Costa Rica: La Fortuna > Monteverde

Part 1 – La Fortuna

After spending time soaking up Costa Rica’s coastline, we all headed inland to La Fortuna.

… but since we all had different work schedules and plans, we all decided to take our own ways; Connor took a chicken bus, then renting a car with Sammy (his girlfriend), Kaleb and Dumiso took a private shuttle, and I took 3 chicken buses through dozens of small towns.

The brief time apart was essential, being around Kaleb and Dumiso (two especially social beings) was wonderful, but a challenging pace to maintain! The bus rides gave me time to reground and decompress.

Once we arrived in La Fortuna, we quickly realized we had quite the setup; co-working spaces, yoga studio, pool, and campfire.

The next day, Connor, Sammy and I left to explore the small national park. The $13 entry fee was pretty steep for the experience, but paying to protect nature is necessary. Especially when nature doesn’t have an economical voice in our world today, sadly. In the park, we also got the opportunity to see a 300-year-old Cebola tree. Reflecting back on the experience, spending time with old plants continuously deepens my awareness, and showcases how little we know.

Beyond that, most of the time was spent working and collaborating in conversation. Although I won’t forget jamming a ukulele at the campfire, singing songs and surprising myself (and others) with my unpolished capabilities.

After the week of work, a group of us headed to the Baldi hotsprings spa. Nothing was natural, except the water – but the relaxation was appreciated after the draining week. A few notable areas were, one pool that was 113 degrees Fahrenheit in a dark stone room with a strobing red-blue light… the challenge to stay calm in extremely discomforting circumstances was real (I only spent 2-3 minutes there). The other notable area was the waterfall at the top… Standing under the force of free falling water is always soothing – now imagine hot water. My body practically dissolved.

We all returned to the hostel, and I went off to bed – thinking the next morning we’d be off on another pre-planned adventure. Unfortunate for me, and fortunate for the others – the night continued back to natural hot springs with the locals and destroyed our morning plans. No big deal though, I simply readjusted my expectations and move on. After having a deep, provoking and lengthy conversation with Isa (a girl at the hostel) about my work – I left on my own adventure.

After an hour of peacefully walking along the road, I arrived at La Fortuna’s waterfall. Excited to bath in some cold water, I scurried down the stairs and started floating in the main pool while the park attendant observed my behaviour.. After bathing in the falls, the attendant approached me with confusion – he commented that no one stayed that long in the pool. This didn’t surprise me, rather just validated my unique relationship with cold water.

Then, I returned to the hostel, did some yoga, and waited for our shuttle to Monteverde.

Part 2 – Monteverde

Off the Monteverde we went from La Fortuna. Shuttle – boat – shuttle.

The first shuttle was practically insignificant; however the boat ride across the lake gazing at the picturesque volcano was comforting. We docked on the other side of the lake and jumped into our second shuttle. This portion of the journey was rough… rough roads, rough seats, rough breaks.

Once we arrived in Monteverde, one thing became apparent – the wind.

The wind never stopped – cruising along at 30-40km/hr with occasional gusts. We could hear our hostel structure moving, shaking and creaking – non-stop. It was uneasy to begin, but after a day I found the swaying of the wind soothing. A peaceful reminder of where we were.

During our time in Monteverde we ate 3 times at the same taco joint. Their deep-fried avocado tacos continually created blissful times.

While we weren’t enjoying these tacos – we went on 2 tours.

The first tour was a “100% adventure” tour – the highlights: 1 km zipline + Tarzan/bungee jump swing.

The second tour was a Cacao/Coffee/Cane tour – the highlights: everything…

Getting the opportunity to see the process of real chocolate being made… priceless. Honestly, it’s hard to see anything in store as ‘chocolate’ anymore.

Getting the opportunity to see the process of coffee being made… never gets old – and the coffee is delicious.

Getting the opportunity to see the process of sugar cane being processed… challenging. I have a terribly soft spot for sugar – one that needs to change! Watching the simple steps of creating sugar makes it hard to acknowledge how impure the sugar we consume is.

It’s so far from sugar that it’s basically a drug.

After these tours the group dissolved. Connor and Sammy left home – Kaleb and Dumiso headed to the coast – and I stayed in Monteverde.

For a few days, I decompressed from the time spent with wonderful friends. I hiked trails in the cloud forest, and watched some more sunsets.

Meanwhile, one thought remained. Travelling with people is always a pleasure 🙂

Lessons Learnt:

  • Traveling with Friends is always a pleasure.
  • Old trees challenge our perspective to constantly.

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