Woke up to a beautiful balmy day. There is an earthy serenity that I feel I belong to every time I’m on this land.
We were hot, sweaty, and a bit jagged, after having just arrived on the “jeep-boat-jeep” from Monte Verde, Costa Rica. One of the first things we were told when we got to Essence Arenal Organic Farm and Hotel, was to go around the corner to La Gavilana art gallery and shop. Hotel concierge Vanessa, (the once ice skating girl from Chicago, now expat) said, “it’s owned by an American girl and it’s very nice.”
What can I say about the rainforest? It is beyond describing. Hiking through the Santa Elena forest for 4 hours was transforming. The sound of the rainforest birds and animals is unlike anything else I have heard. The two of us were almost the only humans within sight for hours. We walked looking up at amazing trees, vines, bromeliads, birds, and butterflies. we walked looking down at beetles, centipedes, and ants. I felt a detoxification and healing happen as we were immersed in the magic of hundred year old trees. I picked one beauty, I think a Ficus, to have an energy exchange with – what a moment of purification and gratitude.
Who knows what goes on in the dark? Well we have a better idea after going on a night hike in Monte Verde, Costa Rica.
A group of 14 of us, (including an infant), tramped up and down hills with flashlights for 3 hours. Costa Rican guide Alex was a terrific spotter, and a funny guy. Surprisingly we came upon a fair amount of critters. I know we would have never seen the viper in strike position on the tree branch on our own. We wouldn’t have known Mrs. Tarantula was in that hole in the dirt. And I finally got to see a sloth in the wild! The two toed variety was hanging upside down munching down on leaves.
My partner almost got lost when he was videoing leaf cutter ants on his hands and knees. He accidentally joined another tour group in the dark. After I yelled his name to no avail, our guide had to go retrieve him. After that episode our leader started counting our group every few minutes.
In addition to the sloth, the other exciting furry mammals we got to spy on were olingo, kinkajou, and coati – kinda raccoon-monkey-catlike beings that were all crawling around high up in the trees. Then there were the lizards, frogs, and lightning bugs.
It was all a great time running around in the dark like in a “Blair Witch” movie episode,
but more educational and fun!
A highlight of our trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica was visiting a working tropical farm in the jungle. Here a father and son raise pepper, cacao, tropical fruits, and ornamental plants. We had a lesson and tasting of local fruits and learned how chocolate is made.