We hit a roadblock

Trip Start Apr 29, 2010
1
8
10
Trip End May 08, 2010


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Where I stayed
La Posada Jungle

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So, today on our amazing trip we hit a roadblock: fly through the forest or walk through the forest. D&R choose fly..not unexpectedly I choose to walk.

D&R get picked up for zip lining after breakfast at the bakery across the street from our hotel. I pop in the car and head the 4 km up to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

I opt for the guided tour. There are some people who will be joining us. I check out the gift shop and soon 2 couples from florida arrive: parents, son & daughter in law.

It's a cool overcast morning but the sun peaks out and lets shafts of light through the canopy of trees. A cloud forest gets less rain and doesn't have a closed canopy of trees like a rain forest. It also rains more frequently but less heavily.

Our guide, Javier, says we may see a quexotl (the most colorful bird in the world) but no guarantees. They are becoming more rare. We may also see monkeys. It's only a mile circuit hike but we'll go slowly and may wait while in a place he's been spotting quexotl recently.

I ask Javier about the bird that woke us this morning it had a beautiful up and down the scale trill. After asking where we stayed, he says it was probably a nightengale..and we soon hear one and it's confirmed. Is mating season for them and for quexotl so we should hear bird call if they're around.

We see a number of beautful birds but not being a birder I don't care to recall they're names. But they were shades of yellow green and blue. And we see some amazingly iridescent blue butterflies. We pass other gides and groups none of whom have seen the big Q as I will call it as spelling on a phone takes time).

Javier points out a wasp dying of a rare brain fungus that starts in the brain and pops out of it's head as a mushroom. When first infected the other wasps notice it acting like a zombie and drag it away from the nest. Javier's beeb taking daily photos to document the deterioration & growth as it is so rarely seen.

No sooner do we move on than he spots not one but 2 big Q!!! They are vivid blue and red with over a foot long tail. Spectacular! Then later we see two females (less vivid and short tails). Javier is El Rey de la Reserva!

Amazed by our luck he spots a monkey on a far tree limb and when we look through the scope he looks like he's watching us.

The 2.5 hrs fly by and soon we're saying goodbye and I'm bouncing back down the dirt road that is riddled with pot holes large enough to swallow a VW bug. Except for a 4 blk area, it's a dirt road town..rocky, cratered dirt road.

The SkyTrek van passes me 1 km from the hotel so I know the just got back. Perfect timing.

D&R rave about the zipline adventure. There were 10 segments and it was awesome. A guy working there went with each of them the next to the last segment because it was windy, long and the employees needed the extra weight to make it all the way across. Rach didt have enough weight to make it all the way across one segment so the came out and dragged her the rest of the way. They both loved it...but were jealous of my pictures..which I'll pst soon.

We went and got some lunch and hit the road for the beach and Manuel Antonio reserve.

We programmed the gps and headed out of town a different way than we came in. I figured good...it can't be worse. Stupid me. It was worse. Steeper, rockier, more rutted. There wew sections that seemed way too vertical. Sure there were fewer 'dangerous bridg alerts from the gps, but there was plenty of dangerous curves and sheer drops off the side of the road.

As soon as we left toen it eas all cattle pasture..which is why the preserve was establishrd...the /uakers who settled there were expanding dairy operations and taking out the cloud forest. It was beautiful rolling hills and lots of cattle...but a long way to thenearest store!

Abruptly, the road went from miserable (everyone's back ached) to smooth as buttah! Crazy!

It was almost a 4 hr drive and as it got dark..after passing miles of what we think were date palm groves..we reach the gates of Manuel Antonio reaerve...and right outside the gate is La Posada Jungle...our hotel.

Jonathan, the very hot hotelier, shiws us around in the humid, hot air,,yes, there was a lot of hotness all around..and we get situated.

We decide drinks are needed and we'll pass on the spaghetti dinner at the hotel. He directs us to Los Gemelos nearby..and ask for Joshua..the guy with dreads. We find it ( after braving a dark path with D's tiny flashlight) and end upin a rasta cafe with cheapish drinks and decent food.

D says the area reminds her of a cross between Venice Beach and Rosarita wothout as much of the crazy. The bar is across the street from the beach and we can see and hear the waves. Nice.

We wander back to the hotel..rinse off the day and put our feet up.

Oh and I lost the bey...when we got on the pqved road I bet we'd have lots more dirt road before the hotel, but it was only dirt for 1km.

Thabk goodness.

Oh, and today's road ranks in the top 3 worst dirt roads ever (one above sheridan, WY and one on the Lost Coast in NorCal are the other 2)

Tomorrow: beaches & monkeys?
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