Ok, I’m finally back with more pictures from my missions trip to Costa Rica last month.  I thought you might like to see some of the pictures I took when our group visited Manuel Antonio National Park on our “free” day.  What we thought was going to be a three hour bus ride turned out to be a four hour bus ride from San Jose (brutal for me, by the way), but it was worth it to get a small glimpse of the beach and rainforest.

When we finally arrived at Manuel Antonio, we, of course, had to take in the views of the gorgeous beach.  Unfortunately, none of us had our swim suits.

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After we were through gazing longingly at the beautiful Pacific Ocean, we ventured into the rainforest.  Oh, let me just add here that it was very hot and very humid there, unlike the mild temperatures we enjoyed further north in the San Jose area.  Ok, back to the rainforest.  We were hoping to see some wildlife, and we did!  Shortly after beginning on the pathway, we saw a group of people staring at this up in a tree:

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A sloth!  Totally cool!  There were also many lizards scurrying about:

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Further into the jungle, we saw a path leading up into the forest.  Being the intrepid explorers that we are, we had to climb it to see what we could see.  It was a pretty good hike, and I admit I was feeling it as I tried to suck in as much of the close, humid air as I could.  Wandering through the jungle, the scene reminded me of one of those movies where a giant anaconda slithers out and eats the hikers.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  Fortunately, we did see monkeys!

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The pictures did not turn out as clear as I had hoped, for although the monkeys were cooperative in getting fairly close to us, they failed to honor my requests that they stay still and come out into the clear.

As I said above, it was a bit of a hike up the mountain, but we were rewarded with this once we got there:

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I figure anytime you can see monkeys AND a sloth in the same day, you’ve had a successful adventure.  I’ll share some photos of the area where we stayed when we were in Trinidad, just outside of the capital of San Jose.  See you then!

- Mark