Costa Rica Post 2: On Route to Arenal and the VOLCANO (April 21st, 2014)

I am currently on route to Arenal,sitting in a poorly air conditioned bus for the next five hours glancing out at water-deprived plains and grazing cows and banana tree plantations. We just left our hotel in Manuel Antonio, Si Como No and it was a bittersweet goodbye. I am sad to leave its lively beach and friendly locals but I am eager to experience the other flavors of Costa Rica. Yesterday we walked through the National Manuel Antonio Park in hopes of scouting out the famous white faced monkeys and other well-known animals to this exotic ecosystem. Our tour guide informed us of a bacteria-like looking bug that tastes like cotton candy, a plant that many of our cleaning supplies are derived from, and a toxic grape like fruit that will shut down your nervous system even if its skin touches yours an absorbs into your body. They were scattered all over the sand at one point of our tour and since I was wearing flip flops, I was a bit anxious to keep moving along rather than stand in the midst of these life-stealing juicy balls of death and hear more about them. Luckily, we saw a couple of white faced monkeys including a mother and her newborn baby, which clinged on to her back; I guess it should be called a monkey-back ride instead of a piggy back ride! She was slowly climbin the branches of the trees scouring for food while her paparazzi (us tourists) snapped away. It was probably one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I also saw about three sloths including both two toed and three toed ones. I learned that while they rarely move during the day due to their extreme laziness, they manage to climb all the way down from their trees to the ground and dig an entire hole just to desiccate and then cover it up and climb all the way back up. If they are so lazy you would think they’d just let it all out at the top of the tree! Landon, the Canadian I met yesterday also told us that they have sex for an entire week. Fun facts of Costa Rica.
During the walking tour we took a midway break at this secret beach cove. I have never seen such a beautiful beach in person in my entire life. The water was a turquoise color, like the Mediterranean sea of Greece I have always dreamed about. The water was calm and gently dancing with the light wind; there wasn’t a string of seaweed or a pesky sandcrab to be found and the sand was velvet on your skin. I floated in that buoyant sea and let my body’s weight become non-existent. I love the float in the water and immerse my ears in the sound of the silent sea and feel like I am one with the ocean. When you wake up from your float mediation you feel refreshed, revived, and completely relaxed. We then continued our walking tour and ended up coming back to the beach we had been before. We finish our tour eating fresh pineapple and watermelon as a treat (the same treat we got after we ziplined so it seems to be the popuar snack of Costa Rica) and then went back to our hotel for a snack and back once again to the beach.
The weather was scorching today and the humidity dampens and weightens the air, like living in a sauna to say the least. I tried my best to tough out the sun and tan, dripping sweat as I did and feeling the burning sensation of a potential sunburn arising. Luckily I haven’t burned too bad but I still have, because with this sun it’s almost impossible not to if you are only using SPF 30 and your are sweating and swimming the protection off every hour. My mom, dad and I ate a dinner of steak and fish at a nie restaurant a little ways off from our hotel, after leaving two other hotels. One of whih the menu looked so unappetizing that I pretended to feel sick so that we’d have an excuse to leave after we had already been seated. My mom was very upset and embarrassed that we did this but I don’t care because I’ll do anything for good food.
~ xoxo Ali~

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