Today, we went to a frog farm that is not open to the public with Esteban. The owner, raises rare frogs, but the neat thing is that the frogs are left to hop along in the rainforest, so if you walk quietly through, you can spot many of these neon colored frogs . We stealthily walked through the rainforest in search of these small frogs. Beside the trails, there were a lot of them. You have to look closely, but you can find these bright green and black frogs, whose skin and delicate arms look tie-dyed. We also saw bright blue frogs. The neatest of all was on the back of a leaf, where a red-eyed tree frog was resting. These frogs are nocturnal and look like blobs during the day, but once awoken, burst into neon colors with red eyes, red-orange feet.
The horses were trailed over, so that we could ride the rest of the farm, passing by beautiful flowers and plants, on the lookout for monkeys. We hit a patch of howler monkeys in the trees above us. These monkeys make a distinct hollering like sound. Each pack of monkeys is protected by a dominant male. I felt like one monkey was starring me down as we sat on our horses below and starred up at the monkeys.
We next rode by a cacao plant. Ah chocolate! If you cut open one of these pods, you can smell inside. The one that we cracked open was not ripe and smelled just like a melon to me. We passed through a thick forest and then down to the San Carlos River, which was partially dried up, as we are here in the dry season. In the rainy season, the banks where we were riding are overflowing with water.
We went to Monica's family's nearby lake house after the farm for a much needed lunch of paella and mango juice and then started our drive to the beach. Driving in Costa Rica is totally nuts. The roads wind around these mountains with tight turns, single lane bridges and big trucks that creep along and that you must pass, but at your own risk.
We pulled into Jaco, a beach area, at night. This area is starting to boom and to me, looked like any Florida beach area with souvenir shops, restaurants, condo high rises and even a bagel shop, which I have to admit, we tried the next morning. American travelers and investors are buying condos here and hitting the beach. Our ride tomorrow would be in a more secluded area.