The Cloud (rainy) Forest

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Jan 11, 2005

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, January 3, 2005

Visit Klenske, Ink.

Well we´re back on schedule. After a free night at no costs in San Jose, we actually saved money. That never happens, at least to us! The lodge scheduled us a private bus from san jose to monteverde and we arrived at our hotel around 1pm. THe drive through the country side was beautiful. Monteverde is located up in the mountains (which happen to be very green) and so the trip up gave us some spectacular views over the pacific ocean and the gulf of nicoya. We also spent several hours cruising the famous pan-american highway. It´s crazy that a country the size of west virginia can have as many climates as the entire united states. For most of the country, it is summer, or the dry season. On the atlantic costs, it is the rainy season, which comes and goes every couple of months. In Monteverde, it is always the rainy season, so of course, it rained on us the entire time. Going up the mountain you are in sun, turn a corner and your in a rainy cloud.

We stayed at the Hotel El Sapo Dorado, which is perched up on the mountain side. Our room had a gread deck that gave us a view over the mountains and off into the pacific.
It also had a great resturant. When you check in they give you a key and a flashlight, since you have to hike about a quater of a mile or so up to your room. All around our room was jungle, with some hiking trails also.

Since we only had that afternoon in town, we quickly changed into our hiking gear and got a taxi up the pure mud road to the monteverde cloud forest reserve. The entire park seems to be in a cloud with pretty strong winds. We hiked for about three hours and got a real feel for what a jungle looks and sounds like. It is unvelievable how thick the vegitation is, and how much it rains. We were impressed by the quality and organization of the park, it was even better then many US national parks. On our hike we crossed the continental divide, pushed through winds that turn your umbrella inside out, and crossed a swinging suspension bridge about one hundred feet up in the canopy of the forest. We also hiked into a waterfall and sat there for awhile by ourselves, listening to the birds, the screaming of the howler monkies, and watching humming birds flutter by.

The highlight was when we sat in the pavillion by the entrance and ate our twix bars. All the way to central america and the highlight of the rainforest is the creamy carmel of a twix bar you ask? Well, although i must admit, choclate and carmel really hit the spot, it must have also smelled good to the coati. All of a sudden a large raccoon-anteater-cat came in, looked up at us with begging eyes, and then realizing that we weren´t going to feed it, climbed up onto the table and started checking out our bags. After several more shots at begging, it settled on flipping over the garbage can, pulling out the bag, and running off into the forest.

The evening was relaxing. Had a dinner and some chilean wine, and headed to be early.

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