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Costa Rica 2012 Day 4 (3/3/12): Monteverde

Spent the night at Cabinas Eddy in Monteverde. I could not believe the wind! It started up at night and blew and showered as fierce as it ever blows in Canby. They should rename this place Montewindy. This is what Cabinas Eddy looks like in the daylight (It’s the two story place facing us, not the shack at the front of the photo):

I recommend staying here. It’s very reasonably priced, includes breakfast and free wifi and is a very short walk into town for getting groceries or eating or nightlife (not that we did any of that as we were generally exhausted by 8pm).
The plan for the day was for Brenda to take the Don Juan coffee tour and for me to stay at the hotel and catch up on blogging and computer stuff, since a coffee tour would likely bore me silly.

Still, Brenda took lots of photos and some videos and she told me all about it. Like most husbands I tuned out shortly after she started, so I only include a little of the experience with hopes that she one day correct any errors of commission or omission.
The first thing they did was give her and the rest of the tour a basket to pick coffee beans, which if you know Brenda you know she was too happy to do.

And they they showed Brenda how to pick the berries:

They were not allowed to stop until they’d picked this much:

Their reward for their labors was to be shown a three-toed sloth in a on the farm. (I’d like to have seen one, but the price was too dear)

When Brenda got back we walked into Monteverde (about 5 minutes) and had lunch at a nightclub that was open for lunch and also seemed to cater to locals. We learned after a few days to look for signs and menu items that said “tipical food” as that was always the most nourishing and also the best price. This is was a plate generally looks like:

It consists of a choice of meat (usually chicken, fish, pork or beef), rice, “pintos”, salad or cooked veggies, fried plantains and maybe some cheese.
The BIG activity of the day was a hike out to San Luis Falls. It’s the #1 rated activity in Monteverde according to TripAdvisor.com. Some of the comments said it was walkable from town if you like to walk. If I remember right it’s about 7 or 8 kilometers but this is what the road looks like

Brenda has walked the Portland-to-Coast many times and said there’s not a stretch anywhere near this difficult. We learned that on these mountain roads if they’re paved it’s because they’re too steep for gravel. This stretch was all paved.
But from this viewpoint we could catch a glimpse of the waterfall we were hiking to (see if you can spot it):

On this road, as we were getting close to the entrance to the park, we spotted a couple of Americans walking and we offered them a ride. They declined because they were so close, but I suggested they might want a ride back to town.
We got there and paid the $10 each to hit the trail. I think trails should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 “Billy Goats”. This was a four Billy-Goat trail and challenging to follow at times:

But the hike was worth it even without a promise of waterfalls:

with trees and water to look at…

and several plank crossings…

But we finally got to the our planned destination after about a 45 minute walk:

We passed several people on their way back and when we got there we were the only ones there. It was late int eh afternoon and the water looked cold…too cold.

But I figured to spend some time and relax there:

As did Brenda:

Waterfalls are really a moving experience, so we made a movie:

Not long after we got there the couple we passed on the road arrived. They were keen to go for a swim in the pool and in they plunged. Brrrr. But after seeing them survive for about ten minutes I decided we ought to brave it. Brenda and I waded in but, man, it was cold. “The boys” overruled the “going in” idea so I didn’t go in up to my waist, nor did Brenda. Nor did we stay in more than a minute or two.
The couple, Grant and Susan, asked if they could take us up on our offer for a ride back and we were happy to oblige. I think they’d not get back before dark if we didn’t give them a lift.

It was fun getting to know them, briefly, as Susan talked (believe it or not) faster than Brenda and Grant was similar to me. Grant and I saw a white faced monkey with a baby on her back on the way back, but Brenda didn’t get there in time to take a photo.
Finally we got back to Cabinas Eddy and went off to have more Tipical Food.

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