Monteverde

6 . November
We got picked up to cross Lago Arenal over to Monteverde. It wasn’t a long drive, and the boat ride was fairly short as well. It was a very nice ride, even though the volcano was still hidden from sight. The clouds hung low over lush mountains, and here and there small strips of clouds would rise like smoke from the woods. The ride to Monteverde was a lot longer, and went on bad roads. It was very hilly, we were going up a fair bit, and the engine was pushing hard at times. We arrived at our hostel at 12:30. By 13:00 we had decided to do a bungee jump and canopy tour, and to do white water river rafing the day after tomorrow and therefore head to San Jose tomorrow night.

We ordered a quick bite to eat, and just as I was finishing that up the bus picked us up to go to the zipline park. As the bus drove around Monteverde they picked up the German girls, and then Marko and Olivier and a new Canadian friend, Anna. We were all together again. At the park we got strapped into our gear. Marko, Olivier and Anna were only bungee jumping, so they went to do that, while the rest of us did the canopy. It was pretty fun. The first few cables were nothing special, but once they started getting longer and zoom over the open grounds it was amazing. We had come on a beautiful, sunny day to a place that was usually shrouded in clouds, hence the name Cloud forest. We’d start out in the trees, and the zipline would bring us out over a small valley and below were green trees and fields.

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The guys working with us were goofing around, messing around, and they were so funny. We did a few regular ziplines, then there was a drop where the guys controlled everything, and we just sat down outside of the platform and they dropped us almost 10m. At this one I went first, not really knowing what to expect, and I felt it surge through me when I suddenly rushed to the floor. But it was exhilarating, and I felt even more excited for bungee jumping later. Then was a tarzan swing, and this was perhaps my favourite, even more, perhaps, than the bungee in a way, because it lasted for longer. We also did two superman zip-lines, where we were facing down. The first was over open ground, and I felt as if I was a bird, flying high searching the ground for prey. The second one was subterranean and as I flew into the dark tunnel it felt like the opening on the other side was getting father and farther away. I mused over whether this is what it felt like to be brought back from the brink of death.

Then came time for the bungee jump. It was just me and Tommy, and they took us out on a little platform they drove out on wires so we were standing in the middle of the valley. The drop was almost 150m. They strapped us in without much further ado, and Tommy went first. He screamed the whole way down, and what was probably a bit of a I-can’t-believe-I-jumped-scream to begin with became a this-is-so-amazing-scream. As they dragged him back up he was yelling ‘oh sunni just wait, oh my god’. Then it was my turn. They hooked me up, said step up here please, so I stepped up there. One more step, they told me, so I stepped one more step. Another one, and I took another one. I was standing on the very edge now, and despite my resolution to not look down I had to look down so I wouldn’t fall off the edge. One more step they said, and I looked up. Can I jump now? I was ready to go, ready to just do it without thinking about it any longer. They started to count down from 5, and I halted. I jumped on three.

I remember thinking oh god as I fell. The ground was far away but it was rushing through me. I screamed it too, oh my god. Then I bounced, and bounced, and bounced. And the yellow rope dropped, and I attacked it to my harness and they pulled me up. It was over so fast, but my heart was thundering and my body was shaking from the adrenaline. We bought the video, and were dropped off at the hotel. Then we had to find the hostel for tomorrow in San José, and some food cause we were starving. After dinner we went to this beer house where Olivier, Marko and Anna were eating. I got a mint tea because I wasn’t feeling the drink, and a chocolate ball with coconut shreddings, which was pretty good.

7 . November
In the morning we took the bus to Monteverde nature reserve, with Anna, Olivier and Marko. First we went to the hummingbird garden where lots of hummingbirds flew around us. They are so fast! I did my best trying to get a picture of them, but I wasn’t able to focus on the birds before they flew away. I guessed with the focus at some points, and some of the pictures were alright I think, but I can’t say before I see them on my computer. I didn’t get the one I wanted, however, sharp bird – in flight – blurry wings.

We went for a nice hike in the rainforest. It was still sunny outside, and the light shone through the thick overhang of leaves in rays of golden light. It was stunning. It was quiet. We hiked over a hanging bridge and it was as majestic as the Golden Gate bridge in it’s secludedness. We came to a view point and I thought seriously about just staying there and become Tarzan. But, instead we hiked back and to a waterfall. On the way Olivier hid and scared Tommy, and while it was like breaking the fourth wall of our nice jungle hike, Tommy screamed real good. The waterfall was also very nice, secluded and shy, nothing roaring, but still elegant.

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We had to leave at 11, because Tommy and I were going back to San José. We packed our things and went to eat. I ordered the best smoothie I have ever had: mango, pineapple and passion fruit. It’s like the chef knew my soul. I also had this english muffin with garlic butter, and it was great. And a traditional coffee that they made by pouring water though a cloth bag with coffee inside it. It was also good. I have been chasing the great Costa Rican coffee. (I promised to leave them a great review, but didn’t find them on Tripadvisor. If ever in Monteverde, the Orchid’s Tea and Coffee shop, right next to the beerhouse, is delicious.)

Then it was time to get on the bus, and I slept a little. We arrived to San Jose way after dark, and walked a couple of blocks to the hostel. It was all pavements and closed doors at the time, past the hour when most placed had closed, and I felt glad not to be walking there on my own.