Time to take the “Jeep-Boat-Jeep” from La Fortuna to Santa Elena (aka Monte Verdi). The bus arrives at my hotel gate for me. Yep, the “Jeep” is a mini-bus, just like my hostel companion Sebastian guessed it would be.
The first bus is 20 minutes to the lake. Flat boat. Flat water. Beautiful scenery. Man made lake after 1968 Volcano. Then 1.5 hours on stone and dirt narrow roads as we climb toward the clouds. We are going to the Cloud Forest. Here it doesn’t rain so much. The views cannot be caught in a single frame photo. We all comment on the beauty of the rolling green hills and many levels of mountains and fields and textures. We pass some small home or farms, some cows locked in pens and some out grazing.
At 11:05 after about 30 minutes from where we packed up the 4 american horse riders we are in the clouds. The bus windows have thin streaks of water clinging to them. The sky is hazy. Now we are surrounded by trees and talk mountian so rather than being in the open with views of the other hills.
“We,” today consists of me, Sebastian from the hostel and past 3 days, and 3 couples from Spain.
At 11:24 we are passing homes that sit along the road a short distance from one another. Not like the Long Island or LA suburbs I have known, but close. A few tiendas and occasional restaurant. All very un-fancy. Iron roofs, mixes of cinder lock.
We are now in rain. With 1/2 hour more of our bus ride to Montiverdi, we stop at a modern-amenitied coffee shop for those who wish to have bathrooms, coffee and food. The woman who works the counter is nice. After the baño I ask about some local chocolate. It is 300 colones for a tiny one. (500 is $1.) At the tiny tienda where we picked up the horseback riders I just paid 150 for a Yipy 1 oz (28.2g) chocolate bar larger and similar to a KitKat so I pass. The middle size bag of Jacks (a Costa Rican snack brand) Nachos is 2,000+ so I pass. I paid less in La Fortuna. It is 11:49 and we are newly back on our bus, just a little wet. A sign tells me we are 11k from our destination of Santa Elena.
I have to add that it is laughable that I am writing most of this on my iPhone while on this bus. The road is mud and rocks. The bus shakes greatly even though the schock absorbers are in good shape.
The rain falls softly creating a soft curtain.
This is a curvy trip. For this entire ride I don’t recall the road being straight for the distance of say half a Los Angeles block.
2:15. Another clump of close together homes, some stores like car repair. We stop at “Rustic Lodge” to let two horse riders out. it is wood, looks quite nice.
We continue. We are not in the town yet. 2:19. We are on paved road for the first time. We drive through the real main street and town. We turn right and pass the big supermarket, then stop. This is my stop, Monte Verdi Backpackers, Sebastian tells me and I look up from my typing. It is raining softly but a lot. Not the time I wish to disembark – but I do. Sebastian carries my pack down the dirt and cement embankment. He says he will stay on the bus to see more places. His pack is covered with a rain cover. Mine is not. And I don’t want to walk anywhere more with my backpack on my back. Besides, I have heard that Alonzo who runs this place is great.