We rode on a bus from Monteverde which took three hours, and it was so much hotter. The beach which is called Playa Coco has nice brownish sand, the first part is soft and then it gets harder as you get to the water. When we first swam we decided to walk to the right from the hotel, where we heard the swimming was better. At first, I didn’t think anything was different, but as we swam I found there was a difference: the water near the hotel had much more rocks under it so it was hard walking. The water was extremely warm , and I recommend coming here for the water alone which is so much warmer than in Vermont.
While swimming I did find a used band-aid, but was surprised by what I found next…a fish jumped out of the water and grabbed the band-aid! Later someone tried to catch the fish by hand but was unsuccessful. Someone else touched something squishy, and we saw a jellyfish which made everyone run out of the water and back to the hotel, which is how my beach day finished.
When our class got to the zip line place not many of us new what to expect. I was super excited but also nervous to go on the zip line. When we were getting our harnesses on the workers had been making them tight so that they would not come undone when going on the zip lines. They gave us helmets and heavy duty work gloves that had a leather padded strip. When we got all the equipment on we got into a van and they drove us up to a shortish trail that brought us to the first zip line.
But before we did anything with the actual zip lines we had to be shown on a small practice wire by our guides. They had show the group how to sit, brake to slow down, and guide yourself straight. After that we went to the first zip line. The first one was not very long compared to the ones to come. I think some of us were a still a little nervous but when I did the first one, all of my nerves went away and there were only smiles. Around the fifth zip line we had to double or some had to triple up to do the zip line so you would not get stuck in the middle of it because it was 850 meters long and super high up in the sky. We could not see that much because there was a lot of fog.
After that the other zip lines were not as exciting as that first one, but they were still pretty long. After the twelfth zip line we came to the Tarzan swing. I was super nervous and did not know if I wanted to do it. After watching other people do it I made the decision to try the swing. When I got up to the gate they connected stuff to your harness and then opened the gate. They held you by the back of the harness and they had you crouch and then let go. When you started to drop it was a free drop and then the rope caught, the feeling was like being on a giant swing. How you stopped was they hit your feet to slow you down, then grabbed your ankles and held you and made you stop. Watching other people’s faces when they did the free fall was super funny because they would have so much fear in their face. After that we all went to the last zip line. That one was 1km, and we went with partners. Dillyn and I were partners with one of the guides. On the zip line it was really fast and fun. When we got to the end of that one we got our harness off and waited for everyone else. When everyone was done we dropped our harnesses and went into the gift shop.
After a day of many activities that made the day seem longer than it was, our class split in twane to separately view the contents of the Bat Museum in Monteverde. But after a mix-up, our class was smushed together and was rescheduled to 2 p.m. rather than 1 p.m. Once there, Vino (or Mr. Batman as he called himself) shared fun facts and pictures about bats, then let us inside the bat cave.
Once inside, he showed us what the different types of bats looked like, both fruit bats and nectar bats, but that other types of bats would require too much supplies and effort to keep inside. We all got flashlights and could view all the bats we wanted.
After we got our fair share of batty-goodness, we exited the cave, said goodbye to Vino, Forest, and Coffee (his dogs), and left to get ice cream.
We took the bus up a steep road to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. When we got to the top of the mountain it was all misty and cloudy. Then we got a guide to help us find our way to the animals and a bunch of bird nests.
We saw a quetzal and it had really bright colors all over like red, blue, green, and a little bit of white.
We then hiked to the continental divide. One side was really windy and the other side was really calm. I was grabbing leaves and throwing them over my head and they would go to the calm side and just fall right away. Then we walked all the way back down and saw two howler monkeys sitting in a tree. But all of the walking was worth it because of all of the views and experiences.
After we finished our dinner we all got into groups of five and split up to go on the night hike. I was in a group with Phoenix, Dillyn, Skyler, Willow, and Ritter. We entered the trail through a bunch of plantain trees. While we were going up the first couple of steps our guide stopped us, and we all gathered around this inch long black scorpion, all curled up. Once we got further into the forest we stopped again to look at a small spider in the path. After looking at the spider for a couple of seconds we heard our guide say “Wow, look at that.” We all turned around and saw a three inch cockroach on a dead tree. When we got on another trail we had to walk for five minutes before seeing anything.
Then we walked down a couple of steps and I heard Willow shriek, but I couldn’t see anything because I was in the back. When I got to the front I didn’t see anything but a dirt bank with some holes in it. When we looked in one of the holes there was a black tarantula with orange knees. I think the night hike was one of my favorite things that we did in UGA.
At the medicinal plant garden each group got one plant to make up facts about, without actually knowing anything about it, other than what we could see, smell, and touch. For example ours looked a fly trap and smelled of rotten meat, we said it attracted spiders to kill– that it was carnivorous. It also was good for clearing up sinuses. Only one group knew the actual facts about their plant. Each group then presented their plant to the rest, trying to convince the others that theirs was the real one.
After, we all voted on which one we thought was the real one. Each vote your group got counted as two points in the Cien Game we are playing. It was fun to make up facts about the plant then find out from the naturalists (Molly & Rachel) what their uses actually were.