We left EARTH University and arrived at the beach town of Cahuita, just outside of its eponymous national park and met Chino Randall who fitted us for mountain bikes and helmets.
“Mountain” Biking in Cahuita
The route was quite flat but we appreciated the knobbier mountain bike tires on the pockmarked roads. We rode through a quiet neighborhood and out to Playa Negra. We enjoyed some watermelon and bananas, reapplied sunscreen and refilled water bottles before riding back to the entrance of Cahuita National Park where Chino and his mom had a huge picnic lunch for us.
After lunch we agreed to meet back in two hours and the students took off to swim and see what they could see on the trails of the national park.
Exploring Cahuita National Park’s Trails
“I danced with a blue morpho butterfly beneath the jungle canopy.”
That one line posted to social media – no associated photo or video – captured my hour and a half solo meander. I walked along a trail that ran parallel to the shoreline in the park.
Students wandering ahead of me stopped to point out a family of raccoons in the underbrush. I spied on their little ones’ antics for a few moments and continued on.
I admired a spider web – and the web’s owner – glistening in the sunlight that filtered through the dense canopy.
I passed families fishing in small tidal pools. I took photos for other tourists. Eventually I really was by myself on the trails.
I looked at my watch. I’d been walking and examining my surroundings for the better part of an hour. I decided I’d better get back before the bus left without me.
I walked the beach on my way back, sand exfoliating my dry winter feet. When they got too hot, I put my shoes back on and hit the shade of the trail. That’s when the butterfly found me.
I heard my name being called. One of the students saw me walking by and recruited me to join the others waiting for people to get out of the water. We watched Capuchin monkeys try to steal snacks from the guys hanging out nearby. We looked up when we heard our group yelling about a ray that had flown out of the water.
As we gathered everyone up and walked towards our meeting place, one of the outdoors students showed me photos of a wide variety of wildlife he had managed to capture.
For photos of the day’s adventures, click here.
Up next: wildlife and bird watching.