|Punta Jesus Maria from the Ferry (Black Line is a Sand Bar)|
|Road to Costa Rican Border|
|Costa Rican Cattle Country|
|Tilaran Central Park|
7:00. I took a blissfully hot shower (the first I had had in a month) and then went out to look for breakfast. I was snooping around Tilaran, looking for espresso, when it occurred to me that I ought to go to the bus station and confirm that the bus to Santa Elena was still at 12:30. When I got there, I saw a lone, American looking, man standing there. As soon as he saw me, he asked if I was American. When I said I was, he let out a big sigh of relief. It seemed that he had just arrived and was supposed to meet someone in Arenal, but couldn’t get into his email to get the address and directions. I agreed to try to help him and he insisted on buying me breakfast, first. I had a humongous breakfast of three eggs, two pieces of actually browned toast, and more bacon than even I (who adore bacon) could eat. The problem seemed to be that Hotmail had detected that he was in a strange country and wouldn’t let him into his account without a rather large hassle. I suggested that he just message his friend on Facebook. He friend told him the name of the place he wanted to meet and, after I suggested he Google it to find directions, he was good to go. I got breakfast and my good deed for the day out of the way before 9:00.
|Vista al Golfo Hostel|
|Mile Long Zip Line|
|"Tarzan" Swing Launch Point|
|Body Leaping Off the Platform|
Uruguay was busy slaughtering England in the World Cup match on the TV. After lunch, I went back to the hotel and finished watching the game in the TV room. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon plotting my path through Costa Rica and starting to research Panama. I splurged and ate dinner at Mar y Tierra, a pretty upstairs restaurant next to the hostel. I had the Costa Rican equivalent of shrimp fried rice with a lovely green salad and lots of whole shrimp. I washed it down with a nice glass of red wine. The meal cost me $15, which seemed exorbitant, although probably would have seemed reasonable for the same thing at home. After a month and a half of one dollar (or less) beers, $6 for a (quite substantial) glass of wine seemed like a lot, but I really enjoyed it on a cool, rainy evening. I sat in the window and watched the lighting in the distance, hoping it wouldn’t rain too much the following day for my explorations of the Santa Elena and Monteverde National Parks.
|Reserva Santa Elena|
The Reserva Santa Elena is operated for the benefit of high school students. It was a lovely park. Not as large as the Monteverde preserve, it was nevertheless better maintained. Cloud forests are wet places and the trails tend to be muddy. Of the nearly four meters of precipitation that falls there, 20% comes in the form of mist from clouds. The Santa Elena Reserve had some trails paved in concrete and others set with concrete blocks and nail studded sections of tree trunks such that there were very few places where we actually had to walk in the mud. We all wanted to see a quetzal, so our guide, John, took us to the lower reaches of the park, but we still didn’t see any. They had nested there the month before, but had migrated down slope. Apparently, they are easy to see when they are nesting. They actually like to nest near the trails because humans scare away predators.
|Impromptu Victory Parade in Santa Elena|
|Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve|
June 21, 2014
|Route to Arenal|
|Tent at Arenal Backpacker's Resort|
|Bumble Bee Hummingbird|
|View from the Lava Flow|