Entry 2: May 31, 2011
Manuel Antonio 5-24-11
Wow this morning was a plethora of experiences starting with the cab ride over to our Extreme guides, Ezequil and Olman, from there it only got better. The trip over to the site was filled with very interesting yet fun conversations which made Caitlyn and me very comfortable about what “extreme” events were to follow. Once there we ate the yummy arepas the cook prepared; well tried to eat. My appetite fled my body as anxiety took over as I thought about what was to come next.
Our guides strapped us up in our repelling gear- ropes, clips, and a helmet. My stomach was full of butterflies and my heart felt as though it would escape from my chest; the idea of repelling down a waterfall … oh the doubts that filled my head. Looking out over the ledge where I had to take my first leap of faith was pretty scary; I didn’t think I could go through with it, but the guides and Caitlyn (who had already gone) kept telling me that the first jump is always the hardest. After saying a quick prayer I closed my eyes and jumped; I never felt such a rush! Things got a little easier as we went. Next were the partial zip line and then the drop into the large pool right above the waterfall we were to repel down. With my fear of the water and the fact that I can’t swim I knew this was where I would have to quit, but again Caitlyn, the guys and prayer gave me the confidence and the faith I needed to make it across. All the events leading up to the main event made the repelling down the waterfall a piece of cake. The entire morning from beginning to end was an absolute adrenaline rush. Today once again proves my statement… in Costa Rica I feel like I can do anything!
Entry 1: May 16, 2011
The second morning while in La Selva after our delicious breakfast of eggs, rice, and beans we had our tour of the rain forest. While on the tour in the later part of the day our tour guide came across a White- Faced Capuchin, one of the three monkeys that can be found here in La Selva, and showed it to the group through his telescope. The other two common monkeys found in La Selva are the Howler monkey and the Spider monkey. The White-Faced Capuchin is very aggressive and attacks other animals. The rarest of the three is the Spider monkey and the most common is the Howler.
Since the Howler monkey is the most common I decided to do further research on the mammal. There are two types of Howlers, the Mantled Howler (Alouatta paillata) and the Yucatan Black Howler (Alouatta pigra). According to A Field Guide to the Mammal's of Central America and Southeast Mexico, Howlers are large and stocky, and weigh between 4 and 8 kilograms. The tails of a Howler are prehensile, similar to the tails of the Capuchin and the Spider monkey. The Mantled Howler is "black with a yellowish or brownish mantle on its sides; females are smaller with short beards and males are larger with long beards". The Yucatan Black Howler is "entirely black with thick glossy fur". An interesting fact I found in the book The Mammals of Costa Rica is that adult females that are high in rank and non- related will harass or even kill another adult female's baby in order to protect her young from future competition. This trait is seen in the Mantled Howler monkey. With this new found information I look forward to the faculty research dealing specifically with the monkeys when we travel to San Luis later on in our trip.