The day was dedicated to exploring the Manuel Antonio National Park, the country’s smallest national park at just over 683 hectares. I teamed up with Kathryn and the family from San Francisco to explore this marine nature habitat, home to the endangered Squirrel Monkey. Aside all the interesting things like iguanas, monkeys, sloth, and raccoons the park offers some very beautiful waterfalls and secluded beaches, as well a breathtaking viewpoint.
At night the family from San Francisco went to Quepos, the closest town and bought some bottles of wine for their traditional Thanksgiving and invited me to join them. We then had a superb dinner and very vital discussion about the political situation in the USA. The father was a Republican and huge fan of Ronald Reagan, while the daughter and her girlfriend where very active Democrats. Usually Americans are not very interested in political discussions at all, but this family was different in that case.
I spent half of the day on the beach to catch at least the glimpse of a tan. Playa Manual Antonio ranks as one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and has been rated one of the top ten in the world. The beach is a half mile long, white sand crescent bordered by deep green mangroves and palms. But still doesn’t top the “White-Heaven Beach” on the Whitsunday’s in Australia, which, for my opinion, is the most beautiful one in the world. Finally I and Kathryn boarded the bus back to San Jose where we spent the evening with a few beers and one of Kathryn’s friends, who had just arrived in Costa Rica.
After ten very amazing days in Costa Rica it was time to say Good bye to Costa Rica. Kathryn was heading for the Caribbean Coast, and I was flying back home to Austria. I have to admit that Costa Rica now ranks as one of my favorite countries, as it offers a very rich collection of birds, animals and plants and is easy to travel. The rainforest is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I hope it remains like this forever. The unpaved road to Monteverde helps maintaining a balance to keep away the mass tourism, that is changing and often damaging so many other places.