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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blue Feathered Parrots and A Brown Haired Deb

Our rental car is mini shredded wheat size, but it's a 4 wheel drive at the touch of a button which within hours we have to use. The highway pavement disappeared somewhere around a corner we had to take to get to the Cloud Forest Reserve area better known as Monteverdi. Word on the street says the government does not maintain this portion of dirt road because they don't want a flood of people on it. In truth, if we hadn't been meeting Barry's daughter we might have been dissuaded by the teeth rattling three hour bounce. The posted speed limit of 25 km is a joke- you can't possibly go that fast and not end up a vegetable from shaken adult syndrome!

When we can tear our eyes from the potholes and washboard we see beautiful terrain with large gathering slopes like railings to our right. Lush and deeply scented, dotted with canopy shade trees and wooden box-shaped homes with dark skinned people fanning themselves from chairs on porches that face the view. After miles of this we spot an oasis. Pavement! Can it be? Out here in the middle of nowhere? We have arrived in Monteverdi and the tires once again feel round instead of square. We are driving on pillows.

You never stop to think how good you've got it until something is taken away!
It is such a big thing to remember as we travel through our lives.

We enjoy our one night stay to the max, sadly waving farewell to Lindsay and Richard as they head south and us east on our separate holidays.
We continue to bounce and bumble to the "swinging bridge hike" within the reserve where we spot black cats they say are jaguars. Exciting. Even more exciting is the grinding noise our rental now makes every time we turn the wheel slightly to the left. Try that on hairpin, "don't look down that steep bank" turns. It gets you to worrying about the brakes as its all downhill from here! Literally.
Something is very, very wrong with our vehicle.
We decide to try and keep going as we'd rather be held up at the hot springs versus the Cloud Forest.
We reach pavement two hours later with audible sighs and continue to the next hotel which is the amazing Arenal Lodge. Here the sight of the Arenal Volcano is all encompassing. It fills your sight, your head your dreams and you can't stop looking at it. It hasn't had a lava flow for six months now but it will again from this side only, they tell us. We can't stop looking at it. Our room isn't ready so we get upgraded to the cabins on the highest ridge. The entire front of the room is glass, filled with the majesticness of the volcano. A couch and easy chair face the giant "A" so you can sit and stare to your content. Bright green and blue parrots fly past which reminds me it is finally time to do something about this grey hair! They advised me to wait a minimum of two months and I think, as I eye up the cabin's dark green towels, that the time is close enough.
There are two ground level hot tubs on the lawn in front of the reception/restaurant area. They are surrounded from behind with fragrant privacy bushes and both face the volcano. It reminds me of our hot tub with our view of the Telkwas. Each wonderous in their own right.
The next morning we find a much younger (and happier) looking Debi with patchy brown hair ready to attend the free nature hike with our guide Miguel. We see a butterfly farm, a deer, a hidden tarantula hole and an ant that removes a sliver Miguel has jammed into his thumb for us. Amazing. They use these same ants for closing wounds during ancient times, he tells us and shows us how the ant clamps onto his skin and won't let go until he manipulates her mandibles.
Our second rental vehicle seems to have the same problem as the last rental, but not yet to the same degree. As we only have a twenty minute drive to the next stop at the Baldi Hot Springs in La Fortuna, we decide to chance it. What the heck. I now have brown hair and feel like a million bucks.
What more could possibly happen, right?

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