After another rubbish night’s sleep in the rubbish bed, we get up and go for breakfast. The toxic pineapple juice makes a return appearance. He also brings a jug. I hear ‘agua para ti’ (water for you) so attempt to dilute my juice. Apparently, he said ‘agua para té’ (water for tea) and it is boiling water, which causes the fluorescent yellow liquid to bubble alarmingly.
This morning is a toss up between another cloud forest reserve and Selvatura for a 3 km treetop walkway consisting of 8 bridges, the longest being almost 200 metres long. I’m terrified of heights and very much prefer to have my feet firmly on the ground, so my choice would be the cloud forest. However, my running club is doing a series of challenges this month, and one requires other runners to select a route for you to walk/run, so I have put it to a vote. My so-called friends have chosen the treetop walkway.
My terror for heights is not helped by the ferocious wind. Why anyone would want to walk across 8 rope bridges at all is beyond me. Let alone when it’s blowing a gale!
Nevertheless, we set off for Selvatura and after we’ve driven several miles down a dirt track, and paid $81 for the privilege of being scared witless, we head along the path to the first of 8 bridges. We start, not surprisingly, with bridge 1; a mere 65 metres long and 17 metres high. It’s going OK until a third of the way across when I suddenly encounter a snake, lying on the bridge with its head reared up towards me. And I thought my fear of heights was the biggest obstacle I had to face today! I’m stuck half way across a bridge with a snake in my path. It’s like something out of a nightmare.
I finally summons up the courage to pass the snake, cross the bridge and move onto the next. This one is 82 metres long and 19 metres high. It’s like they’re gently cranking up the fear factor. At least this one is reptile free. On to the third, which is 115 metres long and 34 metres high. This one has an added obstacle; there is a German couple sitting cross legged in the middle taking artsy selfies of each other. I take a look down – the ground is way too far away – and barge through the photo shoot onto solid ground. On to number 4; 157 metres long! You can’t even see the other end. It must only take a couple of minutes to cross, but it’s like being stuck in a bad dream with the end never seeming to get any closer. The old man says something ridiculous like ‘wow look at the view’. That’s exactly what I’m trying not to do as the view is a very long way down. After that, the bridges start to decrease in length again and we make it to the end of the trail without further incident.
We drive back into town and stop for lunch at the Tree House; a restaurant built around a 100 year old fig tree. It’s a novel dining experience (reflected in the price). We opt to skip dessert and instead pick up some guava strudels from the bakery on the way back to the hotel.
After a break to get over the trauma of our treetop walk, we head out again in the evening to watch the sunset. We noticed a spot just outside town where you can see across the mountains all the way to the ocean, and figure this would be a great spot to watch the sun setting. We are obviously not the only ones with this idea; as we approach our destination, we can see dozens of pedestrians, cars, even tour buses descending on the same spot. Despite the clouds, it’s quite a sunset and a pleasant way to round off our last evening in Monteverde. Tomorrow we head back to the coast.