Sunday, 16 November 2008

Reserva Biologica Bosque Noboso, Monterverde

We got up early this morning to go on the 7:30am guided walk around the Monterverde Reserva. We spent almost two and a half hours with our guide covering a small section of the reserve. He didn’t say a lot, but I felt that we saw and learnt a lot. His powers of observation were amazing as we were guided through primary and secondary cloud forest.

A cloud forest is distinct from a rain forest by the number of other species that a tree hosts; approx 30 in a rainforest and up to 120 in a cloud forest. Unfortunately it isn’t the main fruiting season (March) so there aren’t as many mammals active in the forest, and we didn’t get to see any howler monkeys etc…

We were shown Black Guans (members of the turkey family), birds called red breasted dragons fighting (I think this may have been a corruption in the Spanish – English translation), stick insects, a tarantula in its nest, porcupine and a quetzal (Costa Rica’s national bird).

After the walk we visited the Humming Bird Café, initially for a rest and then to escape a heavy shower. The café is surrounded by water feeders for Hummingbirds and there were 30 of the birds buzzing around the tourists and taking a drink. It was incredible to see so many of them up close.

After a rest in the coffee shop we decided to go back into the reserve and walk the path around the perimeter. It was a pleasant walk straddling the continental divide between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. We saw some beautiful scenery including waterfalls and panoramic vistas of the cloud forest, but without our guide we saw barely any animals.

To round off the day Olivier and I headed back to the Reserve at 19:30 to take part in a night walk to see some of the nocturnal creatures of the forest. Sadly a thunder storm meant that the walk was cancelled and we were the only two souls fool hardy enough to even make it to the reserve entrance in the forlorn hope that it would take place.

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