We got up after a rough nights sleep, between the Saturday night party on the street going to around 3 am and the bakery preparing bread from about 5 am. Even with earplugs we struggled.

We made some Avocado-egg-foccacias using some freshly baked bread from downstairs to give us some strength for the day.

Made of Yum and Energy!

Charged up we decided to drive over to Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, basically a national park near here. Being a Sunday the Manzanillo Beach was completely filled with locals, all taking advantage of the beautiful weather to have a day at the beach.

Arriving at the Refuge, we were ushered into a car park by a volunteer providing security, before heading to the entry where we had to pay a donation of our choosing to enter. No set price.

We walked through the park for a bit, quickly realising that it was crowded too. There are some beaches within the park, and these were filled with people, while the paths were extremely muddy.

At this beach there were also hundreds of hermit crabs… and unfortunately tourists flouting the rules and collecting shells – which are their homes. We even got to watch some crabs try out new shells. Unfortunately we also watched some local boys pull a couple of crabs out of their shell, but at a harsh look from Manja they stopped and left. I even attempted to help one crab which was struggling to find a large enough shell, but could not find anything for him myself.

Based on our prior reading, we expected the area to be a bit rougher. So, when the paths started to split off in many different directions and inviting the casual wanderer to get lost, we decided to turn around. No use getting stuck in a jungle-maze!


Back at our car a short time later, the “Volunteer” suddenly expected 2000 Colones (about €3) for watching our car and keeping it safe. It wasn’t worth arguing about so we just paid it and headed off. We had hoped to drop by a local smoothie place recommended by lonely planet, but we could actually not find the place, even after walking the street to inspect every house. As this was the beach promenade, we decided to walk back along the beach and spotted this beached ship…. Which was reachable in the low tide right now. We ceased the opportunity and climbed aboard!

Walking back to the car along the beach we felt like we were getting cooked so headed to the shade of the nearby palms, still arriving at the car well sweated through. As we drove out of town we spotted the smoothie place, *technically* on the same road, but around a bend some 500 m further along. We decided not to stop and just head back to our room instead. We waited out the mid-day heat, which was oppressive and humid today, in the hammock on the verandah. As the afternoon drew to a close, we headed out to find ourselves a place to have dinner. We wanted to try a highly rated place just down the road, but when we arrived they told us they were closed and are going on holidays from tomorrow. Guess we won’t eat there… So we watched the sunset at the beach, which had another beached boat. Seems a trend here.

After that we checked out a few restaurants in the area before settling on an Asian place, which made a really nice veggie green Thai curry, served with a Mai-Tai. Manja and I had a great evening chatting away about future plans over dinner before looking through some souvenir shops. By the time we returned to our room it was already way past dark, and given the poor nights sleep last night, we dropped into bed early.