Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Days 3-4 Costa Rica- More Rain, More Forests

Posted by evankessler on June 17, 2005

Santa Elena, Costa Rica – 7:50PM

So I’ve been away from the internet for a bit. When I last left you I was going out with some people I met at the hostel, (still day 2). That night I went with Will and Ashley (a just married couple) and their friends Courtney, Susan, and I think a guy named Art. We walked to a bar called Luigi’s Casino & Bar. On our way there we were followed by several stray dogs, which was kind of funny. We looked on as they marked their territory. The bar was absolutely empty when we walked in save for 3 Costa Rican men. We got our beer and walked to the back. One of the men took courtney and started dancing with her. Ashley taught me a drinking game called bull/moose which didn’t really seem like much of a drinking game. Apparently you’re supposed to drink with the hand you don’t write with, and if anyone ever catches you using your usual drinking hand then you have to either chug the beer or pour it on your head. That’s not much of a choice, but it’s an easy one. We only had one drink then it was back to Gringo Pete’s (the hostel).

Gringo Pete’s

The next morning, I woke up bright and early at 7am, since the sun comes up extremely early. I re-friended the original people I met at Gringo Pete’s, 3 girls from Florida (Jackie, Nancy, and Emmy) and one of their boyfriends (Ron). I tagged along with them and went to this swimming hole with a tarzan swing and natural waterfalls which was absolutely beautiful. We got back around Noon and still had the entire day ahead of us.

After the swimming spot I got some lunch in town and signed up for another tour similar to the one I had taken before but with young people and much cheaper. Also included in this one was a hike that basically took us through the rainforest. The tour left at 3:15pm and left with people from the hostel including all of the Florida peoples and a couple named Carl and Mariah who live in California but are moving to upstate new york. As soon as we arrived at the rainforest tour a torrential downpour began. I guess without the rain it would just be a forest. A forest with many deadly things. Deadly things that we did not see. It was about 15 minutes before the lightning from the rainstorm moved far enough away. So that we could actually get into the forest. Inside the actual forest wasn’t so wet, all of the huge leaves on the trees really serve as covering so it feels more like drizzle once inside.

Our tour guide showed us poisonous trees, healing trees, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and even some toads. We weren’t allowed to walk in front of him because there are something like thirty-seven poisonous species of snakes in Costa Rica and he had to scope out the situation.

After the rainforest hike we were all drenched and were going to get more drenched as we stood to watch the Arenal Volcano spew some more lava in the pitch black night.

The Light looking thing is lava

During our viewing of the volcano I felt a couple of bites at my ankles. I didn’t know what it was so I just kept slapping at my ankles. Every so often I would feel a sting. When I got on the bus I looked down at my shoe and noticed a crap load of ants on my shoe. Not just any ants, evil ants. Imagine normal american ants, and now imagine what they’d look like if they looked like Looney Tunes updated for the future (i.e, Loonatics). Pretty scary.

Afterwards we headed to the hot springs at Baldi and sat in more hot water. Baldi had some pools of hot springs that were as much as 180 degrees. I put my legs in and felt like they were boiling so I promptly removed them as I was reeling in pain. I also met some nice Brits on the hot springs but it was mostly uneventful.

After the tour I went back to Gringo Pete’s, changed out of my soaking clothes and got some dinner. I sat down at a bar in town that was also a decent restaurant and to my surprise were the married couple that was on my original tour that consisted mostly of old people. I don’t remember their names, I think the husband was Will, and I feel bad because I talked to the wife for awhile and she was really nice but I can’t remember her name, they lived in Alberta Canada though. We talked all through dinner and then we headed to our respective residences.

This morning I woke up at 7:30 in preparation to leave on a Jeep-Boat-Jeep ride from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Basically, you take a van to the water, you take a boat to the land, and you take a van to Monteverde from the boat. It’s pretty simple but it takes about 3 hours. There were a wide array of Americans on the boat, from the Florida people from my hostel, to a bunch of girls who just graduated college from Montana, to some Long Island girls. The whole trip was pretty harmless except the girl, Emmy and her boyfriend Ron didn’t stop making out. Even when we were all in a van facing each other they kissed about every four seconds in nauseating fashion. Tongues out for all to see their glory, I guess.

I split up with the Florida people when we arrived in Santa Elena next to Monteverde at around 11:30am. I got a room at La Pension Santa Elena for 5 dollars a night and signed up for a Canopy tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. At 1:30 I left for my canopy tour. The canopy tour consists of 11 ziplines going above and through the Cloud forest, which looks the same as a rain forest above. It was an absolute adrenaline rush. I arrived with a bunch of people who were on a bigger all-inclusive Costa Rica tour and met two twenty-somethings named Bobby and Kelly who seemed really nice but had the most generic sounding names of any couple I’d ever met. The rest of the people seemed like they were midwestern, though quite a few were New Yorkers.

The Cloud forest was breathtaking. You were harnessed in and sent flying down zip lines as long as a half- mile or as high as 5,500 feet through rainforest and white clouds. At some points you couldn’t see anything except for the cloud you were in, but you could look down and see how high above the trees you were. It was absolutely outstanding. It started raining towards the end of the zip line tour but it didn’t dampen the experience. Get it, dampen the experience. Oh man, I love puns.

While I was leaving the cloud forest I realized how little money I had left in my wallet and since I had recently failed in an attempt to access more money at the ATM I had thoughts running through my head of being stranded in Costa Rica. When I returned to the hostel I immediately headed to another ATM, and luckily for me, it was successful. I will not be stranded here. On my way back from the ATM I met two British girls who were staying at my hostel named Louise and Jess. I tagged along with them to both the Snake and Frog observatories. We saw all of the poisonous snakes and frogs that this country has to offer as well as the non-poisonous snakes and frogs, and even toads. It was quite an interesting flurry of activity. As a result I am slightly spent, so I think it’s time to get some food, and maybe a beer and get ready for the day ahead. As they say in Costa Rica, PURA VIDA!!!!

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