We got high | Toucans and monkeys | Coati craziness
Today was all about heights. Specifically getting as high as possible to see the amazing views of both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Monte Verde straddles the Continental Divide so I was keen to get up to the top of the mountain to see that.
You have to book things in advance here so I checked the weather app, decided that the next day was looking like a good one for weather and paid the extortionate amount of money for the three of us to go up the Sky Tram and walk along the Hanging Bridges.
As you can see, it was worth it. Here's the view I got after not only going up the Sky Tram (think ski slope cable car but higher and no chance of snow breaking your fall should the thing break), but also an additional metal staircase that took you above the trees so you could get a full view of the area.
WARNING: Don't have sound on unless you want to be truly 'blown away'...
I think Ali says it best here actually...
Luckily we had a good hour or so before our next activity - the hanging bridges - for the weather to improve. These are 6 metal bridges that form a walk through the rainforest, the longest being about 250m long and up to 70m high. I loved them. Despite the fact that each bridge swayed and bounced as people walked along it. Ali and Esme....well they weren't quite so keen.
We took a tour guide for this one, which was a wise move as we were able to see a lot more wildlife than without them! For instance, this little fella
SECOND WARNING: scroll down quickly if you don't like 8-legged creatures.
This orange kneed tarantula was living in an otherwise innocent looking hole in the bank. Our guide knew it's hidey-place though so with his knowledge and his torch we were able to peer in and take a shot or two.
I have to be honest, my first few shots were pretty rubbish, but I took the view it was unlikely to spring out at me and got closer for this one.
Another animal we would have missed had it not been for our guide were the Toucans. Here they are.
Honestly, they are there! Here's a zoomed in cropped view. See if you can place this back to the main pic :-D
We also saw some lovely birds and got some interesting factoids about various plants and trees that grow there. The red flower below is called 'Flaming Lips'. As our guide said, if something looks like something in this place, you can pretty much place a bet that that will be it's name!
We also got to see the elusive Howler Monkey - an animal that had kept me awake that morning already by it's strange call (sounds like a dog with a sore throat) for two whole hours from 5am to 7am. Goodness knows what was going on. We asked the staff and they'd never heard anything like it. Some sort of Howler Monkey rave clearly! So I was quite pleased to finally see one in the flesh. Here you go, yet another excellent animal shot from yours truly.
OK, zoom in and you should see it! That patch of 'shadow' in the middle of the picture is indeed a Howler Monkey. It was quite a long way away (though, to be fair, not as far away as the Toucans!).
A bit closer however was another animal entirely. The Coati. It's a relative of the Raccoon so anyone from the USA or Canada wasn't that excited. We, on the other hand, went a touch camera crazy, I think I took about 200 shots before I was happy that I'd got a shot I was happy with. The difficulty then was choosing exactly which one that was. So here's a selection. Maybe you can choose for me!
And here endeth our exciting trip up a mountain! Tomorrow is about more animals, most specifically the Sloth! Hoping we can find one that's awake...
Pura Vida everybody!