Saturday, 8 November 2008

... Central America: Head In The Clouds

 Greetings from the Cloud Forest!  After a bus ride to Lake Arenal, a boat journey across and then a very bumpy ride on what was basically dirt track, which my back will no doubt be thanking me for come the morning, we arrived in the clouds almost 4 hours after leaving La Fortuna. 

I have just got back from a 3 hour hike through the cloud forest at the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde. It was absolutely amazing!

Zarah & I hired a guide for our trek - Rolando - and he was really knowledgeable, which made it a whole lot more interesting. This bloke was like a walking nature book. Thanks to him, I got intimate with a giant black millipede - it crapped on my hand, can you get much more intimate!?! He shone his torch down a hole and I saw an orange-kneed tarantula. Safely in there where it can stay.

When I ran to the washroom to wash my hand I saw that something had been in there and tipped all the trash on the floor. I figured whatever it must be must be around somewhere and sure enough with in a minute or so it walked around the corner. It was a Coatimundi and it seemed very uninterested in me due to the fact that I didn't have anything edible for it.

We trekked deep into the forest with Ronaldo stopping to show us heaps of interesting flora & fauna. Unfortunately we didn't see the infamous & beautiful Quetzal but I did see a green side-striped palm pit-viper and an extremely long stick insect plus umpteen other plants including tiny orchids and birds.

The icing on the cake was the time I spent with the hummingbirds. They were flying right next to my head, that is how close I was to them. They were beautiful. And they fly so fast!?!?  One awesome shot I got is of one in flight and it looks like it has 4 wings. The colours were amazing and beautifully iridescent. And the sound eerily relaxing, literally a faint hum.

And today I rode my first chicken bus (camioneta) albeit for 30 or so minutes. Those 12 hr journeys I've got coming up on one are going to be interesting....

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