By: Eliza Upton
After a week of registration induced stress, us gappers took on the cloud forest of Monteverde over the weekend. As far as a “weekend getaway” goes, for me, this weekend tops the list, and I have come to the firm conclusion that my college experience has spoiled me. I came to this conclusion when we arrived at our hotel and I could step outside my room and see sprawling green mountains for miles which eventually led to the Gulf of Nicoya.
On Saturday we got to enjoy more views, some within the mountains and some above. In the morning we took a walking tour through the Monteverde Reserve. During our tour we were shown new animal and plant species, including colorful birds, enormous hanging tree roots, and healing mushrooms. And for the second time in Gap we crossed the Continental Divide, which of course brought back tons of NOLS nostalgia.
Saturday afternoon brought on more NOLS nostalgia in the form of adrenaline as Gap took on zip-lining. As with most activities here in Costa Rica, we were not disappointed. Over the course of three hours we took our mountainous views a little higher as we flew through the air during countless zip-lines. We even channeled our inner Tarzans by taking on the tree swing. As someone who is not too fond of heights and the feeling of your stomach dropping, I was on the verge of peeing my pants the entire time, but in the end I loved it all. My favorite parts came when I got to watch my favorite animals in the green hills below. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Cows all trip long, but watching them graze peacefully from a new perspective warmed my cow loving heart.
For me, a good weekend wouldn’t be complete without some good eats and this weekend was full of them. Breakfast introduced me to the possible love of my life, pineapple jam. To be honest I’m not even sure if it was specifically pineapple jam, but I do know that it was the most incredible fruit medley ever, which I dumped onto my toast shamelessly. Sadly the hotel came wouldn’t let me buy a jar, or twenty, to take home, so if anyone knows of any good pineapple jams available for purchase please let me know! Lucky for me the jam was not my only food love this weekend. Coming from a recommendation by the 2014 gappers, we enjoyed brownie sundaes from a local Monteverde restaurant. And as strong as my love for cows, is my love for ice cream. My tastebuds were very happy.
Sadly this weekend also brought news of devastating attacks across the world. My heart broke with each new headline and story of hate that came across my newsfeed, and my thoughts and condolences are with all deeply affected by this worldly unrest. However on our ride home, while my breath was being taken away by views for the umpteenth time this weekend, I was reminded of all the beauty that remains in this world. And though we humans may not always be beautiful, I know I can always find beauty and reassurance in my favorite female role model, mother nature. The cows and mountains showed me that peace is hiding in some places on Earth, we just need to coax it out