A Visit to the National Park. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

After a night sleeping in a hammock, I awoke at the crack of dawn due to the sounds of wildlife. You are probably thinking, awww, how cool…being awoken by monkeys and birds! Nope…not really. All I wanted to do is sleep, but like always, the wild prevailed.

One of my friends was interested in checking out Cahuita National Park with me, so we caught the bus and headed up to the neighboring town of Cahuita to begin our hike. Actually, it’s more like a stroll. I’m all for hiking, but I like lazy hiking much better. That consists of hiking in flip flops and a swim suit, which this trail was perfect for. An easy 7 kilometer walk on this trail can easily be done in two hours.

We took off, and of course, the rain rolled in. It was still beautiful, but because of this, I was only able to snap a few photos. In comparison to others, the park is quite small, yet packed with wildlife, with 20 to 30 monkeys usually waiting for you at Cahuita Point. As soon as you turn your head, they attempt to steal your bag…those little pricks. But, due to the rain, we only saw two white-faced monkeys, which both were quite far away. But if you come on a sunny day, you might be lucky enough to have your bag snatched directly from your hands.

I did some volunteer work in this park a few years ago. Actually, I really didn’t work. I was supposed to, but when ever you put me near a beach, I’m worthless. Whenever I saw a ranger approach me to give me a project, I would instantly go find a hiding spot…which was usually under a palm tree right next to the water. But some of my best memories were from this area, and they all came rushing back as I casually strolled the trail.

As I approached the volunteer head quarters, I saw a couple of rangers I use to work with. I didn’t think they would recognize me, so I just casually looked around, but was shocked when the head ranger realized who I was and came up to talk with me. And get this…not once did he address me as that stupid, lazy American! I stayed and visited for about five minutes, caught up on the current happenings of the park, and also inquired about the state of the wildlife (turtles in particular, which their population is rapidly deteriorating). They seemed to enjoy the conversation and even commented on how my Spanish has improved drastically. Back then I only knew how to say beer, taco, and enchilada. Now, I can say cold beer, taco, and enchilada. Quite an improvement, wouldn’t you say?

We headed off to finish out the trail, and as a celebration for completing the extremely strenuous hike (sarcastic), we stopped at the restaurant Boca Chica. This is seriously one of the most randomly placed restaurants in the world. It’s at the end of the trail, also at the entrance to a national park, which is next to a highway that doesn’t even get that much traffic. But with the pool and wonderful food, it’s a great place to kick it for a few hours.

We eventually made it back to hammock haven and gathered a group to head out for the night. We went to go check out this live band that we heard was playing, but as soon as we arrived at the bar, we realized it was way to posh for us. We headed out and made our way into a disco with thumping music that was sure to leave us all with pounding headaches.

I enjoy dancing, but not disco dancing. (FYI…when I say disco, down here, that refers to a club). I hit the floor and attempted to start “The Train,” but no one seemed to have the desire to join. I finally broke and went to the typical male stereotype, that is, sit at the bar and don’t even think about going out there to dance. All you do is sit there and bob your head, in hopes of looking cool. Never really understood the process, so of course, I always fail miserably at the “cool” part.

People watching is quite enjoyable, but after awhile, I was becoming restless and decided to call it a night. I headed back and fell asleep almost instantly.

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