Sunday, 5 February 2012

Head in the clouds...forests

First full day in Monteverde, home of the cloud forests, was a good one and a long one.  Up at 5.30am to catch the first local bus to the cloud forest and meet our guide Riccardo. Turns out Riccardo was as fascinating as the wildlife we'd come to see as he was from the original quaker family who bought the land and then set about protecting it and the local area.  Riccardo was a bird expert and tracked down the quetzel, the famous bird of costa rica which seems to be the one to see, but we preferred his mate the orange chested trojan.  The forest was incredible with tarzan type vines winding down through the trees and huge strangling figs.  After our tour we decided to walk some of the trails we hadn't had a chance to - across a hanging bridge and up to the continental divide which had stunning views.  Day was rounded off having food in a local bar with the footie on and some very excitable supporters who converted us to being Liga supporters by half time!

Had a lazier start to the next day with a visit to the hairdressers but the hairdresser in question was Jonty.  Can't believe it's taken only a week to get into a true traveller mentality but i was already a bit sick off having so much hair!  And i must say he did a good job.  If we run out of money perhaps we could tout out Jonty as a hairdresser although the cut is slightly lopsided but barely noticeable!! ha!

Headed off mid morning with provisions for a walk to a waterfall.  it was a beautiful sunny day and hot - surprisingly as the area isn't known for its heat.  After an hour we began our descent through fields and forests to the village with the waterfall.  It was great preparation for macchu picchu as it was almost a 4 hour walk there but well worth it as the waterfall was very impressive.  It was probably a couple if hundred meters high plunging into a pool and we had it all to ourselves.  After a picnic we began the walk back but had to get a taxi part of the way back to make sure we were back for our evenings activity. it was amusing ordering the taxi as we were in the middle of nowhere but came across a guy in a booth manning the area and with my minimal spanish asked him if he could call us a taxi and then chatted to him for about 20 mins in spanish as we waited for the taxi.  it's amazing what comes back to you and was really fascinating hearing bout his life.  We're both determined to learn a lot more spanish whilst we're away.

Made it back in time for a night wildlife tour of one of the parks which was pretty special and exciting.  We saw tarantulas in holes, leaf cutting ants building massive colonies, fireflies a possum and the showstopper a sloth having a night time snack.  The sloth is pretty  impressive animal with its ability to sleep for 20 hours a week but it does have one expedition a week where it has to climb down the tree and go to the toilet and then bury it. That's it!  But, they're not stupid the reason they climb down the tree and bury their business is to avoid predators sniffing them out.  We had been wanting to see a sloth for ages and it was great to finally see it with its crazy mullet hairstyle!  This was one of our favourite tours as we had such an enthusiastic guide and it was fun trying to spot creatures with our torches.  luckily we didn't come across any scorpians.  The day was finished up with food in a restaurant with a giant tree in the middle - very cool.  We were a little sad to leave Monteverde as we were staying in a funky hostel with a very chilled out communal area and the forests are just stunning.

I'm writing this from Tamarindo a beach resort but we'll fill you in on that in our next installment.  Lots of love, Katie (written by) and Jontyx

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