For the next portion of our trip, we entered into what was called a "jeep-boat-jeep" trip. AKA, the scariest hell of a ride I could have ever dreamed up. The first part started innocently enough. We took a small bus (large van?) about 15 minutes to the edge of Lake Arenal. About 30 people boarded a large touring boat and we put putted across the lake, taking in the amazing views around us, day dreaming about building a house and living off our land with the view of Arenal Volcano in our backyard. It was one of the most idyllic places I've been. So remote, so quiet, so green and pretty.
We reached the other side of the lake for our last portion of the journey, which should not be named "jeep", but rather "careening-on-the-top-of-mountain-roads-while-clutching-your-small-baby-to-your-chest-trying-not-to-puke". Were Henry not with us, I like to think I would have managed the journey with out any trouble, but my protective mothering side came out and I was in an all out panic. And because we were in a bus, there wasn't a place for Henry's car seat, so I put him in the ergo and clutched his head up against my chest so his brains wouldn't turn into scrambled eggs. Thankfully, he fell asleep and was a perfect angel the entire time. But word of warning to those wanting to try the jeep-boat-jeep transfer from Arenal to Monteverde - it is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for stressed out mommas!
That transfer aside, once we got to Monteverde (translation: green mountain), it was a paradise. Our hotel, El Establo, was a perfect little mountain retreat, that surely had its heyday in the 70's or 80's, so it had that summer camp kitsch to it. It is perched up on the mountain top, and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean (we were lucky to have 2 clear days!) We loved it. It also got dark very early there, and Henry was still on east coast time and waking up at 4am (yay!), so Mark and I would go to bed around 8 or 9 every night. The best part of it all, was that we didn't feel one bit of guilt, like we should have been experiencing Costa Rica! Or reading! Or watching an awesome movie together! No, we were exhausted parents, and the hiking wore all of us out even more. But. We so enjoyed our hikes through the Monteverde cloud forest. Once again, we threw on the hiking backpack and Henry was either sleeping or just quietly observing his surroundings. We all really liked it. The last night we were there, we finished hiking the trail around 4pm, just as it started raining. We barely made it back to the visitors center when the heavens opened and it started pouring rain. Torential, rain foresty costa rica rain. It was awesome.
View from our hotel
Enjoying perro watching
Metal beetle, so cool.
Monteverde! We loved you. This is us, feeling triumphant at the continental divide, which you could not see because, well, it's a cloud forest.
Next up - I need to share about flying internationally with a baby and how AWESOME it is. Really.