Trip to Costa Rica, Part Two: Monteverde

Driving around Lake Arenal en route to Monteverde, we happened upon a traffic jam of folks stopped to check out this friendly
coatimundi prowling the side of the road.  I got out of the car and he walked right up to me!

He was a cute little bastard, apparently part of the racoon family, but looking like some racoon-monkey-pig hybrid. 

We heard stories of the roads to Monteverde being rough, and they weren't joking.  Steep pothole-filled dirt roads made up the
last 35 kilometers or so of the route (a little over 21 miles). 

It was a nice drive though.  But a little bumpy obviously. 

This photo doesn't really do justice this compound of statues we passed...but words can't express the joy I feel that they made the
dog statue so anatomically correct.

Our room while visiting the area at the Hotel El Viandante.  Very nice place run by a nice half-American/half-Italian couple.  If they
only had a hot tub the place would have been perfect!

We went on a zip line tour our first day there - here are photos of us all geared up...

...and this was the last of the twelve zip lines that we rode (I didn't take my camera for fear of screwing it up).  This one was one
kilometer long, it truly felt like you were flying. 

It was basically like this photo I found online, only in the fog/clouds the entire time.  On many of those lines you couldn't even see
the ground.

We spent most of the next day in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.  The photos to follow will not come close to doing it justice.  It
was one of the most amazing places I've ever been in my entire life. 

Apparently they filmed part of "Jurassic Park" in this part of the's pretty easy to see why.  We half expected a bronto-
saurus to be around any corner. 

Butterfly pupa.

Wild orchid (no, not the Mickey Rourke softcore porn movie) - these were all over the place.

A millipede!  Chelsea spotted this well camoflaged fellow.  Did you know that millipede's are poisonous, and that monkeys use
rub them on their fur as a bug repellant?  See now you've done gone and learned something. 

A photo in front of the small waterfall in the park, not far from the source of the stream (we were almost at the top of the mountain).

Chelsea looking for a Quetzal through the guide's telescope (which we eventually saw in a different location).  I never knew this
bird even existed, but apparently it's a big deal in the bird watching world.  It's is a pretty damn cool looking bird. 

I happened to notice this large moth during our trek - apparently it just came out of it's pupa, seen just to the right, and it was
basically "growing" right before our eyes.


Before the end of our walk we ventured out on the hanging bridge, where you could see the canopy from above, a nice change
of perspective. 

Chelsea took off back to solid ground and I was forced to just take a photo f myself.  Damned birds wouldn't hold the camera.

On our way out of the park we stopped by the Hummingbird Gallery, where there were litereally dozens of hummingbirds of
multiple varieties buzzing and zooming around with no regard for the people there gawking at them. 

I think that one in the back is eyeballing me.