Tuesday, July 31, 2012

San Jose, Costa Rica (¡el último dia!)

Today, after relaxing in the morning, I caught the 12PM bus to San Jose.  I only had a few hours of exploring to do before it got dark (my hunker down time) but I was happy to see what I could.
I am standing in front of el museo nacional (a fortress built in 1917 originally used as military barracks).

El teatro nacional, built in 1891.

Adentro del teatro nacional.

I stopped into el Museo del Oro Precolombino. 
Such a cool museo!  It is fascinating to see objects that were made over a thousand years ago.  The items are gorgeous, unique, and ooze creativity of indigenous peoples. 
I did not have a sufficient amount of time in here.  They had to basically push me out the door at closing time. 

Do not touch?!  I really need a glass barrier.  I managed to follow the rules but it is so tempting (I am the same way at art museums). 

Okay, this is something that really bothers me.  Not only did they hang this piece by poking holes directly into it, but the first attempt must have left the object crooked because they had to poke two more holes in it.  Terrible!

This is a representation of a woman and child. 
The only women who had statues created of themselves were women of authority (leaders, warriors, etc.).  This woman appears strong, and intimidating.

El parque nacional, right across from my hostel.  I only had half a day but I am happy with the brief San Jose stint.
What a great end to my trip!! 
USA here I come!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica's smallest National Park.  It is easily explorable in one day, but it is worth exploring nevertheless.

You have to love being able to swim at a National Park!

So exciting.  I saw two today, and they have been on my list of animals to see during this trip (a trip that is quickly winding down). 
They almost always have what appears to be a smile on their face.

Check out his claws...

I loved watching this sloth.  He so badly wanted to get to a nearby tree.  He kept trying and trying, and almost falling each time, but it just was not going to happen for him. 
Look at the determination in his face.  Poor guy!  We were all cheering him on below.  Si se puede!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dominical, Costa Rica

I took a hour long bus ride from Quepos to Dominical (most known for surfing).  I love these houses surrounding a soccer field.

I didn't have the best weather in Dominical (it rained almost the entire day) or the best waves (it was pretty closed out) but it was still great to be there.

I waited until the end of the day (when the waves were looking a little better) to go out.  I rented a board for 6$.  It was super fun.  Surfing in Costa Rica is like surfing in a jacuzzi...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Osa to Quepos

The Sierpe river boat ride was just as fun as it was three days ago; relaxing and invigorating at the same time.

Except on the way back we took a shortcut through mangroves
So cool.

After a few hours of travel (boat-taxi-bus-taxi) I arrived at Natural Pacific Suites (right in between Manuel Antonio and Quepos).  It is way too nice for just me.  It is bigger than our house.  But it is nice to be away from tourists, in more of a residential setting.  It is safe and quiet.

After checking in I took the local bus to Quepos to see what the small town had to offer. 
I immediately got ice cream, because Dos Pinos is the BEST brand of ice cream.  I got cookies and cream as well as combinado (vanilla, strawberry and lemon).  What a combination!
The best beach in Quepos is seen in the distance, being admired by this iguana.
When the owner of the hotel told me that if I wanted to go to the beach in Quepos I would have to pay to cross the river in a boat THIS is not what I was expecting...
Super Pan!  I know we have Wonder Bread but Super Pan sounds way more fun.
This is one thing I do not like about Costa Rica; sometimes it is hard to find local fruit.  Everything seems to be from some other country, which is crazy considering they grow wonderful fruit here like pineapple, mangoes, and bananas.  If plums don't grow here then let's go without them!
This is taken five minutes from my hotel, on the hill right in between two beach towns (Manuel Antonio and Quepos).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Playa San Josecito, Osa Peninusla

I spent 120$ on two tours over the past two days so today I wanted to do something more along the lines of... free.  It was recommended to me to walk south along the beach to San Josecito.  What a gorgeous hike.  Before leaving Bahia Drake I rented some snorkel equipment (practically free day).

I think the beach is this way.
Almost all of the signs here are in English. 

A boat dropped off some necessities for a remote hotel.

Hermit crab party.

A dead halloween crab.

After a little over two hours I made it to San Josecito.  The reason I wanted to walk this far, even though there are beaches closer, is because this is the location where boats returning from snorkeling tours on Cano island come for lunch.  I found the captain (directed by the family I was with at Corcovado yesterday) and asked if I could bum a ride back.  No problem.

I only had about an hour of snorkeling before the boat was ready to leave but I could not believe how great the snorkeling was at this beach.  I saw puffers (unpuffed), angelfish, needlefish, parrotfish, just to name a few.  The colors were amazing, bright blue, yellow, green... incredible.  I let the husband of the family I met (Stephen) borrow my gear and he said it was better here than the tour to Cano island they paid for.  Awesome.

The underwater pictures were taken with Stephen's waterproof GPS...

not bad!!