Written by Rachel
Today was our first day in Monteverde, a small and remote place up in the mountainous regions of Costa Rica. This place was recommended to Emily and I during our turtle time in Gandoca. So, like trustworthy gimps, we embarked on our journey up to Monteverde.. Once arriving at the station in San Jose, we were once again met with a clock that was predictably broken, a trait that seems to reappear all too often in this laid back, casual country. Anyway once we were on the coach, poor Emily had to put up with a girl reclining mega into her seat and crushed her legs together. As soon as we set off, the coach driver began to sing rather loudly, which is when I promptly turned on my iPod.
The journey was relatively stress-free, yet it became very much a concern when the coach slowed down to a near stop behind a herd of cattle whilst driving up a questionably narrow mountain road. In fact it was barely a road, more like a dirt track. I love the way anything goes in Costa Rica; in England the mere mention of a fully-sized coach traveling up a so-called ¨road¨ like this would be immediately dismissed. Yet not here. It really did feel like the coach was going to fall off the edge at every, single turn, and to make matters worse it was so ridiculously bumpy that some people were physically lifted from their seats in the air!
After what felt like years, we managed (god knows how) to safely arrive at a very much civilized tourist town that even had banks and a fully fledged supermarket! We were greeted by a jovial little man who took us to our hostel called ´Sleepers sleep cheaper!¨ Once we had settled in and consumed a healthy lunch of pasties and chocolate covered doughnuts, Emily went online and I decided to go to a place called ´World of Insects´.
I entered inside what was essentially just a small, round room filled with life-size replicas of terrifyingly large insects. I was relieved to know that the guide had live insects upstairs, and it was a bit weird because I was the only one on the tour. I felt like a massive coolie.
The live insect room was filled with mysterious looking bugs of all shapes and sizes, and the only source of comfort I got was knowing that they were all safely locked up in cages. Then I remembered this was in Costa Rica, and this wasn't exactly the case… I nearly jumped out my skin when an abnormally large moth flew over my head and I saw 3 spiders as big as my hand above my head!
During my lonesome tour with an enthusiastic Ronnie at my side, he showed me the biggest beetle I have honestly ever seen and I momentarily wondered if it had been exposed to nuclear waste. Just as I was pondering this, he proceeded to OPEN the cage, casually picked it up and handed it to me!! It was the length of my hand and the width of my thumb, and just as I was getting accustomed to this he plopped on another beast, this time even bigger than the following.
This was only the start, since he did not stop with this, but happily placed a deadly looking scorpion on my left hand whilst pointed to a pregnant and aggressive tarantula on my right hand side. He was smiling all the way whilst I grimaced through my blatant appreciative façade. Next, he retrieved a type of leaf bug thing, that just looked like a leaf with legs, but as soon as he picked it up the tour guide said ´oh no it die´. Turns out he had had that insect for 2 years- and it was his favourite!!
All in all, the insect house was an experience I won't forget in a hurry. The rest of the day was spent lolling around with my voice recorder, recording all lols from gandoca and generally pissing around.
The next day brought an adrenaline-filled day…