Adventures in Costa Rica
Monkeys and Sloths and Snakes, OH MY!
I'm standing on the beach watching a troop of white faced capuchin monkeys scamper across the sand, snatching fruit and bags of chips from people's beach towels before scrambling up trees with their treasures. One even went so far as to jump on my dad's back on its way to a new tree.
I can also see a boa constrictor coiled up in a tree behind us. And in the jungle, which is right on the beach, I can see as many sloths crawling around in the trees as there are monkeys dancing on the beach (which is maybe a little over a dozen). Yes, I am in Costa Rica, a small country in Central America with beaches on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
While on my trip I learned a lot about the country and its animals. I learned that sloths climb down from their trees only once a week. They come down to go to the bathroom and then slowly climb back up the tree. There they begin the same cycle of chomping down leaves with painfully slow-moving jaws and sleeping for hours at a time with no particular schedule. After a week of this, they go back down to do their business.
I saw the most wildlife in the Manuel Antonio National Park, but animal sightings were not the only adventure I had!
A Thrilling Ride and a Close Encounter
Zip lining is another way to see the rain forests of Costa Rica. Zip lining is when you stand on a platform high above the ground, and a guide attaches you to a cable by a carabiner. Then he gives you a little push, and whoosh, you go sailing through the forest canopy at top speed, until you reach the next platform.
I was in a group of about 40 people and we zipped between 12 platforms. Every fourth platform was a rest platform. That meant that all 40 of us were on the platform at the same time!
On one rest platform, we got a poisonous surprise: a tiny, but deadly fer-de-lance was sleeping on the platform. Also known as a pit viper, if a fer-de-lance bit you, you would normally have no more than 20 minutes to live. I'm happy we made it out of that situation alive! I still have much more to say but that will have to wait for another time. Hope you enjoyed my blog AND your summer!
PHOTOS: (TOP) White faced capuchin monkeys play in the trees near a beach in Costa Rica. (BOTTOM): Maya zips from one platform to another in a rain forest in Costa Rica. (Photos courtesy Maya Kandell)