This morning, I got up around 8am, had my included breakfast of one egg and cheese taco (it should have had beans in it too, but I guess that they ran out (breakfast started at 7)) with watermelon and banana.
I then putzed around for a little bit, chatting with folks at the hostel. I arranged to take a hike with my Swiss friend, Kim. We were going to go to one of the cloud forest reserves, but at 20 bucks to enter the reserve, no guide, we decided to hike out of town to the TV antennas at the top of a mountain in the jungle. The trail was not manicured well by far, as it is meant for access vehicles to repair the equipment, but it was a nice hike none the less. The road was steep (like 45degrees or more at many points), muddy, and slick, but we made it to the top in a few hours. The view along the way was amazing--we could see all the way to the coast and across the Nicoya Peninsula, where I am headed tomorrow. Besides a fluffy white puppy who acted as our guia, there wasn't much wildlife; a few common birds and a swarm of black bumblebees with bright violet wings. Povrecito, the name I have our puppy guia, ate the ones that came too close to us! We had to walk through these to get to the top, and even though I was pretty sure that they weren't stinging bees, it was still an exercise in suspension of fear, as they really swarmed us for a long chunk of time. We got to the top and were a little bit disappointed to find that the cloud cover was too thick to see Volcan Arenal which should have been in the distance. Nevertheless, we had an amazing view of SantaElana and Monteverde in the valley below to watch as we ate our lunch of breads and empanadas that we grabbed from a panaderia along the way.
After getting back to the hostel, we booked a tour with eXtremo! a canopy tour company. The zip lines were amazing. There were about 20 lines, including a few nearly a kilometer long and a superman flight over a kilometer across the forest valley below. There was also a Tarzan swing and freefall, as well as repelling. A few folks did a bungee jump too, but that one additional jump doubled the cost of the excursion. I'll bungee in Nicaragua where it will be cheaper, and won't have all those annoying waivers and safety procedures...
Side note, they made us wear helmets, which I found endlessly entertaining, as if a helmet would help if the line snapped, or the harness tore and I plummeted into the jungle valley a hundred meters below! Sry mom!
All the adrenaline and sun wrung me out, so im taking a quiet evening sipping Imperial and chatting with folks at the hostel.
Tomorrow is a travel day. I was going to take a coffee plantation tour today, but it's 25 bucks, and im sure it's around 5 for a similar tour in Nicaragua. Tomorrow I am headed to Playa Montezuma on La Peninsula Nicoya, though it may take me the day to get there. Hopefully, I'll make the ferry in Puntarenas and won't be stuck there for the night. I am really looking forward to the beach in Montezuma, even though I am already toasted; I have been dying for a beach day since I arrived.
Another side note, I am really so happy to be backpacking again. It's amazing how quickly I swung back into the groove. Usually it takes me a few weeks, but my Spanish flooded right back to me, and I have yet to use English with a native. Even my grammar came back which was nice surprise, I may not need spend as much time at Spanish school in Nicaragua.
Up early tmrw, pura vida!