Environmental Sustainability in Costa Rica – Day 7

It’s hard to believe I’ve already been here for one week. Seven days. Only seven, and already so much has happened.

Yesterday morning we left La Fortuna for the Monteverde region, high in the clouds. Without a doubt, this is my favorite area so far, but I’ll get to that in a bit. We stopped along the way at Mariposa Cafe for coffee and empanadas, and puppies. The owner showed us the puppies in the back of the restaurant, next to the bathrooms outside. Ten of them, only fifteen days old. Little squirmy, furry blobs, eyes barely open. She handed me an all white one to hold – it eagerly nudged into my chest, seeking warmth or food, or both, which came soon enough – the mother returned to answer their cries. I gently put the pup back with the others.

For at least an hour, we kept ascending the dirt and gravel road through the hills of Monteverde, passing pastures, forests, and homes. Napping wasn’t an option – the road was so rough my neck ached, but at least Henry, our driver for the trip, took care to avoid the worst of the pot holes. At one point, an old man in a cowboy hat waved our bus down. His horse had run away and he’d been walking along the road, looking for it, all morning. Mom was his name, 75 years old. We gave him a ride all the way back to where he started, thanking us.

Once we arrived in the main town (with a paved road, thankfully), we got lunch at one of the nearby restaurants before going on the orchid tour in a nearby mini conservatory. Afterwards, we got to our next hotel, Cala Lodge, nestled back in the woods a little out of town. The rooms were like cabins, with hardwood floors, a set of bunk beds, a kitchenette, and a full bath tub. Definitely my favorite stay so far, including the town itself. But before getting to explore the area, we went to the zip line canopy tour. I haven’t felt that free in a long time – flying through the trees, through passing clouds, the way I’ve always thought a bird must feel like. I didn’t even care that it was raining, I just felt so alive.

The town of Monteverde reminds me of Colorado somewhat – eclectic shops, local artists, cafes, even a restaurant built around an old, massive tree – all while surrounded by passing clouds and thick forest. And finally, coffee shops with almond and soy milk. We spent around 2.5hrs exploring the area before meeting back up for dinner at a local restaurant. There was live music, and at one point Mario even sang for us and played the guitar. His voice is beautiful, smooth like velvet, like the foam on top of a cup of coffee.


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