Top of ancient volcano

As with many great adventures it starts out as something simple on a ordinary day, I was at my computer and Sarah at her desk next to mine. She was looking at discount travel website and ask me would you like to visit Costa Rica. I am sure she already knew the answer to that question which was a very big yes. I am a plant collector and your asking me if I would like to visit a country known for it’s jungles. Of course I want to visit. We looked over the prices and decided it was worth going so we booked our trip.

Our flights and travel was easy and felt safe. When we landed in San Jose we went out of the air port to be greeted by tons of people asking us for rides and trying to give us information. One of the guys held a sign with our name for the travel package and we were put into a van and drove to a rental car store. We picked up a car which I would suggest taking photos and video of the car as you pick it up because later we were charged extra for a scratch or spot on the car that we did not cause. After getting the car we pulled up google maps to get the directions to our 3 hour drive to the resort in La Fortuna. I should add that had watched at least 3 videos on driving in Costa Rica the week before. The drive was a bit sketchy in the cities and smaller towns. Once out in the country it was very easy and very scenic.

Leaving San Jose

The driving took us up many large mountains with steep roads and amazing views. Not to mention the plants and aroids growing along the sides of the road made it very hard to concentrate on not running off the edge. Once at the resort we quickly signed in and were given our own little bungalow to spend the next 4 days living in. The small cluster of bungalows were set up at the base of an ancient volcano which gave us one of the most spectacular views every morning.

After getting settled in and taking a tons of volcano photos, the next morning we went out to visit the tourist attraction which is a catholic church in the center of town. It was a quick easy stop and they had a lot of nice cannas growing in the landscape which were extremely healthy and very clean. I had a blast just looking at the landscape and the old canna hybrids which are hard to find now in the states.

After a quick visit to the church, we decide to go visit the La Fortuna waterfall. Once at the waterfall we had to take a hike down a mountain to there were many amazing plants I was able to get photos of along the way.

The path going down was pretty easy to navigate. You could hear the waterfall early on but by the time we were at the bottom it sounded like a jet engine. The cool humidity and mist made it idea for all types of plants and it may be one of most amazing places I have visited with a huge diversity of plants.

Once we returned to the resort I was able to take the rest of the day and explore around the resorts landscapes. It is so impressive to see some of the plants I have grown for years in pots growing right in the ground or even better to see them in their natural habitat on the sides of trees and in the ditches and forests just outside the manicured landscapes.

The next morning were were set to go on a hike into the cloud forest on a trail called Cerro Chato. Once we arrived it was buy a ticket and start up an old dirt road with lots of nice jungle and forest to look though. A lot of the land on the hills were still being used for livestock but I couldn’t help exploring the ditches. I was able to find tons of interesting plants and animals along the trail. This was one of the best places we went on our trip. It was also going to take the most effort to climb.

As we climbed up the trail we could tell we were getting to higher elevations. It was around this time we found some cows who had escaped from the fences and one particular large female did not seem to like us. She came at us 3 times and looked to run us over. I then took my hat off and shouted loudly at her. I have to say I am no cowboy and I was not so certain if what I was doing was going to make her retreat or just piss her off more. Luckily she was scared and took off. After that little ordeal the trail went from a nice uphill walk to a uphill climb using hands and feet as the mud walk became more like a pure climb. To tell the truth the cloud forest just seemed to keep getting further out of reach. I had thought after an hour or so climb we would have made it to the cloud forest but it was a long way to the top.