This was not the goal destination, however. Kevin "he who always has a plan" Irvine, wants to get to Parque Miguel Antonio. He's learned we can see monkeys on the beach there.
The road starts off fairly pleasant. It's New Years Eve and the closer we got to Miguel Antonio, the more crowded it got. Appears many people want to spend New Years on the beach with monkeys!!
So our first goal is to find a place to stay tonight. We are up for anything really, but want to be close to the action for tonight and the monkeys on the beach.
Kevin asked the first few places we stopped. He was getting angry that every time he asked for a room, they would just look at him like he's crazy and simply say no. You'd probably get that anywhere on the planet on the last day of the year.
We settled on a place SUPER cheap, but with the best view! We got lucky, finally. It had a hammock, same story, as soon as the man sees a hammock, he's in. It was farther away from the New Years action we were after, but we can still walk and if nothing else, take a taxi.
We dropped off all of our gear into a locked room, and then got back on the bikes to ride to the Monkey park.
Along the way we found this big airplane sticking out of the building and that was worth checking out!
More info on the plane later, first we want to get to to the park, which is only about 7 km down the road on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. In 2011, Manuel Antonio National Park was listed by Forbes to be among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks.
There are 4 beaches within the park and no maps. So we take a photo of the one bad map at the entrance to refer as we explore.
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica's smallest national park, the diversity of wildlife in its 6.83 km2 (3 sq mi) is unequaled with 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. If all of that is happening in such a tiny park, I wonder how mother nature is getting along with all the development in the non-protected Costa Rica.
There are 3 monkey species in the park, but we only saw one. We saw plenty of monkeys, but only one species called White-headed Capuchin.
It was quite exciting!!
This one looks like he's about to loose it, but manages to hang on to the little branch.
And of course, many monkeys on the beach.
Oops, not them. Here they are.. ;-)
They are well known to be thieves.. I watched one monkey steal the lunch out of one woman's beach bag.
Sorry for the bad photos, as he moved so fast, but it was super funny to watch! The woman should have known better, they have plenty of warnings these monkeys will take anything and everything.
Kevin bought us both coconuts.. I had to include the photo... remember that machete he bought??? So we didn't have to pay for coconuts?!? ;-)) These were expensive New Years coconuts too.. ha!
So far it's been a thoroughly enjoyable way to end the year..
Kevin decides to pull into the "Contra Bar" again on the way home.... shock.
So! More info on this interesting airplane. I know nothing about airplanes, but for those of you who do, it's a 1954 Fairchild C-123. This plane was part of one of the biggest scandals of the 1980's. The Reagan Administration's Iran-Contra Affair. This particular airplane was shot down in 1986. The pilot, Eugene Hasenfus, survived and was captured by the Sandanista's.
Long story short, the owners of this restaurant/bar bought it in 2000 and has it shipped here to become what is now a fun bar you can hang out in until 2 AM!! ;-)
While we had our beer, we enjoy the last bits of daylight on the last day of the year.
On my way back from the restroom, I catch Kevin looking pretty serious. I wonder what he's thinking about!?
Snuck up on him and took a photo. He's smiling so he's okay... He was wondering when the crazy lady will get back to the table so we can dig into an appetizer... ;-))
I can show you the morning after though! I didn't know somebody took these photos until now.. Very late morning actually.. catching up on some emails.. and then a bit of brekkie.
These are really sneaky shots.. we sat on this veranda forever.. I spotted a Toucan! And I see in the photo below my computer is off, eating breakfast. I really did not know he took these at 2 different times. Hmphf! ;-)
I'm being a bit spoiled and loving it... Happy 2012! ;-))