Today we made the 3.5 hour drive to Monteverde. This drive was not the typical highway-for-miles drive. Instead, we went through mountains, around curves, and up dirt roads which was quite the adventure. The view of the surrounding valley was incredible.
It was also interesting to see how the landscape, communities and people changed as we got further from the Central Valley and higher into the mountains of Costa Rica. The city was busy with bright signs, people hurrying about their day and cars screeching through the streets.
As we drove towards the outskirts of town, I noticed the houses became a little larger with bigger yards, the roads weren’t as crowded, and there were not as many people out and about. In the mountains, the environment was peaceful. It was quiet with the houses spaced far apart. Almost every estate was a ranch or farm of some sort. Life seemed simpler up there. The people were not in much of a hurry. The differences between life in Heredia and life in the mountains were stratifying. It almost seemed as if we drove into another country.
Today is day 5 in Costa Rica. With having spent more time in country, my perception of the country has changed from when we first landed at the airport. The pace of life seems much more laid back and everyone is very friendly. The area also doesn’t seem as overwhelming as when we first arrived and crossing the crazy street near our homestay is not as daunting as it once was. I also noticed how I have become more confident in my Spanish skills, which even though they aren’t perfect, I am picking up way more than I thought I would. So far, Costa Rica is a friendly, welcoming, and laid-back country.