November 28 Monteverde day tour and Maggie and Jamal’s again

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We had to have breakfast at 7am to make our 0720 tour. It was a good breakfast of a fruit plate, eggs, bacon, a small pancake, and piece of toast. The drive up to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was good for the first part and then turned to hell again. It was a very rough, very slow run up hill again.

Monteverde is a cloud forest reserve, the moisture comes across from the Caribbean, rises up and condenses as it rises. The forest can be completely enclosed in fog/cloud most of the time. One of the trails we were on advertised that it was between 5000 and 5100 feet elevation, just shy of a mile high. The cloud forest is a unique ecosystem.

The guide Victor, was very good and very skilled at spotting birds. We saw a few Resplendent Quetzals. It is uncommon to see any but we saw a few. We also saw hummingbirds and a few stick insects. We also saw a raid of army ants. Army ants don’t have a permanent nest and are almost always on the move. They also eat everything. Leaf cutter ants were common as well. An interesting thing is that leaf cutters don’t eat the leaves. They take the leaves to an underground chamber where a fungus grows on the leaves and they eat the fungus. As far as exciting animal life Manuel Antonio is hard to beat.

There were a number of hollow trees. Trees that are actually strangler figs. They killed their original tree and it rotted away over a hundred years or so and left the hollow core of their killer fig. There are trees big enough to climb and there is one near the Costa Rica-Panama border that you can actually repel down the inside of the tree.

Next to the entrance is a “Free” hummingbird view area, read this as a coffee/patisserie shop with a whole lot of hummingbird feeders around to gather the tourists and have coffee. It was amazing to watch that number of species of hummingbirds.

We drove down the hill and had lunch at Stella’s Bakery. We had a Gallo Pinto and a coffee, Jamal and Maggie has a bagel sandwich. Bagels are rare here and Maggie was excited.

We drove down the hill and made it all the way without a problem I did a time lapse movie of the drive down but it was too long between images for it to make a decent movie.

We are leaving in the morning so Maggie asked if they could go to Puriscal to get a provisioning run. So rather than going straight home we went to grocery store and they were able to get some bulky things that it is hard for them to get on their own. We came back and relaxed for a while before supper.

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