Mysterious mountain cloud rainforest

I have booked the early shuttle to the cloud forest reserve. Getting up early in Latin America is easy, compared to our western world. I have not figured out why but I wake up every morning around sunrise with no problems. It’s 5:50 am and my shuttle to the Santa Elena reserve will pick me up at 6:30 am. I plan to spend lots of time wandering the rainforest and have no other plans for the day. Sven, Jochen, Maxim and his girlfriend are on the shuttle as well and we arrive there at 7:00 am, at the gates of the Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena.

It is quite cold compared to all the other places I visited so far, maybe 22°C and I have to wear my jacket – it rains from time to time and the clouds crawl through the trees. The guys take the tour but I decide to go for myself since I want to enjoy the calm of the forest. I receive my map at the gate and start immediately and directly into the long tour and I am alone for the next four hours, without meeting a single person, which is great and somehow meditative.

I discover the observation deck of the reserve and climb up there. It’s quite high and the wind goes strong. Sitting there, listening to the surrounding is great. I enjoy some left over souvenir I still carry from San José and the mood of the rainforest which surrounds me even more… The clouds open up and close again, allowing deep insights into the forest every couple of minutes. It’s a unique and mysterious mood over the treetops and I hear lots of different voices of different animals, mostly from birds.

From time to time humming birds come along the way. They are cool, fly in front of you, standing in the air for some seconds, watching you and depart back into the forest. There are plenty of blossoms everywhere and different types of insects feed from them, as well as the humming birds. After a good hour I continue to hike. I just let the pictures talk for what I see…

And then there are some animals I can observe and actually take photos of. It’s not so easy after all since it is quite dark under the trees and clouds and most of the birds are fast – especially the cute humming birds. I see a big bird spider, several centipedes, butterflies and the highlight is a nest with fledglings, which I discover while I observe an adult bird, which doesn’t fly away when I approach it…

After seven hours of hiking I decide to take the shuttle back to the village. It was long enough but very relaxed and a mysterious but most beautiful experience. I am happy and plan to discover the village later. I hope to get a view down into the lower land and to the ocean…

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