Last week started off with another beach cleanup however that was our only volunteering this week as we went to Monteverde! It was really nice to switch up our schedules since we’d been following the same one since we’d returned from Cirenas (the turtle place) a few weeks ago.
In the evening three new Leapers joined our group for the final four weeks here. Unfortunately we were rained in (yet again!!) for their first day so their first impressions of Jakera didn’t do it justice. We spent the day watching movies which probably wasn’t what they had expected to be doing after travelling all the way to the rainforest!
Luckily, on Wednesday it had stopped raining and the river had gone down so we were able to set off on the four or five hour journey to Monteverde. Despite being long, the car journey was so much fun and I’m surprised we still have voices after singing to every 2012 hit!
Arriving in Monteverde we walked around the town to get our bearings. It bizarrely felt like a European ski village as the buildings almost looked like chalets and it’s surrounded by mountains. On Thursday morning we all went to a nature reserve where we first learned about the species of animal that can be found in the area (including ocelots and tarantulas) before going on a long hike. Along the hike we saw a tarantula but unfortunately that’s all we saw. However, this was definitely made up for by hiking to the highest point of the mountain where the views were incredible. All we could see other than rainforest was the Pacific Ocean. The trees seemed endless and were gorgeous with their tops covered by clouds. It really was a sight you’d see in a magazine!
That afternoon a few of us opted to go to the cloud bridges and hummingbird garden. We followed another trail through a different part of the rainforest and this time we could see the forest floor below us from up on the bridges. The photo attached to this blog should hopefully depict just how beautiful it was. The hummingbird garden was amazing as we saw probably 50 of the tiny birds flying around. Despite having a phobia of birds I actually really enjoyed seeing the hummingbirds and admired their beauty and how many times per second they flap their wings (something near 1000!)
The first full day in Monteverde was made even better by our evening meal. A few of us went out to find somewhere to eat and ended up in this amazing restaurant on a balcony overlooking the town. The food was incredible and it was really nice to get to know the newcomers. At the restaurant there was a tiny puppy which sat on our laps throughout the meal which certainly topped off the night!
The second day in Monteverde we went on a hike to a huge old tree. The tree was hollow and we were able to climb all the way to the top through it. It was kind of terrifying seeing as we could’ve easily fallen but the view at the top was so worth it. That afternoon we all went ziplining which takes the place as one of my favourite memories of the trip so far. We ziplined over valleys of the forest on the longest zipline in Latin America which was indescribably beautiful. On some of the lines we were clipped in head first, in a lying down position which made the experience even more exhilarating and incredible. At the end we had the option to go on the ‘Tarzan swing’, where you start on a platform really high up in the air and you jump off it and swing insanely high. The initial fall was terrifying as it felt as if I was plummeting to the ground but when the rope became taut and I started ascending again I really enjoyed it. Overall, the ziplining was a really fantastic experience!
On Saturday we headed back to Jakera and spent the day recuperating. Sunday was another chilled out day spent back at the beach and drinking smoothies at The Bakery!! This week we’re back into our volunteering and Spanish schedule whilst the three new Leapers have gone to Cirenas to volunteer with turtles.