After an evening turtle watching trip, we rose with the sun at 5 a.m. after four hours of sleep. The idea was to find more animals by waking up especially early. We departed on a hike through the dry forest with our guide, Freddy. We were completely exhausted and stumbled through the vegetation. We saw dangerous fuzzy caterpillars that Freddy was able to spot. He showed us leaves that were like sandpaper and vines that had sharp claws on them. He showed us the great big Guanacaste trees and told us that the Mayans believed that four of them held up the sky. We didn’t see any animals but we could clearly smell the urine of a jaguar marking its territory. After about two hours of hiking we arrived at a dried up waterfall where we ate a light breakfast of fruit and sandwiches and explored the area. We were able to walk around it and climb up the face of the emptied waterfall, where we got to see an iguana up close. After lunch we returned in the back of a tractor to the Horizontes research station where we were staying, seeing a family of deer along the way. We had an extended break until lunch and passed the time by talking and playing cards. We ate a lunch of chicken, rice, and beans then after another wait we left for Cabuyal beach.
At around 2 PM, we arrived at the beach. Everyone was eager to charge into the water, as it was warm and clear. The waves were perfect for bodyboarding, and that’s just what we did. The water temperature was perfect, and we had an amazing view of cliffs and mountains on either side. After a while, the waves began breaking too close to shore and we began to split up. Some of the group stayed near the camp while others traveled towards a small island covered in large, smooth rocks. Near it lay some shallow water that we had a lot of fun relaxing in. The beach was a great place to catch crabs, and we were able to collect quite a few! We probably enjoyed it more than the crabs did… As the group began to reconvene near the camp, we agreed to start up a game of beach soccer, as Nathan had brought a soccer ball with him. We divided into teams and played for a while, but ended up taking a break. We started playing again and continued playing until everyone was too tired to continue, and we relaxed in the water afterward. Soon enough, the call for everyone to leave the water came, but it wasn’t time to leave yet—dinner was ready! We had an amazing barbeque with chicken, sausage, and beef. Many varieties of soda were also provided. In addition, chips and salsa were available, and everyone had more than enough to satiate their hunger and thirst. After the meal, everyone went back to their activities. Many people began taking pictures as the sun started to set. The scene was nothing short of magnificent, and you could tell by the gleaming looks on everyone’s faces. Of course, no one wanted to leave when the adults called for us to pack up at around 7 PM. We grudgingly picked up our things and said goodbye to the beach, but also found comfort in knowing we had showers and warm beds awaiting us back at El Horizontes!
Tomorrow will be a travel day and we will take Flight 356 from Atlanta to Minneapolis with an estimated time of arrival of 10:45 p.m.
Nick and Alex