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Manuel Antonio Park
Monika's Costa Rica Trip 2006!

(Monika Sundem)
This morning we woke early to visit the Manuel Antonio Park as soon as it opened, in order to try and beat some of the crowds and hopefully see more creatures waking up and starting their day. After walking to the entrance and purchasing our tickets, we began to stroll along the sand trails, looking into the vegetation to try and see any moving objects. We saw some agoutis moving around about 10 feet in the distance. These things look like large rats, or rodents, and I was amazed to be able to see such an odd looking creature so up close. We continued to hike around on the trails, admiring the beautiful beaches inside the park and dipping our feet in for a bit to wade through the water. While we didn't spot any monkeys inside the park (which is rare, as supposedly they are very commonly sighted here), we did spy multiple sloths lying around in trees, doing what they do best, sleeping. We saw some white faced monkeys on the hotel grounds during an inspection nearby, which took care of my monkey-fix!

After the quick trip inside the park, we continued on our way along a bumpy road to Monteverde Cloudforest. We made a stop to spot multiple crocodiles sunbathing underneath a large bridge. The Río Tárcoles Bridge, also known as the Crocodile Bridge draws a crowd of tourists looking over the sides at the large reptiles bathing themselves in the sun. We arrived to Monteverde after a bumpy four-hour drive up into the mountains. The whole area is covered with green, and the mist from the clouds settles in among the trees to make it look like something out of a movie. Marco and I completed hotel inspections in the afternoon, in order to have a full day open tomorrow for some fun. I settled into our hotel overlooking the mountains and watched a beautiful lightening show! After deciding to give up on trying to capture the lightening streaks with very slow camera, I turned in for the evening.

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