‘You’re gonna get fat’…

…exclaimed a toothless grandpa at a bus stop, as Heske later informed me. No wonder she brushed him off with an unpleasant smirk. Finally! We were to get out of Cóbano, and luckily enough we made the 1.30pm bus that existed as 2.15pm in the guidebook. The only one for the day – Travelers’ luck! 5 hours squished on a public bus, and a completely different climate awaited for us in the midst of the mountains.

After a day (and night) filled with exciting expectations, we woke up early, cold, and with no hot water in the shower. Slowly making breakfast and planning menu for the rest of the day, we had all the time in the world to prepare for the Monteverde hike. As we left (walking – cause there were no buses at the time), we got our thumbs ready. And who’s the first one to pass by and stop for us? The exact same guy who gave us walking directions 10min before.

Ha! We got a ride almost to the top and strolled up the last few hundred meters. After getting student tickets (since it’s enough to just look like one), we highlighted the longest trial on a small map we got and set off into the jungle. Few liana swings and bug bites later, we arrived at the first stop: the waterfalls. And what do we see there? A viewpoint with ‘no-entry’ sign, and people coming out of there. One-way road? Really? Ignoring that, we climbed tens of concrete (seemingly never ending) steps, and reached the long awaited suspension bridge. To our disappointment, it was red and metal, having nothing to do with Tarzan or at least Jungle Book-like imaginary pictures in our minds. At least it swung. And I did get scared with Heske’s  ‘O-oh!’ when she dropped her camera lens cap – fortunately not all the way down. Thank God.

The cherry on top of the cream (in our cappuccinos) was the colibri café, though. It was for coffee lovers, and it was full of humming birds in different colors, sizes and with various friendliness levels. Absolutely amazing. We spend a fair amount of time photographing the hell out of them and observing in amusement the speed at which their wings flap. And the noise! They’re like the bugs you’d wish to have instead of flies and mosquitoes: pretty, lovely, don’t bite. And they’re still almost as small and as noisy.

Then it was only a walk down with a short visit to a cheese factory (free samples!), a longer one to a chocolateria, and another Tica polite to hitch-hikers.

Now we’re home: tired, full of coffee and pancakes after 3pm, and looking for a game to play.

We end up trying out all geography games we can remember, realize we need to revise Africa really badly, and end up in a circle of oh-how-we-love-to-play-drinking-games-with-people-we-just-met travelers. The night takes us to Mata E Caña, but we get back early.
There’s a lot to prepare ourselves for, tomorrow will be crazy.


Santa Elena (Costa Rica), May 21th ‘11

The ‘two blondes’ visual