Santa Elena, Monteverde.
When Anna and I arrived at night, I felt drizzle but nary a cloud existed. I was thoroughly confused. It was mist, Anna said. I talked to my mom and she said it’s the mountain’s dewdrops that clings to your skin until you’re soaked. Did the mountain cry at night for the lost of the sun? Or did it cry because the moon will only have a few hours…a few days a month to see each other?
We stayed at La Pension Santa Elena which was steps away from the bus stop. Anna couldn’t abide with bunk beds so we splurged a little and got the bigger room. The owners and its workers were very good to us and helped planned our tours and picked the best restaurants. We had to get up early to catch the 8AM ride to the zip-line and suspended bridge tour in Santa Elena’s Cloud Forest.* I’ve gone on zip-lines before in New England to try to conquer my fear of height but I never seem to conquer it. Also, I forget how scared I was up there. Needless to say, I couldn’t do any of the zip-line without a professional holding me. If I died, I would like to die in someone’s arms, that’s how I see it. In any case, I got to look around and see things instead of concentrating on breaking and holding my posture properly. And the view….well, all I can say is that it’s no longer New York City. Misty clouds clung to the mountains, which I can see how it was aptly named thus. Anna braved it all on her own and she was definitely cut out for this vacaciones aventura. She even did the Tarzan swing (you guessed it right if you think of the rope that swings back and forth).
Within the forest, there was also a treetop hike. Trekking through the greenery, fallen trees, wet ground, and varying tropical flowers, there were clearings in which suspended bridges connected. There weren’t many people so if you listen carefully, you could hear the wind rustling the wet leaves and the sound of rushing water in the distance ground below. Only once in awhile, you can hear the whizzing sound of the zip-line overhead. Since it was daytime, most of the animals are asleep and I have to admit, thankfully, I did not run into any.
One thing about Costa Rica I wasn’t really prepared for was the laid-back carefree attitude. People took things much slower. It is different when you are used to schedules, reservations, and queues of people. Instead, here was a place where planning can occur within the hour. You take one step at a time and let the wind take you where it should.
So we decided almost an hour before to go horseback riding. I had never been on a horse. My nearest experience of horses are the ones in Central Park of New York City and they look so sad that I avert my eyes and avoid the drivers. But a sunset ride sounded like a romantic first encounter. And indeed! I told Anna that if I were ever to be proposed, I would want it in a manner of such. Guided aimlessly by a leader, we followed blindly through dark tangle woods and random farms, riding out into a beautiful clearing where patches of purple Santa Lucia** scattered atop a vast field of prairie and dark black rocks left from glaciers, then we’d go back into another wooded path only to come back out. And at the top of the mountain, we turned to see the sun set over a misty horizon. Far off, you could even see the Pacific Ocean. To me, it’s metaphoric for a relationship where you don’t know what you will go through together but there will be dark times and bright times but in the end, I would want to end my days with the one person I love. And I would hope he’d propose as the sun set, “My days are filled with thoughts of you. My nights are fulfilled in your arms.”
It was around here where after a trot, the battery of my camera flew out and our guide was a godsend for he was able to find the tiny 1×2 gray battery pack in the tall grass.
*facts: Costa Rica has 4 types of forest. In the Caribbean, it’s the Human Forest. Along the Pacific, it’s the Dry Forest. Around Arenal, it’s the Rain Forest. And up by Monteverde is the Cloud Forest.
**Santa Lucia flower is kept in your wallet to bring good fortune.