My brown paper lunch bag made more noise than me. It crinkled with each gust of cloud forest wind while the not-yet appetizing scent of peanut butter and jelly danced around my nose. At 5:45 am my eyes finally began to adjust to the sleepy dawn, and my ears perked as the grumpy hum of a morning taxi grew louder.
By 6:30 am seat no. 14 on a bus bound for Manuel Antonio was occupied and I was en route to the sight of beautiful beaches and a national park teeming with biodiversity. A number of times I dozed off, hypnotized by the synchronized undulating of everyone aboard, succumbing to the dips and bumps on the twisting mountain road. And of course, while munching on my PB&J sandwich along the way, cliché thoughts of coconut drinks and sand between my toes popped into my mind. But what I couldn’t have dreamed of was the sublime wildlife and flora I would encounter while spending a weekend exploring the rocky beaches and dense forests of Manuel Antonio National Park in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
Blog contribution by Alex Fylypovych, UGA Costa Rica Photojournalism Intern