In the last 2 years I have seen snow probably less than 10 times. Most of those times were during the week before I left Canada for Costa Rica, I think I’m doing it right. Monteverde is gorgeous, I had another day off and explored a little more. I’ve been ziplining, night hiking, dancing, learning, teaching and just generally exploring and enjoying life!
I went ziplining at a place here in Monteverde called Adventura. It included a 1.59km “superman” line, which is when you are attached to the zipline by your back and soar through the air like some kind of weird bird, and a tarzan swing. The tarzan swing is a 45m rope swing. You step off of a platform (by step off I mean some patient employees push you off while you repeatedly say “ohmygod no, no no no”) and then you freefall until the rope catches you. Then you take this awesome swing 45m below the platform. It was amazing, I feel bad for any eardrums within a 100m radius though. As it turns out I can scream like a terrified howler monkey.
I’ve done some fun hiking and exploring, a friend showed me this amazing strangler fig tree that is completely hollow and large enough that you can actually climb up inside of it! The other volunteers here at the garden and I went and checked out another fig tree that has fallen across the river and it’s roots have grown down into the river. Both were absolutely amazing, I am completely smitten by trees right now!
I’ve been on a couple awesome night hikes. The first was just 4 of us nerdy biology types out for a casual stroll in the woods, which made for a great time with lots of interesting discoveries. We found a male praying mantis and threw him in with our female when we got back then got to watch them mate. It was the most violently interesting thing I have ever witnessed. She literally picks him apart like a crab and eats him while they mate. A few of us also did an official tour with an amazing local guide. We saw all kinds of things, but the highlight for me was probably the bioluminescent mycorrhizal fungus. That’s right, glowing fungus on a tree root. It was amazing. The guide rubbed the tree root and it glowed blue-white in the dark.
Work here at the gardens is so much fun, I’ve been giving guided tours to people from all over the world. This weekend I was able to run the Young Naturalist Club, a group of kids who get together once a month to learn about science and nature. I put together a wilderness survival type thing. I learned a lot, mostly that I need to be better at organizing children, but hopefully they learned a bit too. We made splints and slings for broken arms with a first aid kit and materials you’d find in the woods, attempted to start a fire with a flint and semi-dry coconut husk, and built a shelter.
I’m going to try to do some more science themed blog posts but it’s been rather hectic and I thought I should let everyone know what I was up to! So in summary it’s still amazing down here in Costa Rica, everyone should come visit, and here a bunch of my photos!
Someone make a snow angel in my honor, and I’ll drink a coconut or something for you.
Much love from Costa Rica!