Can you imagine a more beautiful way to start the day than a walk to the Pacific Ocean at 6.30 in the morning, walking on the sand, watching the waves roll lazily onto the beach, walking between the avenue of rainforest back to the hotel with the sound of tropical birds calling from the treetops and howler monkeys ‘howling’ in the distant trees of the National Park? I have, at last, got used to this idea of being up early and with great joy, find the ocean view idyllic.What delights me more too is starting to talk with the staff at the hotel, the guy on reception who wanders the lanes with his camera looking for wildlife to photograph and happily talks about the birds he has spotted and reverently points out a nest (from a distance) of a bird who is protecting her second clutch of eggs. “The monkeys. They stole the first eggs,” he tells me. I saw him last night on the beach too, trying to find that perfect sunset over the Pacific on Playa Espadilla. It is always fascinating to watch local people still interested in the things that they see everyday.
In the park, the animals were, as always, creating a great display but what I found particularly interesting was the lengths the monkeys go to in order to obtain food from humans. One white faced monkey sat on the trail, obviously wanting to be admired before turning on its back in ‘tickle tummy’ mode. This, I would think, is learnt behaviour and just goes to show how intelligent they are? Or how they are able to adapt their social skills, perhaps?
The afternoon, we spent on a sunset cruise with Sunset Sails. Obviously, the idea was that we were out on a boat all afternoon til sunset. And, for the first time in my life, I saw wild dolphins. A small pod of about 10-15 of spotted dolphins. Maybe a cliche but they are so graceful in the water. And the amazing thing about this cruise was that we were small in number so getting a spot at the viewing deck was easy. We spent ages watching them dive and surface. A hugely satisfied girl! Snorkeling next and to my surprise my partner was a bit nervous as he had never snorkeled before.
I was extra generous with him and made sure he had the better flippers and talked him through using a snorkel. I haven’t snorkeled for ages and the kit wasn’t the best, having had some really quality gear in the past, but it was fine and we stopped off at a rock in the bay to watch beautiful shoals of fish, one at least, I am sure, nibbling at my ankles.
Sunset was, as always, quite magnificent, a scarlet orb descending to the ocean. A beautiful way to end a beautiful day in paradise….
Except for the cockroach that made its appearance in our hotel room as we returned. Not a fan, my partner ran round chasing after it and eventually caught it, dispatching it outside but not before I had descended into complete cockroach panic. Oh well, it wouldn’t have been right if I had not been afraid of something.