Rain Forest & Hanging Bridges - Costa Rica

Dear friends and family,

Learning the ways of this new blog format, I now know I should start out with an eye-catching photo.

So here is Don on one of the hanging bridges which many of the rain forest preserves have built across deep chasms for ease of transit and to prevent us tourists from trampling the pristine area. Some bridges, as you will see, are hundreds of feet in the air. They swing gently when you walk across them, especially if you're walking with a group. 

Here is another bridge seen from below. We're at Mistico Hanging Bridges Park.

Here is Mount Arenal (the not very active volcano) viewed from a bridge.

And here is a view looking down into the rain forest canopy.

One thing all of our guides stressed to us is how in the rain forests and cloud forests all the plants are competing for light. They’re getting the water they need, for the most part, but light is the more scarce commodity. They strain upward, striving to catch the sunlight, sending their tendrils out to escape the dense green shade, then growing their leaves into solar panels to catch that sun.

And another, so lush!!

A little yellow and green bird spied through the leaves and vines.

And a closeup through our guide's hiking telescope.

Pura vida one hears everywhere in Costa Rica. As near as we can tell it means Pure life, Good life, and is tied in with ecology and the environment and nature. They use it like a greeting and a blessing, which I think is marvelous. I’m sure it’s part of what makes so much of the population serious about preserving the environment and keeping nature in a pristine state. We felt that nature is alive and vigorously thriving in Costa Rica.

This corkscrew vine is called Monkey's Ladder

Many humming birds, in all sizes; from very small to about sparrow size. 

Beautiful vegetation

Towards the end, a little sweaty

Back to the lodge for some relaxing in a mineral pool hot tub. These thermal springs are all over the place because of the nearby volcano.

 And Happy Hour at the wet bar. That's Era to the right with back to us.

Early the next morning we got up to take the van-boat-van to Monteverde and the cloud forests. Everything seems to start early in Costa Rica and I think it's because the bird-watching tours all seem to start at 7 am or earlier.

The van showed up and I guess they had a few more people than they had bargained for. Don is sitting on a little fold-out seat, which flips down into the aisle.

The luggage is piled up high in the back, so people sitting in the back (that would be me) were hoping the van didn't have to stop suddenly.

When we moved from the van to the boat, things were a little more roomy.

When we landed on the Monteverde side, there was a jockeying for position as a few boats landed at once. It wasn't apparent at the time, but we later saw it made sense as we were funneled onto different buses, according to the location of our lodging.

I wish I had taken a photo of our foot cavalcade as we had to carry our luggage about a quarter mile on a sometimes muddy dirt path to the buses. One poor man who I think was Norwegian was carrying two huge suitcases as his elegantly dressed traveling companion (dress and jeweled sandals) carried a small makeup box. 

Then we climbed up an impressive distance; we're going to the cloud forests. We passed a number of windmills. 

When I woke up we had arrived at our beautiful B&B, Belcruz, high in the hills of Monteverde.

Big Hugs,

Era and Don