Friday, June 6, 2014

Guanacaste to Manuel Antonio National Park

Day 7, June 5
It was hard to leave the Marriott this morning. I took a last minute walk around the grounds and had this final shot taken by the infinity pool that is right on the beach.
We boarded the bus at 8 and drove 2-1/2 hours through the only tropical dry rain forest in CR before a pit stop. Around noon we stopped at Tarcoles for lunch at a spacious open air restaurant.  I spotted a large lizard on a telephone pole. They seem to be everywhere and you start to get used to them. Of course, it started to rain, but we have become accustomed to that, too.
Then we were just a few miles away from our "Jungle African Safari" on the Tarcoles River.  Amazingly, the rain stopped before we boarded. Our hour long cruise was adjacent to the Carara Biological Reserve. We managed to see some wonderful creatures. There were several crocodiles, or parts of them that were above water. A big one, named by the park rangers as Osama Bin Laden, is about 17 ft long, which we were lucky to see. Even had my picture taken with him.
We also saw a Roseate Spoonbill picking its way along the beach, and two scarlet macaws, for whom this is a nesting sight. (Exquisite!) Unfortunately, they were too far away to snap a photo, as were the howler monkeys we spotted. 
We arrived at the San Bada at 4:30 pm and quickly attended a complimentary happy hour sponsored by Caravan.  This is another amazing hotel that is situated right on the beach. The rooms are well appointed with great views. Dinner was in the main dining room and then several of us took a walk through a small grouping of homes, bars and restaurants.
We have an early morning and a packed day tomorrow so it's off to bed.

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