Since our night hike was cancelled yesterday due to weather meant that today had both a morning and evening hike planned plus some tree climbing in between.
Our morning started out like any other with some breakfast at our AirBnB. We got ready a little quicker in order to take advantage of the nice weather and drove over to the Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve. This was the first private reserve to be established in 1972 and really put Monteverde on the map. An initial land purchase of 328 hectares has since grown to 10,500 hectares. Our hike of the reserve lasted about 2.5 hours and covered about 3.7 km over very hilly terrain. Our goal was to reach the continental divide. The continental divide is the exact location where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean depending on what side of the divide it falls. It was a tough up hill climb at times but we made it and the scenery along the way was stunning. It is hard to put into words what experiencing a cloud forest is like. It is a unique environment where the trade winds from the east push warm moist air up the mountain side where is cools and expands forming tiny droplets in the form of mist and clouds. It is these tiny droplets that provide the constant moisture in the cloud forest before it falls as rain. The result is an extremely lush and layered environment where vegitation and certain animals can thrive.
After sufficiently tiring out the kids (and parents) we heading back down the mountain towards town but decided we deserved a reward so stopped off at Stella’s Bakery for a beverage. With energy levels back up we were ready for our next adventure. Anthony had another one of his “not in any guidebook” experiences up his sleeve. We were off the climb a ficus tree! There a several ficus trees you can pay to climb but there is one such tree tucked up in the hills behind town that is completely free. A ficus tree grows from the top down on a host tree. It’s fast growing vines eventually reach the ground and begin to strangle the host tree. As the ficus continues to grow the host tree eventually dies leaving only the ficus with a hollow core where the tree once was. Sometimes what is left behind is perfect for climbing and that is exactly what we did! The top of the tree must have been a good 70+ feet from the ground and both girls made it all the way to the top. Anthony and Shannon made it up as well but not to the top. This was probably one of the best free activities we did while in Costa Rica.
We then had a quick break back at the AirBnB before starting our evening activities which included dinner and a night hike. Since it was our last night in Costa Rica we wanted to go to a soda again. We chose Sabor Tico for its good reviews and location which just happened to be on the way to the night hike. After our dinner of Casados and Arroz con pollo we make the short drive over to the night hike.
By this time the decent weather we had been having began to turn back into thunder and lightning. It was starting to look like a repeat of the night before and sure enough after a little bit of waiting the night hike was cancelled once again. Now any hope of having a night hike was lost our last solution was to have a morning hike with our guide instead. The following morning we had to check out of our AirBnB and start our drive back to San Jose but we figured we could squeeze in one more two hour hike starting at 7:30 am.
Just completed a big climb
Loved this hanging bridge
Post hike pose
Drink time (and brownies)!
This view was completely covered in clouds 30 mins later
The climbing ficus tree
On their way back down
You can get all the way to the top