Thursday, 21 July 2016

July 20 - Monteverde Cloud forests - on to Jaćo

We initially intended on hiking some trails in the morning at the Valle Escondido Preserve but decided to delay it to the afternoon. We had a great breakfast at the Inn, which was included in the cost $40us a night. We were treated to another sighting of the coati just outside our room. The sun was up and it gives us a very different view of the cliffs by the reception area. I don't know which view I like best.
July 19 evening 
July 20 morning 

At 7:40am a bus picks us up to go to the suspended bridges at Selvatura Park. $30 per person  provides us with transportation to and from the park and a self guided tour of the suspended bridges. Many other tours and activities are also available including canyonerring, ziplining, insect and butterfly enclosures etc.

Our first few steps of our walk led us into the hummingbird gardens. This was an open area, it was not an enclosure. There were so many hummingbirds that it felt surreal. When standing close to the feeders you could feel the wind from the hummingbird's wings as they flew around your head. A highlight was having these tiny birds perch on our fingers while eating at the feeders. A sign in the area identified several different kinds in the area. I'm sure I saw 5 different kinds.
Very friendly hummingbirds 
Val had the birds sitting on her finger as well

The self guided walk took about 1.5 hrs. There were 8 suspended bridges varying in length and height. The trails cover 1.9 mi (3kms). The bridges were from 150 ft. to 500 ft. Heights varied from 36 ft to 180 ft off the ground. Most bridges were almost 5 ft wide and is noted to be the widest and studriest bridges in C.R.  It was not busy and for long stretches we could not see or hear anyone else - with the exception of occasional zipliners squealing with excitement near our location.

After the walk we spent more time in the hummingbird garden. We spoke to a staff about the lack of bugs on our walk. He indicated the altitude is very high and very few bugs live up here and no mosquitoes.  We then caught our ride back.

Given we had just walked 3kms in a high altitude we didn't choose to walk the trails at the Monteverde Inn and instead began our drive to Jaćo. Google map say 123kms - 2 hrs and 33 minutes. We stopped in Monteverde for a C.R. traditional lunch before we started off.

The road is wider than the previous day and gravelly.  But it isn't gravel like we have experienced before. This road seems to be gravelled with medium and large rocks. As well, there are significant holes to navigate around. A 4x4 would have been a better vehicle for this road. However it still was an interesting drive around and down the mountain. In several locations we saw lychee stands.

Once we connected to a major highway it was smooth sailing
 We found our Airb&b lodging quite easily. ... and no bunk beds this time....instead one double bed in a shared house. We indicated this was a mistake and would not be suitable. The host refunded our money and we then needed to find another place before the rains started again. We checked our resources - Expedia, Booking.Com, Airb&b and TripAdvisor. We located a place called Jaco Lodge and drove there to check it out. Surprisingly, the price upfront was cheaper than the sites said. It was $34us a night. A cute, clean little hotel with a pool and Continental breakfast included. We booked in for two nights and headed to a local Soda for supper. Another early night as the rain is coming down hard and the thunder is shaking the buildings. Temperature reached 32° today with a real feel of 40°. All in all - another great day in C.R.

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