The Night Walk From Hell

Do a “Night Walk” to see if you can find frogs, snakes and tarantulas. It will be fun they said. 

So we did. 

And it WASN’T fun! Because we trekked through the frigging jungle and nobody told me* so I wore flip flops and a tshirt!! And ants crawled all over me and Matt had spiders all around him. 

And everyone was talking French and walking SO SLOW. 

We didn’t even finish the trek. At the first sign that it was possible, we bailed and walked as fast as humanly possible home. 

I couldn’t bare the thought of walking through anymore ant hills in the black of night whilst dodging big ass spiders and worrying that a snake was going to jump out from the bushes and bite my barefoot and probably kill me. 

At least we saw a cute frog. 

green frog on a leaf in the the jungle
jungle frog

*When the tour was explained to us, it was described as “a night walk along a path”, and not in the national (jungley) park. There’s a concrete path that goes through Tortuguero town and that’s what I thought we’d be walking on. Boy was I wrong. 

  — Cynthia

Monteverde and Santa Elena, Costa Rica – We Loved You [Video]

Cast away your expectations. Open your mind. Free yourself of preconceived notations. That’s the best way to travel. Because everything will be a suprise.

When it came to Monteverde and Santa Elena, Matt and I had no expectations really. We had booked a place to stay, and knew we’d have the opportunity to hike in the cloud forest. And that was it. We didn’t even know what  “hike in the cloud forest” really meant. But it sounded great!! And we were going to do it!

Sure, you could say we hadn’t done our research on the place. And you’d be right. 

But being unprepared can be a wonderful thing (I know I’ll 100% disagree with that at some point in our travels), and Monteverde and Santa Elena showed us that. 

It was much cooler than we expected/were used to. I’m talking 25 degrees mid-day compared to 36 degrees. And what a welcome respite that was from the oppressive heat of places like Granada, Nicaragua. 

Finally, Matt walked with a skip in his step — and without sweating through his clothes!

Our first full day, we walked from Santa Elena to the Monteverde Cheese Factory. We got outselves a little ice cream and sat in the sun.

   
 

With the cooler temperatures, at times, I couldn’t help but wish that I didn’t leave my sweatshirt in Flordia with Matt’s Mom. But the good side was that I got to wear Matt’s and for some reason, his sweater is much cosier than my own! 

Another thing we couldn’t believe was how freaking green everything was! We’d just come from the scorched side of Nicaragua (maybe the whole country is scorched?) where everything was brown and looked dead and the animals looked severly dehydrated. It’s like there hadn’t been rain in months there, and you know what? There probably hadn’t.

Well, the lack of rain was over for now, for us. It rained A LOT in Monteverde/Santa Elena. A fact that should have probably been glaringly obvious to us, considering we were staying a 20 minute drive way from a two cloud forest reserves. We more or less lived in the clouds for 5 nights, which is pretty romantic when you think about it.

  
Who knew I could appreciate the rain? But I did! For 10 minutes.

But what suprised us the most? All of those things put together.

It was just so beautiful and intoxicating.
Take a look for yourself.

Here’s some more pictures.

Great little hostel as our base in Santa Elena: Cabinas el Pueblo – helpful staff, clean, great breakfast and comfortable bed.

  — Cynthia and Matt

How to Score Free Bread in Santa Elena, Costa Rica

the free bread
The FREE bread

We got FREE bread today! Free stuff is always great, but this was made all the better because:

  • We have no jobs and thus no income
  • We’re travelling on a pretty tight budget
  • After our Sky Walk, we were living dangerously close to maxing out our daily budget — and we finished the Sky Walk at 1:00pm so had the whole day ahead of us

To help with our budget situation, we thought we’d make our own dinner tonight. Our awesome hostel — Hostel Cabinas El Pueblo (bed and breakfast) — has a fully stocked kitchen for guests. 

Here’s how we got our free bread:

  1. Find a bakery
  2. Go to said bakery just before (or after if you want to live on the edge) it closes
  3. Pick our your bread 
  4. Go to pay for your bread
  5. Hope the baker squeezes your bread and tells you it’s not fresh and that you just have it
  6. Walk out of bakery with bread
  7. Check for mould before eating it just to give yourself peace of mind (there will be no mould)
The final product from chef Matt

Good luck! And let us know your tips for getting free food — we’d love to know!

–Cyn