Friday, October 26, 2012

Costa Rica: Day Seven

Friday, October 26, 2012

After a lazy morning of sleeping in, for the first time on this trip, and we headed up to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Our hotel featured a complementary breakfast of a buffet and menu items. The buffet included fresh fruit, pastry's, coffee, and teas. In addition to these items you could order a variety of omelets, the traditional Costa Rican breakfast and a few other delicious items from the menu. It was the perfect way to start the day; if you were in a rush to get off on adventures you could stick to the buffet, or if you were more relaxed you could order off the menu. Or, you could be like me and do both! Seriously, every morning we were in Manuel Antonio, I loaded up my plate with fresh fruit to munch on while I waited for the item I ordered from the menu to arrive. To the chagrin of Joel, Chris, and Jackie, I would often take all the pineapple, except for three pieces. I'm not sure why they needed more than one piece each, but I clearly needed all of the fresh pineapple i could get. I LOVE fresh pineapple, I could eat it for days.

We spent most of our day lounging around the pool and our rooms, just relaxing. We took a short cab ride into the city of Quepos, to see what there was to see. It was a very small town with several touristy stores and a bank, which is where we went to get some smaller currency. It was a very different experience than visiting a bank in the States. The doors are opened for you by armed guards, then more armed guards pat you down, check your bags, and scan you with a metal detector. Then you take a number, much like at our DMV, and then you wait for your number to be called. The tellers are behind a glass wall with a tiny slot to pass back your monies. They must get a lot of robberies or something for this kind of security to be necessary!

The small town of Quepos
After walking around the town, we decided to find a grocery store to buy some Salsa de Lizano. This stuff is amazing and they eat like we eat ketchup. There is always a jar on the table and it goes with everything! I put it on my rice and beans, on my various proteins, and even on my eggs! We couldn't get enough of the stuff, so we were desperate to bring a bottle home. We found a grocery store and started to wander around it looking for our special sauce. We eventually found it and Joel picked up the biggest bottle. He was worried that we wouldn't be able to find it at home so we were going to buy the biggest bottle they had.  (Lucky for us, you can buy it from Amazon! You should give it a try, this stuff is magic! Lizano Salsa via Amazon)

We decided to take a short nap before our main event of the day, a Night Walk! I was pretty nervous about this activity because I DO NOT like creepy-crawlies. Not one bit. We booked the tour through our hotel, who highly recommend the walk.. We took a short cab ride from our hotel to the Fincas Naturales Wildlife Refuge. We arrived a bit early and we had to wait for a few more tourists who were joining the tour. We didn't mind the wait because there was a big group of monkeys in the trees above the parking lot. It was fun to see the monkeys jumping from branch to branch and calling out to each other. The tour guide told us they come through the area at about the same time every day on their way to where they sleep for the night.

Monkeys were everywhere, running along the fence like it was a tree branch.
There were a couple monkeys running around on top of this building.
Once the other tour guests arrived, Kenneth, our guide, handed out personal flash lights and told us to follow him, down the trail as night settled in. Kenneth was amazing! He could make sounds that would get the frogs to croak and he could find frogs in the strangest posts in the dark! There was one frog that sounded exactly like a goat! We saw all kinds of frogs and lizards. There were even turtles, crocodiles, and caimans; they were in cages as a part of the day attractions, but it was neat to see these animals in the dark when they are out and about.

Kenneth was able to catch a big toad and was showing us something about the toad. So I leaned in close to get a better look and the frog peed! I was so surprised that I accidentally stepped all over this lady from Kansas in my efforts to not get frog pee on me. Apparently that is a defensive mechanism of frog. Gross! Luckily I didn't get anything on my clothes, but from that point on, I kept my distance. Thankfully the only creepy-crawlies I saw was one spider that was pretty big and two cockroaches which was enough to make my skin crawl.

The frog that tried to pee on me...

The one spider I saw, it was about an inch in diameter!

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