August 17, 2008 - Costa Rica

More sloths...

I love this guys!

They have squirrel monkeys here, too.

We take a long walk out to a private beach.

The walk-way is muddy, but at least the hills are lined with stones.

We get to the beach and Raul makes a friend...

He feeds an iguana with some of the cooked vegetables he bought off a kid on the street.

It's a pretty lizard...

...though he doesn't seem to like close-ups!

Another beach...

The jungle just goes right into the sea...

They're camouflaged... See 'em?

Bats. The same kind we saw in Belize a few years back...

Looking back across the water to Quepos.
See the top building in the center...? We'll be there later.

For now, we keep trekking through the rainforest.

It is jungly.

I loved this tree!

Jill and I enjoy our trek.

Pura Vida, baby!

Just watch out for the trees! Some of 'em fight back...

Costa Rica's southern coast is breathtaking.

The park path runs along rocky cliffs.

Another cool tree.

We've walked a long way from that first beach (which is straight ahead).

Zoomed in on the tree where Raul was feeding the iguana.

The variety of wildlife and vegetation is staggering. I have no idea what kinds of trees these are, but it is like a forest within a forest...

The Costa Rican flag signifies Jill's and my 38th and 39th visited country, respectively.

The tide comes in and prompts us to take an impromptu, hand-walked boat ride from the park back to the town.

We head up to the top of Quepos to La Mariposa for a view of Manuel Antonio, where we had spent the day.

They have some cool flowers up there, too.

Late that night, Raul took us out to see sea turtles.
I forgot what species he said they were, but after a little research, I think they were Ridley Sea Turtles.
I took these by the light of the moon and a red pen-light since we didn't want to disturb the ladies with flash bulbs. I'm just glad they came out at all... We walked out on the beach to get eaten alive by sand fleas. Luckily, we walked less than 100 feet south and saw a sea turtle come out of the water. Just as she gave up on finding a suitable nesting spot and started back for the water, another female came out.
Once she started laying eggs, we approached from behind. It was so cool to see. Like a National Geographic special. We've been fortunate enough to have a few of those this year...

After watching her lay the eggs and spend about 15 minutes covering them up, we walk back north.
On the way back, we see a third sea turtle making her way up the beach.
We wait until she was in her egg-laying trance and watched her, too.

Tomorrow: Heading home