Day 4 in Guanacaste

Today is Day 4 in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The weather is in the perfect 80’s and the sun shines everyday. So far, we managed to catch and analyze 56 convict cichlids here in Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve (more than halfway there!). We’ve seen cichlids (too many), iguanas, howler monkeys, white-face capuchins, hummingbirds, lizards, cane toads…there’s a reason why this place is named Costa Rica. Even here in the dry forest region of the country, the biodiversity is enough entertainment for us 4 biologists without Wifi or TV.

Today was our first day off, and it was a much-needed day of relaxation, sun, and no snorkeling! Danny, Matt and I decided to head over to playas del Coco, one of the more well known beaches in this area along with Hermosa. 1 car ride, 2 buses, and 2 hours later, we made it to the beach town and immediately hit the sand. It wasn’t as crowded as we anticipated; it was a Wednesday morning after all. The sand was a bit wet but the water was a perfectly warm temperature.

Coconut and sun: recipe for vacation
Coconut and sun: recipe for vacation

I may have been a tad too excited to get some sun since I didn’t really get to beach this past summer in the monsoon season of SE Asia. Now, I’m here treating my sunburns with aloe and cocoa butter lotion.

The Pacific, in all it's glory and saltiness
The Pacific, in all it’s glory and saltiness

I should really call this post “the night that we were left behind on a road in a Costa Rican reserve.” After a long day on the beach, we hopped off at our stop to no waiting car. About 15 minutes later, we see our park ranger pull up in a four-wheeler. After realizing that he wasn’t kidding about the four-wheeler, the three of us hopped on top of whatever available surface. It was a really pleasant ride, a lot smoother than riding a car! The sky was beautiful and the wind was really helping cool down my sunburns. 15 minutes in, the four-wheeler stalls and stops. The boys help push it down the road but then the ranger just took off with it after a while. Imagine 3 American college students, left behind in a forest with no light but the moonlight. I take out my handy iPhone and use the flash to light the rest of the way home. It was pretty hilarious but I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t a bit scared.

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