Manuel Antonio National Park

We are slowly making our way South to the Osa peninsula and the biggest and most remote park in the country – Corcovado.  Two days ago we drove from San Jose to Jaco.  Jaco is the favorite beach party town for all folks from the capital.  The town is nothing special but has a pretty cool beach and some awesome waves if you are into surfing. On the way to Jaco the road crossed the Rio Grande de Tarcoles.  The river is coming down from a small national park and is nothing special if it wasn’t for the fifty 2 to 4 meter crocodiles that hang out under the bridge.

After Jaco we drove south about 75km to a small town called Manuel Antonio and the adjacent Manuel Antonio National Park.  Teresa read in the guide book that the park is really popular with tourists and is heavy visited so we decided to check it out.  Usually we stay away from such places but this time we said what the heck …

We came in town via a long curvy road covered with little hotels crammed in the thick jungle.  We drove to the park entrance and found a convenient parking lot ten meters from the beach.  We talked to the guard and he said it is ok to park for the night free of charge (success).

This morning we got up around 6:30am, and made a quick breakfast on the tailgate and precooked dinner.  Yesterday evening it poured for four hours straight so we decided to try to precook dinner for tonight in the morning.  Around 9am we headed to the park.

I thought the park was awesome.  We saw way more wild life than in any of the other parks we have visited so far in Costa Rica. Plenty of monkeys and iguanas. We also spotted a yellow eyelash viper and a sloth (na Bulgarski tova e ‘lenivec’).  I wanted to see a sloth for a long time so this was cool.  Another really fantastic thing about this park were the beaches.  Lots of them and all of them were paradise like. The not so cool part about the park was that it was indeed really crowded.  So much so that the guides, we did not take one, were unbelievably paranoid that we were sneaking in their groups.  One of the guides came to explain that ‘it is not cool’ to do that.  It is impossible to walk even 10 meters without bumping into a group of 10 people staring at something.  I think if we have to do this park again we will not take guides again.  There is plenty to see on your own.


What’s in a name

We are a traveling trio.  There is the Bulgarian, the Canadian, and our reliable Toyota Tacoma pickup.  We very quickly named our tent Taj, as in Ta Mahal, because we learned the value of sleeping off the ground. We’ve been procrastinating naming the taco though.  We frequently give her (yes, it’s a her), appreciate taps much like you would a horse – at least that’s what I’ve read.  We’ve been test-driving some options.  There was “Tony the truck” which did not communicate the fact that the taco is a lady.  We tried “Ellie”, short for elephant.  That was a little too close to a certain niece, and I don’t really think the taco epitomizes any elephant characteristics.  We then tried “Gandalf…the grey”.  That didn’t last long, and yes we are geeks.  Going back to the drawing board, we tried listing qualities of the truck.  Reliable, easy going, adventurous – she certainly doesn’t mind getting her feet dirty.  That led nowhere. Finally, we ran into some inspiration in the form of a dog on the beach in Costa Rica.  Drum role please…”Pura Vida”, Vida for short.  Pure life or full of life – a Tico saying.  Perfect.


Go Corvo!

We are with you Corvo! Swiftsure 2013. I hope you have great wind all the way around the course! I would say ‘If you make it in before the bars close the drinks are on me… “, but I think you are doing the long course …

In the meantime Teresa and I are on a remote beach in Costa Rica cooking at 90F. Butch, you know what would make this better ? … nothing 🙂 /ok, maybe if there were no land crabs it would be better…/

Good luck guys and stay safe!


We got invaded .. again !

Ok, this time it is not ants, or bears for that matter.  It is, wait for it … it is giant land crabs!  It just happens to be full moon and it just happens to be the beginning of the rainy season … and, as I just read (yes, it is 23:30 in the evening and I am reading wikipedia about land crabs … see terrestrial crabs and land crabs), it is giant Land Crab mating season!  Oh, baby!

So, last night and tonight we got surrounded by hundreds of giant crabs.  We were safely inside the mosquito net under the awning. At first we thought it was pretty cool to see these huge creatures everywhere. And then … then we came to understand the meaning of the word everywhere.  About 2 hours ago, which is about 9:30pm I was just finally dozing off.  I say finally because it is full moon and I was worried if the tide will come too high and we will have to move the car … Ok, this is a separate topic, but we are parked a little bit close to the water.  Anyways, so two hours ago I am dozing off and I hear something scratching at the tent.  Usually this would be a bird and after a quick tap on the tent from the inside the intruder would be gone.  So, there goes a tap and I quickly go back to dozing off.  Two minutes later there is the scratch again.  I tap again and turn to the other side but there is the noise again and again.  So I turn to Teresa, who is reading her book at this time and I am “Hey, there is something on the outside of the tent.  Could you please pass me the headlight”.  We turn the light on and we both scream for our lives.  There is a giant land crab hanging smack in the middle of the mosquito net on the outside of the tent.  It is an inch from my legs, just chilling and chewing on the net… Not to help at all the shadow of the stupid crab on the top of the awning made it look like a f*&ing alien!  Yes, we did scream a bit … Maybe I screamed a bit more than Teresa. Watch the video below.

T got out of the tent first.  She had to pee and when T has to pee there is nothing that can stop her … For once in the last 10 months I will say I was happy that Teresa has a small bladder.  So she is out of the tent and 5 seconds later she starts screaming.  There are more crabs climbing on the side of the mosquito net under the awning….

So we spent the next 30 minutes kicking crabs from the top of the car with a hiking poll and devising a way to lift the mosquito net off the ground for the night so no more crabs climb up.

It has been some time now but I am still a bit disturbed so I am writing a post instead of sleeping… Wish me good luck.


Update:  … every single one of the emails we got back for this post asked if we cooked the crabs … The answer is NO!!!  Let’s just say, we will ever eat crabs again.  These guys were frankly disgusting … Oh, and by the way there were no more crabs on the 3rd night.  It wasn’t full moon anymore so they were all gone … And thank God!