Andrew´s birthday, and Monkey Attack

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
1
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Trip End Jun 20, 2006


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, February 13, 2006

We left Bocas del Toro two mornings ago and headed up to Costa Rica. The border crossing was no problem at all. Costa Rica requires an onward ticket, so we were a bit worried that our computer printoff of the return flight we don´t plan to take wouldn´t exactly make the grade. But, no problem at all. The woman barely glanced at it.

We had to go to Puerto Limon to get Colones, as it is the only place on the Carribean Coast with an ATM. The exchange rate is about 500 Colones per dollar. It is weird to type in 100,000 on the ATM machine. Puerto Limon was a fairly nasty city, although cruise ships stop there. A french guy we met on the bus described it as ¨Harlem¨. We spent the night in a noisy hotel with what has to have been the lumpiest bed in all the world and then bussed back to Cahuita, a Carribean coastal town with a strong Rasta influence. There are hardly any Americans here. The tourists seem to be predominantly German.

Cahuita is nice and laid back, with a black sand beach to the North, and a white sand beach and National Park to the South.

Today is Andrew´s birthday. We went for a hike through the National Park. The trail parallels the coast, but is set back slightly in the jungle. We saw scads of land crabs in their little holes and several butterflies, including the morpho, we think. The highlight of the hike were the monkeys, whitefaced capuchins and howlers. Neither of us had seen wild monkeys before, so it was very exciting. The sound of the howlers makes your skin crawl. We were cautious around them on our way in, although they approached quite close to us. On the hike out, we were passing some Germans on their way in when we saw the monkeys again. The Germans were not at all cautious, and were eyeball to eyeball with one capuchin. When they started walking away, the capuchin started screaming and chasing them down the trail. It jumped on the womans backpack, and she started to scream as well, and twirl around in circles. Her husband was fumbling with his camera, trying to get it back in its case. He finally grabbed her backpack, complete with still screaming monkey, and began shaking it vigourously and flinging it around. The monkey finally took the hint and let go.

We almost wet our pants, and the German woman probably did too, although ours was laughter and hers was fear.

I guess people feed the monkeys.

For Andrew's birthday dinner, we went to Miss Edith's, a Carribean restaurant on the edge of town. It was super tasty. I had the Pescado Rondon, a whole fish fried up and served in a coconut curry. Andrew thinks it was a red snapper. I didn't like the fish staring at me, but he was tasty. Andrew had the jerked fish, which was super spicy and tasty--note to CHAD: we DID have spicy food before we got to Mexico. The Carribean side of Costa Rica has a huge Jamaican influence.

We will probably leave tomorrow to head south to Manzanilla and to see Tom Shaver in Punta Mona. Hopefully we will find a card reader when we get to San Jose, and will upload the long promised pictures. Unfortunately, there isn´t one of the German and the monkey.
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Comments

alana0
alana0 on

how old are you now?
Happy Birthday Andrew - if you come back to McCall I have a free Audi for you - although with all that food you are consuming down there I doubt you'll fit in it any more.

Jacque - you are missed but I appreciate living vicariously through you! Thanks for posting your adventures.

erindiane
erindiane on

the diablo mono!
We were in Cahuita yesterday, and had a similar experience with a capuchin.. possibly the same individual? But he didn't get a chance to touch us, we sprinted down the trail as he ran after us... we were cut off by two other monkeys ahead of us and we had to cut across onto the beach to get away from them. It was actually quite terrifying because they had some pretty sharp teeth.

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