Zipping Through

Since I wrote about Cerro Chirripo, I have been to La Fortuna, Monteverde, and now I am in the beach-side town of Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula.

La Fortuna was the ‘Banff’ of Costa Rica for me. Nothing against my town, but it was definitely the most developed and commercial place I have been – the ‘go-to’ place for first-time backpackers who are looking for a party and a pool. It was beautiful, nonetheless, and my hostel was positioned perfectly with a great view of Volcan Arenal, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Spewing smoke at all hours, and apparently an avalanche just after  I left, it is one of those wonders of the world that you just can’t take your eyes off of.

Fast forward to Monteverde, which is quite a neat little town nestled in the cloud forest. Monteverde was established as a Quaker settlement and is now filled with conservationists, hippies, and canopy tour operators. Upon my arrival there, I did the most touristy thing I have done so far on this trip and signed up for a zipline extravaganza through and over the cloud forest. The two highlights for me were definitely the “Tarzan Swing,” which is actually just as it sounds, and the kilometre long zip-line. My other days in Monteverde took me up Cerro Amigos, which had me bushwacking through forest that hadn’t seen the light of day in…ever, and walking through the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, a reserve of protected forest that is great for wild-life watching. I had a particularly hilarious confrontation with a monkey, who clearly knew  I was watching him, so he broke off a branch of the tree he was swinging on and threw it at me! I loved Monteverde and particularly the vibe of the hostel where  I was staying, Pension Santa Elena. It was the most social I have been on the whole trip.

And that brings me to Playa Santa Teresa, where I am staying at Casa Zen, a thai-inspired guesthouse 50 metres from the Pacific Ocean. Yesterday’s morning yoga session brought me to Zen-heaven – I had never done yoga outdoors before, let alone on a roof-top patio where ocean waves crashing on the shore near-by created a natural soundtrack. My trip finishes off soon, with one more day here after today and then a trip back to San Jose.

I’m off to another yoga session in a few minutes. I’ll see you there somewhere between Om and Namaste.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.

Café

Transcribing this from my journal entry on June 14…

Trying yet another one of Costa Rica’s coffee shops, this time the Rainforest Café. Costa Ricans sure love their café, and I love them for that. Or perhaps they know that we North Americans love coffee, and so they make it readily available. Apparently, Americans drink more coffee than Costa Ricans, though I would have to say that, based on observation, Ticos enjoy their coffee more – not simply downing it droopy-eyed in the morning and hourly thereafter to kick start the old engine.

best coffee in the world

Made traditionally, it takes much longer to produce just a single cup of coffee (Tico-style); a whole pot would be unthinkable and time-consuming, though Ticos seem to have all the time in the world.

I take a sip of what may be the best latté I have ever had. I have said that before while I’ve been here, but this time is unmistakable. And writing and coffee go so well together, except that it take me a long time to write and only a few short minutes to see the bottom of my coffee cup.

Rumour has it, one of the sentences Ticos used to make their children read while learning to read was something along the lines of  “I drink coffee every day. Coffee is good for me.” (I am fairly sure I have also heard my mother say this by her own volition and not simply reading a school textbook). Scientists have long debated whether or not coffee is “good” for you. No doubt, though, it is good for the soul and boosts your spirits.

A magical bean, I say.

Check out http://www.cafemonteverde.com/, one of the local coffee co-ops in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.