Early rise today! We were picked up at 7am. It was off to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Nature Reserve! We got a guide with a monocular and walked from 7.30-10.30am through the forest.
It may not sound very interesting, but our guide was very good at spotting animals and plants and that made it very exciting!
We saw a tarantula in its nest and a pair of golden-browed chlorophonias make a nest.
Chlorophonias are very beautiful green/yellow/blue bird. They almost look like lovebirds. We also saw a black faced solitaire - a black bird with a red beak and red legs. It had a very distinct sound - like a squeaking door.
A footprint of a puma was also visible. Our guide Francisco told us that it was an old one - at least 5 months old.
At the end of the walk we were very lucky and saw a female and two young male Quetzals.
The Quetzal is a beautiful blue bird. It is the national bird of Guatemala. There are legends connected with this bird and the indigenous people used its feathers to make a head dress.
We really did enjoy that walk.
Then it was on to the cheese factory and shop. We bought some cheddar cheese. The most remarkable thing there was that they sold locally made Gouda and Lekkerland cheeses - how do Dutch cheeses end up in the cloud forest of CR?
Lunchtime arrived which we spent at Stella´s Bakery. A small lunch with a good milkshake.
Across the road was a good coffee shop which sold fair trade coffee - we bought some.
There was also a souvenir shop run by a women´s coop.
After lunch we "hobbled" in our bus over the gravel roads to Selventura where the group split up. Three of us went to the butterfly garden which was very interesting. We saw the different stages of a butterfly´s life. There were more than 25 kind of butterflies with beautiful colours!
After the butterfly garden we did the suspension bridge walk. There were 8 bridges we crossed. They were at the height of the canopy of the forest and were connected by trails. The walk took us an hour and a half. The most interesting thing we saw was a three wattled bellbird. It was in the top of a tree and flew back and forth between two spots in the tree. We later learned that he does this to attract a female. He made a short sound that sounded like a "bark" or a loud hitting of metal on the suspension bridge.
At 4pm we met the other group members who had gone zip lining. They really had a good time doing that. The zip lining did not appeal to me and Brian wanted to save his knees a bit!
Back at the hotel we had a glass of wine, some cheese and bread (bought earlier in the day) outside on the patio.
The shower felt good after such a long day.
I still have "saddle pain" from yesterday and sit down very carefully!
We took a taxi into town for about 2 dollars. I called Tony - it was a very bad connection. He told me that he was feeling better and going to work tomorrow. I was glad to hear that.
Tomorrow a long ride to Quepos.
Eke and Brian.