We arrived at the hotel and loaded our luggage in. The directors were very sweet to give Mary and I a room together. Many other students were 4 to a room so it was nice not to be separated. After loading in we took a thirty minute hike through the Manuel Antonio National Park with Janiva pointing out birds and plants of all shapes and kinds. We saw a beautiful Toucan perched in the canopy above us. It wasn’t long before our hike through the jungle took us to a private beach. I wasted no time and hopped in and began swimming and body surfing. I was first and I’m told I looked like a little kid. It was fantastic. The waves were much more powerful than I’m used to in the Gulf of Mexico and the water was very clean. The powerful waves lifted me up and threw me around. It was like being a kid again. No one has been able to throw me around since I was little and the feeling was like flying. I didn’t want to stop.
Sand got everywhere, but we played and played. The national park had to close so we packed up and started hiking out. On the way we finally saw some monkeys – maybe about eight of them -climbing in the trees around our heads. Again, I’ve seen these in zoos, but when the bars aren’t there its a very much more personal experience. We were warned that they like to steal lunches and backpacks so the monkeys and I we were eying each other not knowing what to expect. They’re cute little guys.