A Bumpy Ride to Monteverde
Monteverde Travel Blog› entry 11 of 23 › view all entries
We got some coffee and lunch and waited for our shuttle to Monteverde. The shuttle is $20-$30ish and includes the "jeep-boat-jeep" transfer that is actually a microbus-boat-microbus. The first leg is a relatively short drive to Lake Arenal. Then, everyone gets on a boat across the lake.
I made the mistake of not peeing before we left and had to go in some brush on the hill, in pouring rain while we waited for another busload of tourists. Mid-pee I heard them coming down the hill, hastily finished and tumbled out of the brush, in front of a bus load of tourists, tripped and rolled down the gravel hill. No one asked why the crazy girl was hiding in the bushes in the first place.
The lake itself is very pretty and there are some great views of the volcano as you cross.
The final leg of the trip is the longest. The little microbus climbs hill after hill on dusty gravel roads, winding around curves at the top of tall, grassy ridges. Throughout, cute little hill cows cling to the sides of steep hills, grazing diagnally. The ride over the unpaved roads is spine crunching and shaken-baby syndrome inducing, but pretty. Atousa joked that she was surprised our dinky little microbus hadn't popped a tire yet.
As the sun came down, that's exactly what happened. By that time we were dilirious from traveling and having our brains shaken inside our skulls, and spent an hour taking pictures of each other pretending to fix the flat tire.
We got into Monteverde around 8 and were kinda dissapointed. We both looked around and came to the conclusion that this was not much different than the Santa Cruz mountains back home, or what I imagine the state of Washington to be: green trees and white people.
The entire town, which is about a couple of blocks long, was filled with tourists, and more expensive than what we'd been experiencing. The hostel our friends recommended was completely booked, as were several other hostels we tried, so we went over to the tourist office.
The tourist office guy is really funny. He's the gayest gay that ever lived in the land of Costa Rica and led us from hostel to hostel, flipping his hair, taking us by the arm and declaring that we were just 3 girls in the woods.
He found us a nice hostel. A bit expensive at $10 each for a double with shared bathroom, but very, very clean. It also has free coffee and toast in the mornings. I'd definitely recommend the Hotel Quetzal.
We went back to the tourist office and booked a zipline tour for the next day with Aventura. Remember to bring your student ID card for this one. There are several different companies running the ziplines, but Aventura seemed like the most bang for its buck, as it included a tarzan swing and a rappel.
The town of Monteverde is a two block stretch of hotels, tourist restaurants and a supermarket. As there wasn't much to do, we found a dark bar called "Amigo's" to drink at. They have a cheap bar food menu with items like Gallo de Salchichon (spelling??), drink specials and a waiter that generally ignores you.