Monteverde skywalk, hummingbirds, insects

Monteverde Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 11 › view all entries

Thanks to the net we only have 2 bites now. Jippy! The bed was not really good, but despite of this we slept OK and we’re feeling good. Breakfast is buffet: cheese, fruits, coffee and bread. We need to go to Santa Helena, want to get some money, need to buy shampoo and want to use the internet and send a mail for half an hour. We’re not lucky; the village ahs completely lost electricity, so we’ll have to wait to surf. We buy a bottle of shampoo, drive to Monteverde village itself, but there is nothing much to see, so we return to Santa Helena. One time electricity is up, a second later it is down. We rent 30 minutes of surf-time, when power is back, send an e-mail home and try to get some money at the banc again. Just at the moment, when we need to receive money out of the machine, power is gone again and our MasterCard does not come out again: STRESS! Timo enters the banc to try and get his card back; Eef watches the machine in case the card appears again. Only 1 person in the banc speaks a bit English and then it looks like it is much easier, when someone speaks a bit of Spanish. After about 15 minutes Timo already sees someone walk by with the card, but he still doesn’t have it. At 10:10 Timo has the card, but no money! We’ll try again later. They first had to check some transactions on the card. They say no transaction was done and Timo needs to sign a paper (in Spanish). Hopefully they are good people, because he doesn’t really understands, what he’s signing. It was either that or not getting the card back. Not really much of a choice, then. We still have about 10 minutes to get to the hotel. They will pick us up at the hotel around 10:20. We get in the van and the driver drops us at the ‘Santa Helena Cloud Forest’. The entrance to the skywalk is immediately in front of us and we start the walk without a guide. The weather is not good, foggy and raining, so we will most probably not see that many animals. The cloud forest does leave a big impression. It is huge! We walk over bridges hanging in the trees about 30 to 50 meters above the ground and we’re still not walking in the highest tops. There still are trees that are 20 meters growing above the bridges. Everything is much bigger than it is in Europe. Plants are growing on the trees, sometimes you can’t tell which are leaves from the trees and which are plants growing on the trees. It is indescribable; a person has to see it in real life to understand. We carry an umbrella and it is very useful indeed. Eef only has a K-way, but when it really starts to rain hard she joins Timo under the umbrella. We walk on the forest trails from 10:50 till 12:30. Very nice! After this it is time for the exhibition ‘Jewels of the Rainforest’ by Richard Whitten. It starts with a video about the life and work of this person. He has collected, filmed, observed a lot different insect species and now he has an exhibition of these bugs in a museum in the Santa Helena Cloud Forest. The most species hanging here are moths, butterflies, but also other different species. Some are specifically living in Costa Rica, but he has collected also species from other continents and there is also general information in biodiversity and diseases spread by insects. We get a very good explanation of our private guide Henri, which is quite cool. He says we’re the first Belgian visitors of the centre, so we need to write something in the guest book. Then we seek for a while the heat in the museum shop. There everyone gathers to look for some warmth en a dry place. We drink a coke and then go back out to the butterfly garden. This is a perfect moment for Timo. He has been waiting a long time for this and now the moment has finally arrived. On an open spot in the forest, close to the reception hall and museum shop, someone has hung 5 reservoirs for the hummingbirds. There is a kind of water with honey in the reservoirs that are designed especially for the birds. We were thinking on seeing a few birds, but there are a couple of 100 flying around. We stand under the umbrella en watch the birds; it is marvelous to see the birds flying through the sky. They fly up and down and right next to our ears to the front and then back again. You can really approach them very near, from a range of 30 centimeters. Is still is raining, so we need to stay under the umbrella. You hear them fly by, fight and you’re able to admire the daredevils from very close by. Really awesome. If the weather would have been better, we could have stayed here even longer, than we can now, but it’s getting cold and we go in again. There we wait for half an hour and they bring us back to the hotel by van. There we take a shower and start the evening by taking an aperitif: 3 caipirinha per person and then we go out to eat. It’s happy hour in the hotel, so we don’t pay that much for the cocktails. The special thing was they did not use normal lime, but mandarin lime: the same shape, almost the same taste, but the color of a mandarin. During aperitif we had already decided we are going to take chicken a brochette and a salad. The waiter however presented the daily specialty: a kind of ‘fruit de mer’, but hot with garlic and brandy. We couldn’t say ‘no’ to that temptation. First we had a salad that they prepared at the table. A dressing with olive oil, 1 raw egg, mustard, anchovy, garlic, cheese, bread crusts. This was all pored over the salad: delicious! It is called Cesar Salad. Then they start to prepare the main dish, also next to our table. They use 2 old pans with a lot of oil and lime. The things they prepared were: 1 lobster each, crab, mussels, calamari, gamba’s, … everything together in the pan and with a lot of garlic and brandy. Very, very, very good taste. We also got some rice and some vegetables with it, but practically do not touch it. As a desert we get a banana with ice cream. We normally would never order a desert, but it was included in the menu, so we enjoyed the ice with banana. Completely full, we go back to our bungalow number 36. We read a bit and decide, what route we’re going to take tomorrow to go to La Fortuna. Then we go to bed, it’s already 21:00!

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photo by: smhirsch