Part 10: Manuel Antonio and Rain Maker


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The Trip

We spent the night at Villa Nicolas on the cliffs of Manuel Antonio.  The drive getting here was "stressing" and we were happy to find a nice room.  We had a great dinner and enjoyed our first-ever taste of fried yucca root.  Very tasty.  After a nice night, we elected to see the "Rain Maker" reserve north of Manuel Antonio.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

This was the view from our balcony when I got up.  Not too shabby for a random hotel selection.

There were a set of small islands just to the south of Manuel Antonio, but they were partially hidden by the trees.

The balcony patio was really nice and provided comfortable seating in addition to a nice view.

Kathleen spotted this frog on the fan controller.  The photo is rotated 90 degrees, so the frog is sleeping vertical.  This is a Similisca Sordida according to matching its color scheme, but I do not know its common name nor do I know if it is toxic.

The drivers here are suicidal and were weaving in and out of traffic.  This huge bus passed us with little room to spare.

The road to the Rain Maker reserve was quite rough dirt.  But we did arrive and happily along the way the air conditioning in the car started working again.  The reserve sits against a steep ridge in the mountains.  Any areas without trees have been intentionally cleared.

The "tour" is a jungle hike over a set of suspension bridges.  One of the guide books stated that the bridges were constructed to stringent American standards.  Not.  But, despite their scary implementation, the trail did take us to some beautiful places.

While these bridges were less robust than the Hanging Bridges of Arenal, they supported our weight.  Each of the landings had a deck of some kind; the posts of one are visible in the photo above.

Wooden planks were laid on top of a step ladder frame to provide the bridge.

This shot gives a better view of the construction methodology.   

This tree had huge fin-like roots.  The dark lines are termite tubes that lead to the ground.

The trail was quite steep and we hiked a substantial vertical rise before we were above the jungle and had a view to the water.

Here you can see the step ladder frame under the wooden planks.

This was the longest bridge and it swayed and wobbled as you crossed.  The signs stated "three persons max." but I felt that one was a better number due to the motion caused by walking.

The center of the highest bridge gave us a nice view of the canyon below.

We descended the face of a steep cliff which brought us to a nice waterfall and pool at the bottom of the canyon.  Some of the hikers were going in the water, but we elected to pass.  One young German girl went into the water with some rather large open sores on her leg that were from scratching an insect bite and I cannot think the exposure will have a happy outcome.  Tropical fresh water can breed some odd opportunitistic bacteria, so hopefully she does not contract something ugly.

The area along the creek bottom was the only place that was not overgrown by vegetation.

From one of the pools Kathleen spotted this nice flower pod on the far side of the canyon wall.  The whole pod was about 18" long.

The return trail brought us past another nice waterfall.

The river bottom was one cascade followed by another.

The bridges crossing the creek are visible in the photo above.

The rocky bottom of the creek bed was polished by the action of the water.

This set of cascades ended in a nice, deep pool.

One more significant bridge to get out of the deep canyon.

The last bridge allowed us to see another little waterfall on a side creek.

Back at the entrance building we spotted this odd spider in the rafters of the building.  Note the spots and the fur on its legs.  He is about 50mm long, that is a big spider.

To get back into Manuel Antonio, we had to cross a one lane bridge.  Note the tire-swallowing hole at the left of the photo above.

When we saw this sign all we could think of was "Pollos Hermanos" from the Breaking Bad series.

Across from the chicken place was the local soccer field and the church.

The Rain Maker reserve was interesting despite the scary bridges.  But, jeez it was hot.  We were both drenched in sweat when we were done and went back to the hotel for a cockail and a dip in the pool.

Tomorrow, we head to Turrialba on our way to the Caribbean coast.

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