December 27, 2012
Jungle Beach Lodge
We were rudely awoken this morning by the loud chorus of howler monkeys that inhabit the trees surrounding our hotel. If you’ve never heard a howler monkey it’s really hard to describe. It’s sort of howling, sort of laughing, gutteral, very loud and a little frightening when you wake up at 4am and forget where you are. Though it was early it was clear that the monkeys weren’t going anywhere so we started our day a little earlier than planned and while we had breakfast on our balcony we saw what was making so much noise.
Today, dolphins were on the itinerary. I have never, ever seen a dolphin in the wild so I was pretty excited at the opportunity. We booked a ½ day sail with Planet Dolphin, who all but guaranteed we would come across wild dolphins at some point during the day. In my excitement I forgot that sometimes I get seasick. As a precaution I took a couple Gravols while waiting on the dock. The boat we were on was pretty nice, very clean and the staff was great. The downside was that the two below board bathrooms were disgusting. The toilets didn’t flush, were dirty right from the start and by the end of the trip were completely unbearable.
As we pulled away from the dock I could feel the boat rise and fall and willed my stomache to stay calm. Luckily the Gravol started to kick in and though I got a little drowsy it was better than blowing chunks on a rocking boat. The view from the boat was gorgeous and the sun was shining as we cruised along looking for dolphins and a spot to snorkel. Jeff was at the bar and I was lounging on one of the benches when the captain announced that three small dolphins had started trailing our boat. Everyone hopped up and rushed over to see the three small, grey dolphins in the wake beside the boat. I was so pumped that I forgot to grab my camera and after playing alongside the boat for 10 minutes or so they disappeared and I was left with no pictures at all.
After the dolphins left we stopped for 45 minutes or so of snorkelling and lunch. We grabbed our fins and masks and followed the crews directions for what was supposed to be an awesome snorkelling spot, but it left a lot to be desired. It seemed like every boat in the area was honed in on this spot and it was crowded! I was only in the water for maybe 5 minutes before I called it quits. There were so many people and not enough fish to make the snorkelling worthwhile.
When the last person was back on the boat we cruised back to the dock while everyone had lunch (which was delicious).
Being all salty from the snorkelling we showered at the hotel and then headed down to the beach for a little sunset viewing and dinner. Our hotel is really close to the locals beach so it was only a few minutes walk down the road and a couple jumps across a makeshift bridge. It was a little cloudy so the sunset wasn’t the greatest, but in the grand scheme of things an average sunset is better than pouring rain. After sunset we walked along the beach until we got to the more touristy area and found a great little pizza place. We split a Margherita pizza that was so good I had to talk Jeff out of ordering a second one. For dessert I had coconut ice cream and Jeff tried peanut ice cream and though that sounds weird it was really good.
So far Manuel Antonio has been great and seeing as tomorrow is the last day I’m really sad we didn’t plan to spend more time here.
Breakfast: toast, breads, fruit, juice, coffee
Lunch: fish skewers, fruit (watermelon, mango, pineapple), pasta salad, water, pop (by Planet Dolphin on the boat
Dinner: Margherita pizza, ice cold pop, peanut ice cream, coconut ice cream