Among the Clouds

Costa Rica has sent my head spinning. It is a place like no other. Sometimes it is beautiful, warm, and sunny. Sometimes I get back to my temporary home drenched, my notebooks and backpack sopping wet, making a puddle that won’t dry for days because of the high humidity. It makes sense why everything is covered in tile—not just for decoration. On the bus ride to Montverde, I saw much of the Costa Rican scenery from bustling cities, to beautiful beaches, to breathtaking cloud forests.

The cities here are much different from what I expected. Cities, to me, have always been the equivalent of skyscrapers and structure (New York and Pittsburgh). Here, it’s different. San José is splattered all across the central valley along with its small neighboring cities There are only a few large buildings and even they are not that tall. At night, when I walk through my neighborhood on the way home, San José appears as a splash of speckled lights between the dark mountains and clouds. During the morning, the brightly colored houses have their doors thrown open, and the sky is bright blue with puffy clouds. People grow beautiful plants and flowering bushes. Most of the sidewalks are torn up—I have to watch my step—a hazard I didn’t know could even be allowed in cities. So much flies under the radar here—you need a lot of street smarts to get around—but most of the people are helpful and kind. The traffic is fast and furious. Lots of flying cars and not many street signs. It keeps me on my toes.

From what I saw, the beaches are quite beautiful. I only saw about a mile of coast from the bus window as we journeyed to Montverde. The stormy clouds reflected gray blue in the ocean. Big ships floated near a small port. I assume they were transporting coffee and other products. I can’t wait to see more of the beaches on Sunday.IMG_6152

And the last leg of the bus ride, the mountainous cloud forests near Montverde, was out of an adventure book. We passed rural farms full of slow moving cows feasting on long grass. The farms were surrounded by fences of living trees strung together with barbed wire. The roads were curving and winding. The houses and their metal rooves were snuggled among the hills with their pet dogs, chickens, and even a donkey. Ditches diverged the large amounts of rain water off the road. We passed small cemeteries with graves covered in beautiful tiles and crosses to honor the souls. Then, the road twisted and curved even mroe. The orchestic soundtrack of Lion added ambient background music. We stopped to see a bunch of Howler monkeys hanging in the trees. The pavement turned to gravel and vibrated beneath us. On numerous occasions my life flashed before my eyes—imagining the bus slipping off the steep cliff and plummeting into the rainforest. Green mountains and clouds as far as I could see. I imagined something impressive—but the trip to Montverde blew my mind.IMG_6143.JPG

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