Our last day in Tamarindo (for now) started with a morning swim and a breakfast in the garden. Suddenly a howler monkey came climbing over the fence, crossing the lawn and going into the bushes. One of the other guests tried to feed him with bananas, but he backed off pretty quickly after a mean stare and a scary howl from the monkey. We had a lot of fun watching them climbing around in the trees though. We also had a large lizard relaxing on the roof. At 11 am, Zak and Jesse left to go home to Salt Lake City. We had such a great time together and will definitely stay in touch!
We still had a few hours before we were leaving, so we went for a walk in the city and on the beach, found a crocodile in a small pond by the beach and had some ice cream and fruit at one of the beach bars to cool down. At 2 pm we were picked up by our shuttle that we shared with 4 other people. After a few hours we stopped in a small village where two of the passengers were getting off.
We had a break here and noticed that there were quite a bit of wildlife in the trees. We saw three large parrots, monkeys with babies and lots of other birds. The last part of the ride to Monteverde was very bumpy and we were going up and down steep gravel roads with plenty of curves. We finally arrived in Santa Elena around 6.30 pm and got a warm welcome at Casa Traquilo.
The owners were taking most of the other guests on a hike to a hot spring shortly after we arrived, but we needed to unpack, find some warmer clothes and get something to eat, so we did not join them. We had dinner in the Tree House Restaurant which is built around a large tree and stopped by the supermarket on our way back to buy some beers and a bottle of wine. We had some wine and tried to read a bit in our guidebook, but we soon got too tired and went to bed early.
The next morning we woke up really early, since our room had ceiling windows with no curtains and it got pretty light in there. Bread, eggs, fresh fruit etc. was available in the kitchen all day so we could make our own breakfast whenever we wanted. We decided to go to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a hike, and one of the other guests (Henrik from Sweden) decided to join us. We took a taxi to the entrance, got a map and a suggested itinerary and started walking. In the beginning it was very cloudy, so we didn’t see much from the lookouts. We changed the itinerary to go deeper into the Reserve and on natural paths instead, and we started spotting a lot of birds, butterflies and insects. It was very steep and quite slippery in a few places, but after a lot of relaxing it was quite good with some exercise. We also went over a very high hanging bridge, and stopped at a beautiful waterfall. We walked most of the trails, in total around 8 km.
After leaving the Reserve we stopped at the Hummingbird Gallery where masses of different hummingbirds were flying around, visiting feeding dispensers filled with sugared water. We took loads of pictures before tasting some local coffee. We decided to walk back to the casa as well (around 5 km), and spotted an animal crossing the road. We didn’t have time to take a good picture, but got one from a distance so we can figure out what it was.
Back at the casa we were told that they would have an End-of-the-world-barbecue in the evening, so all the guests went shopping for food and drinks, and we all had a great time preparing everything. We all gathered in the backyard, some brought drums and guitars, and later in the evening we got our travel speakers. Several people from the neighborhood and some tourists from other hotels also joined us at that time. It was very international and very fun, and luckily the world didn’t end after all.