Aug 14, 2016

Manzanillo Sightings

Manzanillo is a small town at the end of the line on the very south eastern coast of Costa Rica. We were quite close to the border crossing to Panama at Sixaloa. We took a five hour bus from San Jose to Limon, Puerto Viejo, and then, at the very end, Manzanillo. We got of the bus with four backpacks and four massive, wheeled dufflebags, and proceeded to haul the a mile or so over pavement and rough rocky dirty roads only to find our house locked, night falling, mosquitoes emerging in force, and a thunderstorm coming in. We were tired and stressed, and we still needed to make dinner. After hunting down the keys and abandoning our children to a traumatizingly loud thunderstorm, Katie and I returned soaked from buying overpriced food supplies from an majorly unfriendly shopkeeper to cook a simple meal and finally bed down the family in mosquito nets for the first time. It was a stressful night, but the rest of our stay turned out rather differently.

Here are some of the things we saw, that week. Also on the list were parrot fish, vultures, hummingbirds (colibris), Pelicans, a troupe of howler monkeys on a neighbors tree, coconuts from tress on the beach tha we harvested and consumed ourselves, water, meat and all. Oh, and a conch the size of a papaya! Oh, and sea urchins!

This bamboo stand constituted a major part of our front yard. So did the water, usually.

One of Fiorella's birds. It's name was Romeo.
This was our house for the week.

A gecko!

A cangrejo (crab). Bad photo, but it's larger than it looks. Land crab, perhaps the size of a grapefruit.

Spider (araƱa con parasol according to Fiorella)

Ah, the land of coconuts. What an amazing and special tree and fruit!

Hibiscus flowers outside our house.

The coast.

A sunset.

Bananas too. Also amazing plants and fruits and flowers.

 Hermit crabs!

Serious leaf cutter ants with many different sizes/shapes. Here a group of them were securing a secondary vine that crossed the main branch the colony used as a road. They formed a bridge with their bodies over which hundreds of others crosses as we looked on.

Here, a trail of leaf cutter ants has cleared a trail through the forest, defoliating all the little plants in their way. Reid was exploring the source!

This volcano of ant droppings is but a small pile of many on a giant leafcutter mound the size of your kitchen. Well, not YOUR kitchen, a really large extravagant kitchen.


An eyelash pit viper we saw on a tree at about eye level. Poisonous. Yikes.

Katie's hand is in focus, but the spider is only 5 inches closer to the camera. The size of her palm.

Lagartija (lizard) who clearly has lost and re-grown a tail!

Migratory species of large sedentary primate with odd body hair patterns!

Snake on the road. I don't THINK this was a pit viper.

Two toed sloth about 15 feet from the road we walked on every day.  We watched this one over the course of 3 days. One day it ate. One day it slept and we saw it had a child with it. Another day it moved 5 feet and then one day it was gone.

Three juvenile primates play in some sort of temporary nest.

Better picture of one of the inland crabs.

Tree frog. Sleeping.

Cocoa pod hangs from a cocoa tree in an old (and now over grown) cocoa orchard.

Juvenile primate eats coconut meat opened by a larger member of their small troupe using rocks and sticks.

One tree getting killed by a strangling vine.

Oh, and, the Caribbean.