Hi,

 

We left Arenal Nuevo Tuesday morning it only took a little over two hours to reach Monteverde.  There are paved roads all the way up to several miles from Monteverde.  It seems all roads just outside Monteverde are unpaved encouraging tourists to spend the night in one of their lodging establishments.  :)  We were sort of planning on that anyway and parked across from Hotel El Sueno  (translated to the dream or the sleep).  While the rest of the group was seeking information, I was standing guard on the SUV and noticed Sueno has six of the same rocking chairs Leigh has at her house.  We were standing there talking and the owner came out and invited us in.  For $20 per person (cash) we could have three rooms, breakfast and off street parking.  (Don’t get any ideas about me changing my rates).  :)  Kind of cute place made of all wood, the floors, walls, ceilings, everything was some sort of paneling/flooring and the doors were actually pretty impressive.  But, the floors swayed somewhat when you walked on them; there were gaps between the floor boards over the parking on the first floor, the emergency lighting system was plugged into an outlet instead of hardwired and all kinds of non-code compliance (I’m not complaining).  They even turned the upstairs lights out at nine pm.

So we parked the car and walked over to the Orchid Garden .  I don’t know what I was more impressed with, the orchids or Katelyn (sp?) our tour guide.  I don’t know for sure, but I swear she was under 17.  What a font of information she was and such a pleasant attitude.  Tony, the horticulturalist, was carrying on regular conversations with her about species, genius, etc.  When we arrived, I had low expectations based on the size of the place.  I can’t emphasize enough, if you ever visit Monteverde this is a must see.  Most of the following pictures I’m not adding descriptions, the orchids speak for themselves:

The above tiny guy grows underneath it’s leaf for protection.

The above is the national orchid of Costa Rica.

Next, we walked over to the frog theme park in  which was cute, not worth a trip to Monteverde like the orchid garden, but if you’re in the area, not a bad choice.

I was later in the afternoon when we took a drive up to the sky tram at Sky Adventures  to ride the tram.  While we were checking in, I asked the clerk about zip lining thinking of maybe doing it the next day.  It turns out that if we returned the next day, we would have to pay for the tram ride again because the top of the tram ride is where the zip line takes off from.  So Dave, Claire and myself decided to do the zip line then.  I was a bit uncomfortable with this because I only had a short leaved shirt and we were up in the mountains and it seemed chilly to me, it was fairly breezy and of course dangling from a wire over 100 meters (over 300 feet) was somewhat unnerving.  Talking to the lead tour guide, he said we had the best day ever.  Normally it’s colder, if not rainy at least damp and much windier. (Monteverde is on the continental divide.  It is the wildlife refuge that put Costa Rica on the conservation map)   http://www.monteverdewildliferefuge.com/  Elvis was the lead tour guide and the other guide (I can’t recall his name) was this young hot dog.  He would do things like travel the length of the zip line upside down with his head pointed to the ground and his legs spread eagle with the wire between them waving to us.  The two of them thoroughly enjoyed themselves (and we did them). The fastest zip line course (there was a total of nine) took us 75 miles an hour!  Holy Zip, Batman.  J  They explained how to slow down and for the life of me couldn’t seem to get that down.  I kept crashing into the safety stop at each platform.  They did take a picture of me careening down the last course that’s pretty funny (and this was after eight others, so I should have been comfortable by then).  I need to get it digitized and will post it after getting back.  Here’s a picture of the Arenal volcano from up top before we zip lined down:

Lastly, here’s a picture of a cappuccino I had  with a swan drawn in the Leche (I’ve seen this before, it’s pretty cool):

Of course I’m having trouble getting my picture program to work right, I’m doing these posts in the back of a restaurant without power (which REALLY slows down the picture loading process) and it’s driving me nuts.  I’m going down to a coffee house down the street from Leigh’s tomorrow to do that post.

Have a great one and keep warm,

ed

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