After a day of playing survivor and by the way I did not win amunity we were off to Monteverde.
Set atop the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide, Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns that dot the country's famous shoreline. It is a place of cloud forests and coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals.
Due to its high altitude – some 4,662 ft (1,440 m) above sea level – Monteverde is privileged to receive a steady supply of clouds and the life-giving moisture that they contain. This moisture, often in the form of fog, catches on the branches of the tallest trees and drips down to the other organisms below. This helps to support a complex and far-reaching ecosystem, one that harbors over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants, 420 of which are orchids alone.
Visitors can explore this internationally recognized environment from trails and trams, along canopy tours or inside museums.
It was a 3.5 hour journey up Monteverde Mountain to the Cloud Forest. Most of the paved roads are better than I expected but once off the main road the dirt roads are like riding a bull - all 35 kilometers. Apparently it rains 85 percent of the time on the mountain - and today was no exception. As we climbed higher the weather got worse (wind and rain) and much cooler - around 60 degrees. We were to take a gondola up the mountain and then have an optional zip line back down before doing a 2 kilometer walk through the rain forest over numerous suspension bridges - day two of survivor. By the time we reached the top of the mountain the wind and rain were at a mild hurricane standard so the gondola and zip line were closed. After purchasing rain ponchos we were off on the 2 kilometer walk with our guide. We reached the first suspension bridge which was swinging more than usual due to the winds and rains, after going half way across I realized I would not enjoy this adventure and the possibility of loosing my breakfast was not appealing, so I turned around and went back to the pavilion to wait for the others. I was quite glad I did as the wind and rains only got worse.
Halfway back down the mountain we stopped in the rainy town of Monteverde for lunch and some shopping. We then went to a reptile museum to observe and learn about snakes - more information than I want to know about what lurks in the Costa Rican forests. There are 135 varieties of snakes in Costa Rica and 17 are venomous.
Our stop for tonight is a beautiful hotel just outside Monteverde - El Establo Mountain Hotel, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.