Saturday, August 17, 2019

Costa Rica Adventure: Day 11 - Monteverde Bound

Welcome to another travel day. That means the time has finally come to bid farewell to Samara and head back into the mountains in order to visit Monteverde. That means we got to look forward to a three hour drive in the car but before we started that journey the sun was shining on our final morning in Samara so after the car was all packed up we decided to make one last stop at the beach.

When we arrived there were a number of local kids playing soccer on the beach and they invited Avery and Hannah to play with them. Avery has really wanted to play soccer while in Costa Rica so was pretty excited to finally have the opportunity. We stayed as long as we possibly could but the time really came to leave the beach and start our drive to Monteverde in order to ensure we didn’t arrive loo late on the rough mountainous roads.

In the early 1950s, a group of Quakers from the United States left their homes in Alabama and arrived in Monteverde in order to avoid being drafted into the Korean War. The Quakers established a simple life in Monteverde, centered on dairy and cheese production. Monteverde encompasses a large area of the top of the TirarĂ¡n mountain range split by the continental division which provides access to both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the forest. Less than 1% of the total land mass of the Earth is covered by cloud forests, yet Monteverde is part of that 1% which also hosts 4% of the total world’s biodiversity. 

A good 80% of the drive to Monteverde is on well maintained paved roads. It is the last that you need nerves of steel to get through. We stopped for lunch in Juntas which is the last town you pass through before starting the climb to Monteverde. Oh, as an aside, we specifically stopped in Juntas in order to find wifi so that we could all join in via FaceTime to Shannon’s younger sisters gender reveal party. The plan worked great and we got to be included to discover she will be having a boy! OK, back to our journey. It is just after Juntas where the paved road not only becomes not paved but it becomes some of the rockiest and bumpy road you’ve ever been on not to mention steep and windy. While checking the GPS in Juntas I was confused how the final 20km could take an hour but I quickly found out why. If you ever come to Costa Rica use Waze. It it far more accurate than Google Maps. Everyone that lives in the country uses Waze so its crowd sourced data is spot on.

So, we finally made it to the town of Santa Elena where our AirBnB is located just before 3:00 pm after leaving Samara at 10:15 and stopping for an hour at lunch. Where we are staying is on the side of the hillside amongst several other homes. Once again the roads to get here are steep and incredibly rocky but that is half the fun! I must say our SsangYong SUV has been holding up great and getting us everywhere we need to go.

Since this was a travel day we didn’t have anything specific planned. First up was to unpack and get settled in. For us this meant doing laundry. After being in the humidity of the Pacific coast where nothing really dried we’re now in the dry mountain air plus our AirBnB not only has a washing machine but it has a dryer too! Quite the luxury for Costa Rica. Having clean, not damp clothes to get us through the rest of our trip is great. Enough about laundry, let’s head back into town. The reason for heading back into the town was three fold. Get groceries to get us through the next few days, find some dinner and give the girls a chance to look for souvenirs. Once souvenir shopping and groceries were done we headed over to Taco Taco. We picked Taco Taco for the amazing reviews it has received and it was something that could be order to go in order to eat back at the AirBnB. Well the reviews were right. Shannon had a trio of tacos and Anthony had a tortilla salad on both mentioned it was some of the best they had had. All the incredients are locally and sunstainably sourced and it showed in the final product.

The cloud forest has a less rainy and really rainy season and we are definitely in the really rainy season. Luckily, most of the rain occurs at night but man when it pours it comes down heavy. Supposedly, we’re in a tropical depression right now which is causing more rain than usual accompanied by a good dose of thunder and lightning too.

Well we’ve got a bunch of activities planned for tomorrow as it is a certain someone’s birthday. That’s all I’ve got for today!

One last dip in the pool

Soccer on the beach

Lunch in Juntas


View from AirBnB 

Our AirBnB (white roof, top left)

Santa Elena 

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