Monday, February 21
Instead of going out for breakfast today, we ordered in ahead of time. Two women brought us an amazing meal and set it up for us. It included eggs, pancakes, yogurt, granola, hash browns and back bacon. There was so much food we ended up saving a lot of it for the next day. We had ordered ahead for the next day as well but ended up cancelling it.
Today we visited the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It was a 15 minute drive away and we decided to hike without a guide. It started off a bit cool in the morning so we chose to wear long pants with a light jacket.
I love seeing the different kinds of trees and foliage in Costa Rica and I wanted to explore every path. We started with the flatter trails. Unfortunately the hanging bridge trail was closed for repairs. All the trails were well maintained and easy to follow.
As we gradually climbed higher, we reached an area called the Elfin Forest. Here the trees and bushes are much smaller as they are subjected to strong winds and fog. Many trees appear twisted and are partially covered with epiphytic bushes or vines. These types of vines actually grow from the tree that they are attached to.
The continental divide passes through this region. Rain falling on one side of the mountain will make its way to the Pacific Ocean as rain on the other side ends up in the Atlantic. Even though it wasn’t raining the ground was wet. It was also very windy.
After exploring the easier trails we backtracked to the more difficult ones. There was a lot of climbing over a combination of rocks and some kind of man-made brick that was a bit problematic for a person with small feet. This trail was quite challenging. The day was warming up so we removed our jackets. We were surprised by the warmth and the amount of sun we had.
We didn’t really see any wildlife here but didn’t expect to. Most animals prefer the warmer temperatures lower down the mountain. We did see some interesting Hummingbirds that were iridescent but I was unable to get a picture.
During our 3 hours in the park we climbed over 400 metres and covered almost 10 kilometres.
Once we had covered every trail, we drove down to the little town of Monteverde to find a place to eat. We found this great restaurant called Thomas and Thiago. We had the best service here that I think we have ever had. The waitress was very attentive and friendly and the food was good.
For the afternoon we spent a bit of time relaxing on our deck before driving over for dinner. We decided not to walk because it gets dark shortly after six and not all the roads have sidewalks.
Based on a recommendation from our hotel, we chose to have dinner at Tremonti. It was a short drive away and was on a hill with a lovely view towards the ocean. We decided to sit outside on the small balcony. Both the service and food were very good.
I had Beef Tenderloin and Mike had the Ribeye steak. We completed our dinner with some Tiramisu.
We again enjoyed our hot tub until the rain and wind picked up and we retreated into the tent to watch Netflix.