Sunday, December 29, 2013

Costa Rica Day 5: Santa Elena

We were out the door and in our kayaks at 6 this morning, setting out on a tour similar to yesterday’s of the lagoon, but this time in kayaks. The peace afforded us by the morning and our lack of a motor was very powerful, and could be temporarily disturbed only by a few sightings of caimans, which are close relatives of alligators.

After two hours of rowing and wildlife-spotting, we cast off our wet clothes and squeezed into a small plane for four people. The ride back to San Jose was delightful, with banana and pineapple plantations underway, and clouds cuddling with our aircraft.

Right after touching down at the small airport in Costa Rica's capital, we piled into a van that would take us to Monteverde, home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. But not before a quick stop on the way! We spied Playa Doña Ana en route, and enjoyed lunch on the beach.

Upon arriving at our hotel, Priya and I deposited our things and went in search of the gym at El Establo, which has clusters of rooms scattered along a one-kilometer uphill path on a steep hill. It was quite the climb, and we finally arrived at the oasis of an inviting complex complete with cafe, swimming pool, and well-equipped gym. We had a stunning view of the sunset as I worked out and Priya did schoolwork, satisfied with our afternoontime adventure.

In the evening, we stepped into the town of Santa Elena searching for souvenirs and a place to eat. We came across Treehouse Restaurant & Cafe, which is in the "World's Top 10 Bizarre Restaurants"-- this eating joint is built around an ancient tree, so the whole restaurant is essentially a large treehouse!

We had a lovely meal there, and have now eaten breakfast on the Atlantic coast, lunch on the Pacific, and dinner on the continental divide -- what a day!

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