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Journals from Costa Rica Adventures Abroad 2012

2012-10-09 Great Birthday Weekeend at Manuel Antonio National Park

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Right before parasailing!

Adios Linfield students!  You’re probably thinking: why is she saying good-bye to me at the beginning of her journal?  Don’t worry--I am not crazy, and this wasn’t a mistake, because in the Costa Rican culture ‘adios’ is a form of saying ‘hello’!  Just a fun cultural fact for you all! 

                Anyway, the majority of the group and I had another exciting adventure this past weekend!  It was my birthday last Thursday (October 4th), and eleven group members and I celebrated it over the weekend at a place called Manuel Antonio National Park.  This park is not only a forestry reserve to maintain the tropical rainforest and the animals, but it is all so a tourist attraction.  In the park there are a variety of activities offered, such as: whale watching, hiking tours, RV tours, zip-lines, white water rafting, horseback riding, and other exciting things!  The majority of the group and I paid the entrance fee to the park and decided to lounge on the park’s beautiful beaches.  The beach we went to was surrounded by the beautiful tropical forest, with almost-white sand, and aqua colored water.  The waves were calm, which made it easy to swim out a bit, float on my back and gaze at the sky.  I know everyone enjoyed the beach, and the beautiful park!  A few of the group members all so did some hiking, and horseback riding as well, which they whole-heartedly enjoyed! 

Manuel Antonio is near a town called Quepos; these two places are side by side, so it is hard to tell if the Manuel Antonio Park is considered part of Quepos or not.  Our first night in Quepos, the group and I went to dinner and out dancing for my birthday!   We went to dinner at a place called Luna Mar, which was an adorable restaurant on a balcony, and the place was lit up with dim candle light.  We were a big group of girls among many couples who were trying to have a romantic evening.  I guess there is nothing romantic about celebrating my twenty-first birthday with all my friends!  The night got better when we went to a local club (disco) afterwards with free admission for the ladies!  The disco was called Republic and looked like a bachelorette pad with pink and zebra wallpaper, seats and much more.  It was a great night!

                Some highlights from the rest of our weekend consisted of eating in a tourist restaurant called El Avión, and parasailing!  El Avión is a restaurant with a huge airplane inside.  One could choose to eat in the airplane or on a large balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.   We sat on the balcony, ordered our food, and ate dessert. The whole experience was exceptional, and we were all satisfied afterwards.   As for parasailing, Hillary, Rachel and I got a good deal of fifty dollars each through the owner of our hostel. All three of us went at the same time.  Taking off was a bit rough, though, but once we were lifted into the air everything was so peaceful.  The view from above was amazing: we could see the never-ending ocean, and the beautiful scenery of the land.  We also saw a dolphin in the wild near a whale-watching boat/tour!  Parasailing was the highlight of my birthday weekend! 

                The group and I agree that Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park is our favorite place in Costa Rica so far.  The food, the people, the activities, the beaches and the shopping are all fantastic! 

Adios (good-bye this time)!

Mariah  

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