Costa Rica


Eventually I did drag myself away from Montezuma, hard as it was, leaving James the semi resident Loca Luna guest pretty much by himself once again. Till the next lot of tourists rumble on thru anyway. Still, there’s plenty of wildlife to keep him company….for two days running our rooms were invaded by Army Ants who decided to march on through. I have now made my way to Monteverde, high up in the hills to see some rainforest and its animal contents. It was perhaps (and hopefully!) the longest journey I will have to undertake, and was full of mishaps. I got the coach to Puntarenas ok, and caught the ferry, but my refusal to hand over a dollar for a taxi ride to the bus stop 2km’s away cost me. By the time I walked there my coach to Monteverde had long gone. No problem thought I. Hopped on a bus to Cruce on the Pan American Highway, and then got a little bit too deep into my book (My Masters, A Mad World by the BBC’s John Simpson – I’ve finished the excellent Stupid White Men by Michael Moore)and sailed way past my stop.

By the time I got back I ended up chasing the Monteverde bus down the road until I caught it up….long live traffic jams! Although the next traffic jam due to an RTA wasn’t quite so welcome. Ten hours to get here in all, when it could have taken as little as 6 hours on a good day. Still, it’s all part of the fun of independant travel I guess… Monteverde itself is reknowned for having one of the best Cloud Forests in the world (it has to be said, whilst some countries are famous for having wildlife reserves, Costa Rica is famous for being a wildlife reserve)and it hasn’t disappointed so far. I took a trek on the Sky Walk this morning, which is a series of trails and long walks down suspension bridges across the top of the forest canopy. It really was excellent, what with the bridges mesh walkways bouncing and swaying with every step, and the very very long drop to the forest floor below. And I really felt like I was in a forest, which might seem to be stating the obvious, but I have been on so many disappointing treks in other countries before that my expectations have dropped considerably.

And whilst I haven’t yet been attacked by a snake or crocodile, I did nearly tread on a huge red kneed tarantula that took a stroll across the path. Its so cool to see something like that in the wild rather than in a glass tank. I was just very annoyed that my camera settings had reset after a change of battery and I didn’t have time to set it up again to take any worthwhile photos of it. I did give it a few prods with a stick to try and make him come back and do some posing but he clearly wasn’t in the mood.

The other downside was that, being less than keen on anything with multiple legs, I spent the rest of the walk being paranoid that one of the buggers would fall off a tree onto my head, and at one stage I really had a serious heart attack when I mistook a large 12″ leaf to be another fanged beastie. Now I’m just debating what to do next. Its pretty expensive here, and I’m trying to stick to a $30 a day budget. I may leave for Volcan Arenal tomorrow on a jeep-boat-jeep trip, or maybe I’ll stay for another day and do a long trek on foot through another section of the forest. We’ll have to see…..


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