26.01.2018 - 28.01.2018 24 °C
Friday, January 26
We booked a private tour with a guide, for the Monteverde Cloud Forest. We also decided to make it an overnight trip and then do something else the next day since we were a,ready there. We got up and hit the trail. Out tour guide was meeting us at the hotel/resort at1:00. We left at 9:30 for the 40 km trek to Monteverde. Since we have already driven around some, we thought it might be beneficial to leave a little early, turns out that was a very good thing. The first 10 or 15 km were ok, and we had already been oh this stretch of road a couple times. Not great, but wide enough to pass, some pavement some gravel. However, once we passed the section of road we had previously travelled, the road deteriorated rapidly. Still mostly wide enough the meet or pass, but very rough and full of holes. There was one section where the road was absolutely dotted with potholes from one side of the road to the other. Some were deep! So needless to say it was slow going and a little stressful and frustrating for my driver. We finally made it to our location, at 11:30. It took 2 hours to get 40 km. I was very glad to finally arrive and get out of the car. Poor little rental car. If I were ever to come back, I would make sure to rent some sort of SUV.
The lodge where we decided to overnight is nestled in the forest and surrounded by paths. Very nice. We had a bite to eat at the restaurant, I had a lovely salad with homemade dressing. Watched some hummingbirds. Our guide, Johnny, was early to pick us up and we were off for our tour of the cloud forest. I am all about doing things yourself and exploring alone etc., but sometimes having a guide makes for a very knowledgeable and enjoyable experience. His fee of $50 included his expertise, park entrance, coffee and an empanada (the best empanada I have had yet). He is an orchid expert, he is currently finishing his masters degree in botany, specializing in orchids. He also was very passionate about the preserve, nature and knew lots about the flora and fauna. I learned a lot. For example did you know, that there are over 100 varieties of avacado trees in the cloud forest? Our hike was 4 hours around the Monteverde Preserve. We saw many types of trees and plant species as well as, spider monkeys, coati, dozens of hummingbirdsand the piece de resistance, a quetzal (very elusive, colourful bird of Central America). Johnny drove us through his hometown of Santa Elana and then back to back to our resort.
We arrived back just in time for happy hour and the amazing sun set.
Saturday, January 27
After an amazing breakfast of fresh fruits, toast and homemade tropical jam, we decided to walk the trails around the lodge. We walked for about an hour and then packed up and checked out of the hotel. We decided to check out one more park, called Curi Cancha Reserve. For $15 we were allowed in and we walked around on very well marked trails for about 2.5 hours. It was kind of cool to spot the plants and trees that Johnny had talked about the day before. Didn’t see any monkeys, but a coati did steal an empanada out of Bill's hand.
The it was time to face the drive home. It took us 2 hours, but at least this time we were prepared and knew what to expect. Got back to our Condo at Tronadora and relaxed a bit. Then we headed into Tronadora to a small family owned and run Italian restaurant.I had a pumpkin ravioli and Bill had lasagna. The ravioli was to die for! Who knew!
Sunday, January 28
Gorgeous sunny day, finally. Just relaxing and enjoying The Sun. Went for a long walk down the road. We saw spider monkeys in a tree by the side of the road. We might go back to the Italian restaurant again as it is our last night here and we have run out of groceries.
It has been a good couple of days!