Location: Manuel Antonio

After three days of hard work, a much needed day of rest and exploration has arrived!

Following our first restful night at the Hotel Manuel Antonio, we met in the restaurant to prepare our homemade lunches- we would be spending the day at Manuel Antonio National Park, where no packaged meals are allowed. Once our sandwiches were packed, and our breakfast was eaten, we departed for the day, taking the foot-trail to the park entrance. We played a comical (and rather predictable) game of tag as we made our way towards our telescope-armed tour guide, Josue. On the walk down the park’s beach, we stopped in several spots to observe the wildlife- the rather elusive creatures that Josue has a talent for spotting. Through the telescope, we got a great look at some fruit-eating and mosquito-eating bats, both of which surprised us with their tiny size! The telescope also revealed two- and three-toed sloths, as well as green and brown vine-like snakes. We even got to touch a spiderweb that is so strong; it’s sometimes used for the fishing line by local fishermen! The tour concluded with a photo and a close encounter with some white-faced capuchin monkeys, famous for stealing the tourists’ lunches. The end of the path brought us to the main beach, but we walked ten more minutes to a less populated alternative and settled in. We spent the next few hours swimming, floating, trying to catch waves, and some hunting for hermit crabs along the rockier shoreline. JB, Amber and I also opted to embark on an extra hiking excursion, where we saw some great views, but sadly no whales. Things got intense as some ominous looking clouds rolled in, and Jordan, Bella, and Savanna began to feel some alarming static-like shocks in the water. After some screaming and investigation, it was determined that the source of the pain was floating jellyfish remnants, which disappointingly didn’t leave any deep battle scars. We called it a day at 3:30 as the tide rolled in, and the waves grew stronger and stronger. Once we packed up and made the journey back to our hotel, we enjoyed a quiet evening, which included a snack, dinner, and our first reunion with our phones! In the final moments of our fifth day, the group played a few intense rounds of Swap, accompanied by the sound of the cicadas singing and my fingers tapping away with the swift creation of this literary work.

#JournalismIsn’tAllFunAndGames #Bendy

We’re all looking forward to another action-packed day tomorrow!