Monteverde - My Favorite Tree EVER!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 4 ~ Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

We woke up super early to gray skies and strong winds.  Still half asleep, Eric and I drove to the Santa Elena Reserve for a guided tour with Johnny Perez.  It was misty and steadily drizzling, but that only added to the movie like scenery all around us. Picture 103.jpg Johnny had a cute sense of humor, a vast knowledge of plants and animals, and could beautifully sing many different bird calls. 

The weather was very diverse depending on which side of the mountain you were hiking on.  The elevation on the Pacific side was chilly and rainy, while the Caribbean side was slightly warmer and drier from the tradewinds blowing up that side of the mountain.  It was an amazing three hour hike filled with bird watching, pit viper sightings, medicinal plants, mushrooms, flowers, spiders, millipeads, and the magical feeling of the natural wonder of the cloud forest! Picture 129.jpg

This hike was followed by the long awaited trip to my favourite tree!  This tree is a very old Strangler Fig which you can climb up the middle of and pop out at the top branches up in the canopy.  In case you are not familiar with Strangler Figs, they start  when a bird eliminates seeds at the top of a tree.  Little by little, the strangler fig vines start to creep down the tree and wrap around it until they reach the ground.  

After many, many years ther tree on the inside begins to die from strangulation of the vines and eventually disintegrates,Picture 130.jpg leaving only the vines.  So this tree is made out of twisting vines with a hallow interior, making it easily climbable from the inside.  Eric went first to conquer his fear of heights in peace and I later joined him at the top for a nice breeze amongst the tree tops!  I was fully satisfied with my trip to Monteverde after climbing this natural wonder. 

I had been on a whirlwind tour of Monteverde, with exciting tours everyday, three different hotels, catching up with old friends, and trying to show my travelling buddies a good time as well.  Picture 120.jpgI was ready to take a break form the busy schedule I had been keeping up with over the last few days, but was sad to leave and had thoughts of my next trip back in the near future!  Picture 132.jpg

Tags: monteverde  cloud Forests  strangler fig  santa elena reserve 
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