January 2, 2003 (Thursday)

Today, we got up early to drive to the Manuel Antonio National Park. We hiked all of the trails in the park. Some of these trails were on beaches, and some were in the rainforest. We encountered many creatures on these hikes, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, crabs and turtles. There were many beautiful iguanas and dinosaur lizards on the beaches we went to, as well as many hermit and fiddler crabs. We saw many white-faced monkeys swinging in trees close to the trail of one of the hikes, so we decided to stop and watch. We took lots of nice pictures! As Steve, David and I watched the monkeys, Paula looked up in the trees and spotted a three-toed sloth hanging low in a palm tree. As we gazed at the sloth, more people began to gather. We saw the sloth begin to stretch out his arm and grasp a weak branch. The branch suddenly broke and the sloth swung down and almost hit the person in front of us. We got some great pictures - the sloth is a very interesting animal.

Afterwards, we all swam at a beach, and when we were walking back barefoot we stepped on a fire ant farm. We all got a ton of bites! After eating a fairly uncomfortable lunch, we went back to the hotel and took a dip in the pool. Paula saw an iguana drinking out of the pool as we were swimming!

For dinner, we went to a restaurant called the Anaconda, and enjoyed two helpings of ice cream.

- Katie