This has been my favorite week of my journey so far. That is in large part because I got to visit Monteverde, home of Costa Rica's most famous cloud forest. Plus, I got to do so with an old friend from Pittsburgh - Connor - and a new friend - Kat - to be introduced below. (This was also a great week because I got to stay with the delightful Flores family in San Jose, but more on them in a later post.)
Monteverde was so named by American Quakers who fled here to avoid the Korean War draft. We happened to meet the grand-daughter of a Quaker refugee on the road yesterday while we were taking a stroll.
While I hear that Monteverde can get packed with tourists, it's warming up in The US and Europe and the rainy season is approaching here, so it wasn't crowded at all for us. I can hardly think of a better way to wrap up my time in Costa Rica before I ride south to Panama.
This is the kind of thing you just see on the side of the road here.
All roads lead to ice cream! What a magical place.
Here are my traveling partners at breakfast. They weren't feeling a candid shot.
Here's a more flattering picture of Connor and Kat.
There are lots of dogs wandering around. We made friends with one we named Rufus (not pictured here).
The clouds that roll in and out of the forest are stunning. One minute you can't see more than 100 feet in front of you. The next you see the valley in front of you open up.
Apparently, the omnipresent mist is a perfect climate for epiphytes. According to a plaque, trees like this can support more than 70 species of epiphytes at once!
Everywhere you turn your head you see something beautiful.
We ran across an enormous swarm of ants that formed a channel crossing the trail. Here's a close-up.