Monday, July 13, 2009


Yesterday we arrived in San Jose without a hitch. We collected our luggage and our rental car and headed out to Monteverde. According to everyone in San Jose, Monteverde is very far (about 150 km and a 4 hour drive) and very cold (20 C). We were not worried.

The drive was absolutely gorgeous, if a little scary. The roads are narrow and curved and at 80 km an hour you feel like you are flying. Passing cars looks impossible (although people do) and there are constantly cars broken down on the road and people walking on the road that add "interest" to the trip. The towns have no "Welcome to ..." signs so we never knew where we were but we had been told what major landmarks to look for. Amazingly enough we found the right road to turn off. That was when we hit the gravel roads and slowed right down. We didn't mind though because it was much less busy and way less stressful.

We arrived just before it got dark and found our amazing hotel. It is set on the side of a hill and the grounds are filled with banana and orange trees, gorgeous flowers and small paths. I haven't taken any pictures here yet (other than of dogs and the white faced monkeys we saw this morning!) but I will tomorrow.

Today we hired a guide and had a tour of the cloud forest. It was amazing and thank goodness we had a guide or we wouldn't have seen a thing. We saw tonnes of birds (he was amazing quick with a spotting scope so we could spot them close-up before they moved on), a howler mokey (ah... the smell of their feces alerts you that they are in the area), a stick insect, a white faced coati and the most amazing trees, vines and roots.

One large tree will support over 200 other species of plants. The other plants don't feed off the tree, they just use its height so they can access sunlight. They then send roots down to the forest floor - it takes years and years for the roots to reach. When the trees collapse it is usually from the weight of all the other plants on them. Not much sunlight reaches the forest floor so new growth on the ground is very hard. There is no autumn as we know it - the leaves stay on the trees for so long they grow moss!

When we got back to town we visit the "Frog Pond" which is essentially a frog zoo. We will be going back again tonight to see them when they are most active. I was amazed at how small they were - no wonder we didn't see any on our hike.

We haven't figured out what we are doing tonight or tomorrow morning yet but tomorrow afternoon we head to the beach.


manymuddypaws said...

wow!!! look at the monkey???!!!! how cute is that!!

that brown thing ain't no dog fyi...


glad you are having fun!

deb said...

Wow! Looks totally enchanting so far! Glad you guys are having fun.

onecollie said...

cool!! what an awesome experience!
I wanna see more!!

StellaStar said...

Sweet! You've passed on the travel bug. I've been infected.