! I was trying to post on Jenni's site, and had both yours and hers open at the same time! Sometimes I have no clue what my computer will do next to make me crazy.

So, happy bithday to Jenni's daughter and happy, glorious vacation of a lifetime to you!

The Gal

Kala said...

hahahaha you take the COOOOLEST vacation pics ahhhhhh I jus smiled and smiled looking at all the critters, crabs scary creepers, cute kids and handsome man that i assume is your husband as one of your daughters photographed right back at you? This is SUPER DUPER FUN!!! Your kids are so lucky to have the coolest mommy in the world!