We decided to spend minimal time in Costa Rica due to it being the most expensive Central American country. Last time I was here I spent the majority of my time either lying in a hammock at the surf camp we were staying in or in the Pacific attempting to ride waves that were far too big for me so this time we headed to the mountains instead.
After arriving in Santa Elena we were greeted by lots of excitement about the zip lining excursion whereby you fly 200m above the canopy. The stories were too tempting to turn down so we booked ourselves onto the next trip. Even though I’m not scared of heights I am a total wimp when it comes to doing anything slightly fearful so this was a tad bit daunting for me, unlike Luke who was totally unphased.
I look happy but there is pure fear behind those eyes. The first few zip lines were small and slow which began to build up my confidence for the longer and faster lines. I was doing great at first but all of a sudden my confidence disappeared and I began totally freaking out, especially when it came to the ‘superman’ zip line where you hang horizontally and are pushed off into the wilderness, gliding over the tree tops for almost a minute. There were a few tears but I did it!
Last but certainly not least came the ‘Tarzan Swing’ a three second free fall before swinging through the jungle. I was adamant that I wasn’t going to do this from the start as it sounded too much like a bungee jump for my liking but in a moment of madness I stood on the edge of the walkway and before I knew it the guy distracted me whilst giving me the nudge I needed. I was sure I screeched out the weirdest noise but was later told that I was completely silent – that’s true fear right there.
Before being swept away by the excitement of our zip line adventure, the reason we came to Santa Elana was to explore the outdoors. This is a beautiful part of Costa Rica, full of interesting wildlife and exotic flora. So off we went to explore.
We had heard about an impressive Ficus tree here in Monteverde where you can climb up the twisted roots that create the trunk and overlook the misty cloud forest from the top. It’s probably the coolest staircase I’ve ever seen.
Luke made it pretty much the whole way up, I however reached about 4 metres when I remembered that I fall over when stood totally still and regularly struggle with basic staircases so I decided to stop there. Know your strengths.
We then set off on a nature walk heading from Santa Elena in the direction of San Luis.
I knew I was going to love this walk when I noticed that even the mud was colourful. It’s a designer’s colour pallet waiting to happen.
Apart from the sloth we saw on the first night, the second coolest animal I’ve seen here in Costa Rica is the Menelaus Blue Morpho butterfly. It’s hard to get a photo of them as they are quick and as soon as they are still, the beautiful blue of the inside of their wings is concealed by the bland and brilliantly camouflaged outside. I did managed to get a video though – it’s hard to see their size in this but they really are ginormous!
So are the leaves! Bear in mind Luke’s a size 12.
We were rewarded for our efforts after about an hour and a half by this view. We sat and enjoyed the rolling hills and low lying cloud for some time before heading back to town for a cup of the finest Costa Rican coffee. And that was the end of our time in Costa Rica up. Next stop Panama.