7th-10th November, Days 19 – 21
Sadly, Costa Rica largely passes me by as I attempt to consume antibiotics at regular intervals and try to get my stomach back on track. The weather doesn’t help either, it’s really cold, wet and windy at regular intervals and wrapping up in wet weather gear and hiking kit feels so so alien after spending weeks in shorts and flip flops. I manage a couple of walks to alleviate cabin fever that was rapidly setting in.
Brownie goes off for the day to explore the incredible cloud forests of Monteverde at the tree-top level on a 3km canopy bridge circuit tour. She also has the opportunity to learn about some of the animals that make up the incredible eco-system of the region. She had an encounter with a red eyed tree frog and a yellow snake but she didn’t stop to ask his name.
On her return, Brownie takes me out for chocolate banana pancakes to aid my recovery and it works a treat. Although I’m really not looking my best.
We takes a bus to Arenal Lake and a boat across it The town’s volcano of the same name partially reveals itself, albeit briefly after spending 48 hours completely shrouded in mist and rain clouds. Believe me, this the most we saw of this volcano!!
Monteverde and the cloud forests which surround it are considered one of the top destinations to visit in Costa Rica, and certainly one of the top eco-tourism destinations in the world. The bulk of Monteverde’s rainforest and cloud forest can be found in the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde, which attracts huge numbers of naturalists each year and the area is one of the best in Central America to try to spot the indigenous birdlife.
We take a guided walk on the trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Reserve and with the exceptional skills of the ranger, we see our first sloth, a mother clutching her baby. Without the aid of binoculars, we wouldn’t have see her as she looks distinctly like a wet bag of straw up a tree.
We’ve seem to have a knack of seeing a tarantula at regular intervals throughout the trip and the visit to the cloud forest was no different. This one was in a dry hole sheltering from the persistent rain and believe me if the hole was bigger we would’ve jumped in with him as the weather was sooo wet.
Our day was muchly brightened by the spectacle of a group of colourful iridescent hummingbirds drinking from sugar water feeders close to the exit to the Park. Costa Rica has over 50 species of them and their tiny, rapidly-beating wings make a distinctive humming sound that give them a distinct insect like quality. The most common variety seen at Monteverde are the Rufous-tailed and the Violet Sabrewings. It was absolutely fascinating to watch them fly in an out as they vied for a spot at the feeders.