Some beautiful people, places and ideas we've encountered along the way

Hmm...let's rewind to a few weeks ago, starting with Punta Uva.  It's the most exquisite beach pueblo located in the depths of the jungle.  The town is about 6km south of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. A narrowly carved path that hardly accommodated the local bus guided us through lush, tropical rainforest and led us to Walaba Cabina, the most eccentrically decorated, quaint abode that would become our home for nearly a week. 
Our cabina  was tucked deep into the jungle and was just a few 100 meters from the most private beach we've encountered thus far.!.  The owner had a really creative style and decorated the cabinas with homemade wind-chimes made of drift wood, shells, and semillas (seeds).  There were so many homemade mosaic art pieces, mainly made of shells and other tidbits of  nature.  It was a very inviting place and for the first time on our journey it felt like we made a home away from home.  We prepared delicious breakfasts and dinners, never could one imagine so many variations of rice and beans:  gallo pinto, huevos rancheros, rice and beans, beans, beans.  Each morning and eve were serenaded by howler monkeys and the gentle chirps of various  birds. We passed the days biking, hiking, reading, yoga-ing, and meeting several like-minded folks.  One older fellow from Germany who has been living in the area for 15 plus years invited us into his store to sing mantras and talk philosophy.  It was an interesting experience, he mentioned that humming birds will come into your home if you strategically place floral arrangements by open windows or doors.  Just as he said it a humming bird flew in through the door and starting sucking the sweet nectar from the hibiscus flowers he had arranged all over his dig.  Our souls and spirits were rejuvenated after our time in Punta Uva.  If you are ever close to this drop of heaven on Earth, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to be surrounded by such beauty.

Following our time in Punta Uva, we hopped on a bus and headed north towards Monte Verde.  Due to conflicting bus schedules, we had to stop over in San Jose for an evening.  It proved to be unattractive and dirty but we were fortunate to cross the path of some wonderful travelers.  Our newly made German friend, Hannah, accompanied us on our adventure to Monte Verde.  Monte Verde is a volcanic, mountain town that is full of character.  We stayed in a hostel called Vista al Golfo.  It was unbelievably  clean and had the most immaculate view overlooking the cloud hugged mountains.  It was only $6 a night, and it included breakfast.!.  Being a mountain town, we opted to do quite a bit of hiking. Our first trek was Cerros 3 Amigos.  The hike was up, straight up.  After about 40 minutes of intensely going up this gravel-ly, dusty, dirt road with very little aesthetic appeal, we started to feel pretty defeated and nearly conceded but found the inspiration to endure.  Imagine climbing up a down escalator for an hour and a half.  But we made it, and the eventual reward was interesting: a sweet look out point that was only created to construct a few tv towers.  The view was nice though, so we munched our cheese and vegetables before making the knee jamming trek back down.   Felt productive.

The real attraction in Monte Verde is the cloud forest.  We hiked through several trails in Santa Elena National Park.  It's a cloud forest, and as the name implies it is moist as well as beautiful.  Mosses and other epiphytes cover every square inch of the trees and branches in the forest creating a fuzzy appearance on all the trees.  Combined with the fog and darkness from the canopies of the trees, it really had an eerie vibe.  As you wander through the paths you catch frequent whiffs of decomposition and rapid decay.  It has a scent that is similar to the marsh at low tide.  A lot of people aren't fond of the scent but it takes me back to memories of the low country and brings me feelings of joy and deep happiness.  There was an awesome look out tower and a waterfall where we stopped to picnic on our tomato, cucumber, and cheese sandwiches.  Oooh, and plantain chips...so delicious.!.  We caught a glimpse of a few monkeys, but little fauna aside from that.

Anyhow, I guess I'll end with a small interesting fact:

In the cloud forest there is a tree called the Ficus tree.  It's really enormous and produces a fruit that is appetizing to lots of birds.  The birds consume the fruit and then pass the seed in the their pooh.  Often, it lands on the branches of another Ficus tree.  The seedling starts to grow and begins to drop its roots from the canopy layer of the tree down to the ground.  Eventually, the new tree begins to wrap itself around the larger, original tree and roots deep into the Earth.  After abut 40 years or so the new tree has engulfed the old tree and consumes it totally, using the nutrients from the old tree's bark and trunk and leaves. Strange process.

Well, until next time.

All my love,
k