Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Weekend on the Pacific Coast

         Last weekend I participated in one of the weekend excursions included in the API tuition fee. We went to Manuel Antonio, one of the national parks in Costa Rica that is located on the Pacific coast. That’s right; I have finally seen the Pacific Ocean. Had to happen sometime. We left around noon on Friday and returned around noon on Sunday. 

     The first afternoon was free for us to explore the area around Manuel Antonio. Half of the group went off and did something (I have no idea what) and the other half went swimming. The sun wasn’t too bright, which was nice, but the water was comfortably warm. Though I’m not sure how long we splashed in the waves, it was nice not worrying about homework, or much of anything for that matter.
      Note: As we were drying off on the beach, guess what we saw going about his business in the trees. Yup, a capuchin monkey.

    For dinner we took taxis up the road and all found ourselves at different restaurants. I ate sushi with my friends Katie and Shannon. Two rolls for the price of one. Who knew that sushi on a mountain in the seemingly-middle-of-nowhere Costa Rica could be so good? My only small complaint is that mine came with rice paper instead of nori (the seaweed) and I do like nori. Regardless, it was a fabulously refreshing and filling.

        The next day we hiked a few trails in Manuel Antonio.  I heard some monkeys, saw a sloth chilling in the canopy, and attempted to take a picture of web with a huge spider…alas, my camera was not powerful enough to capture the sparkling web.
           As luck would have it, it rained…a lot. My shoes, shirt, hair, bathing suit, backpack, and camera were soaked (I need to get some disposable cameras to last me the rest of my stay).Welcome to the Costa Rican winter. Despite the rain, between the workout and the humidity, I think I sweated out every toxin ever.
         We eventually made it to the beach in Manuel Antonio, but it rained most of the time. I ended up leaving early with a few others because I had a hard time enjoying the beach. I went back to my hotel room, cleaned up, and took a nap.

       Dinner later that day ended up being amazing. Half of the group (the same half that went swimming the day before) went to a restaurant that specialized in thin crusted pizza baked in a brick oven (full of fire). Katie and I split a vegetarian pizza, my side sin queso y aceitunas (without cheese y olives). The olives weren’t even needed when a pizza is full of mushrooms, onions, zucchini, eggplant, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes. I also had a pina colada and a margarita (no I was not drunk or even buzzed). The pina colada was super fresh tasting. You could tell the pineapple and coconut were super ripe.

      The next morning, first thing, I swam. The sun was out, the water was warm, it was the perfect opportunity. I hung out on the beach from 8 to 11. I mostly played in the water, but I did drink the water straight from a coconut. It was so refreshing, especially after having been run over by a couple salty waves.

     Not surprisingly, I’m now dealing with the repercussions of a great morning at the beach….a sun burn. Don’t worry, though. I’ve got some aloe. 


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