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Running through the jungle.

December 10, 2011

Ah, another day in paradise. I’m honestly not sure where to start while describing the beauty here.

I woke up yesterday around 8 to a yet another perfect day. Sun blazing through my window and 80 degrees already. My first priority every morning is to surf. Well, first, it’s eat peanut butter on toast and drink a huge glass or fresh juice, then surf. My dad and I walk back and forth to the beach every day together, mostly in silence, but we don’t really need to talk much. It’s just understood we’re having a good time and there’s no place else we’d rather be. The surf is amazing, as usual. Come to think of it, I haven’t actually seen bad surf here, it’s just always firing. Waves are plentiful and I was told I caught the left of the day. It was a pretty perfect wave if I may brag a little, shoulder high and long as all get up, with plenty of opportunities to maneuver around. We walked back to the house hungry, tired, and happy for a mid-day siesta.

I decided then, I would take another walk to the beach and see what things I could photograph. Mostly huge trees and flowers, but no wildlife. Certainly not a wasted expedition by any means, beauty here is every where.

Soon after, I learned something about myself that I kind of already knew, but hadn’t really experienced yet. If you know me, you know my saying is “I don’t want to run unless something is chasing me.” Well, I learned today that I will also run if there are monkeys involved.

As I took my 3rd walk to the beach that day, half way there, I heard a commotion in the trees above my head. I looked up and squinted into the sun and would you believe a family of 10 Howler Monkeys were making their way from tree to roof to tree. I was stopped dead in my tracks and debated whether to just watch, or run back to the house for my camera. The debate probably only took 15 seconds but it seemed like a life time. I ditched my blanket and water bottle on the side of the path and started running through the jungle. Now, if you’ve ever run full throttle through the jungle, you know every branch and stick in there is just waiting to trip you! I could have sworn they were growing and shifting the faster I ran. The small path I was on lets out right in front of our house where my dad was on the porch reading his book. Imagine his surprise when he saw me pummeling out of the opening, breathing hard and barely able to get a word out due to excitement. His immediate reaction was “What’s wrong!?” And in broken English I try to explain about the monkeys, and how I need my camera, at this point I could have easily run right through the screen door I was going so fast.

I make it back to the monkeys just in time to see a mama with a baby on her back misjudge a leap and end up in a small palm tree right in front of me. I snap a few pictures and feel a little bummed that I’ve missed them. Except, I realize they couldn’t have gone that far, so I trespass up some stairs that lead me to a clearing with a swimming pool. The monkeys are in every tree, eating, playing and doing, what monkeys do I suppose. I don’t even know where to start at this point, there are monkeys in every direction, each cuter than the next. There is one particular monkey who has ventured close enough to the ground that I could have reached up and touched him. I considered it for a half a second till I saw his teeth, and then used my better judgement for once. He is patient with me and allows me to get very close without swinging away while I snap 64 pictures in a matter of minutes. They decide as a group to move on, and I bid farewell to my first Costa Rican wildlife experience. I’m astonished and it almost feels surreal. What a place.

In the evening we decide to visit Jesse at La Banana and listen to some Raggaeton while Dad and Abe play some very serious games of foozeball. This place is magical. Best day ever.

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