Hello, Internet! Cole here. Last month, I wrote an article about my vacation to Costa Rica. For the sake of brevity, however, I only wrote about the preceding events and the first day of the adventure. This month, I’ve written about the second day. Enjoy!
Day 2: More Transit
The next day, we packed our bags, ate breakfast at the resort, and got on the bus again. Thirty minutes later, the bus entered a small parking lot at the foot of a hill. After applying bug spray and sunscreen, we began hiking up the hill. Halfway up, Juan led us down a side path to our left. On this new path’s right lay a clear view of Arenal Volcano; on its left grew plantain trees, cacao trees, and sugarcane. We spent thirty minutes listening to Juan’s information about each of these things in turn, and then we used a second side path to reach the top of the hill. The view was quite expansive, so we stopped to take it in and take some photos.
Afterwards, we returned to the parking lot via the original path. Our next destination: Monteverde, a remote city in the upper reaches of the cloud forest. The journey was an unnerving ordeal. As we rose and twisted our way through the mountains, the road gradually became bumpier and more unstable. In addition, fog obscured our view of the road ahead, and I feared that our bus might fall down the steep slopes right beside us, bringing us to a sure death in the trees below. Our only respite from the ordeal was a rest stop before the worst stretches of the road.
The rest stop had a pretty great mural, though. That made the situation a little better.
But by God’s grace and the driver’s skill, we navigated the mountains successfully and arrived in Monteverde in one piece. Our first objective was lunch: it was about 2:15 p.m., and the last food we’d had was either breakfast or a snack from the rest stop. We went to the local restaurant d’Sofia, where we each ate one of the five menu items – chicken quesadilla, grilled chicken, fish quesadilla, grilled fish, and baked bean bowl – that we had selected during the bus ride. I got a grilled chicken; it was decent, but I’ve had better at home. The dessert, however – mango sorbet – was quite possibly the best dessert I’d ever had up to that point. For the rest of the trip, mango juice became my drink of choice.
Next, Juan took us to Hotel El Establo, where we would stay the next two nights. Like the previous resort, the hotel was spread throughout the property as several different cabins, though these buildings were fewer in number and much larger. Also like the previous resort, we stayed in the farthest building from the lobby (wah.). After all of us organized our rooms, Juan planned to take us on a nocturnal nature walk, but by the time the walk was scheduled to start the rain was thick as a curtain. My roommate Josef and I stayed in our room watching programs in Spanish instead.
We went down to dinner via hotel van at 6:30 P.M. The hotel had two restaurants: a fine-dining one close to our cabin and a regular one near the entrance. Our group attended this latter restaurant. Despite not being a “fine-dining establishment,” the building maintained a fine atmosphere; the lights were turned low enough to create a peaceful, sophisticated ambience without hampering vision, and the décor was fancy without being pretentious. The restaurant also had public Wi-Fi, which I appreciated since the cabins didn’t provide said service. I got my food – basic salad, chicken, and mango juice – and ate with my group, my mind significantly more relaxed after a long day. I was at peace, enjoying the space around me and the company of my friends.