The cloud forest is where my quiet animal spirit glides up to go home. Amid the misting dew prickling on every underleaf, vine, fallen bark and tree the color of rosy, rustic sycamore and earth-rich dirt and feathering green a glow from the other world — the fog hangs still between flower and nettle, ravine and canopy, under the wild guava tree, holding its exhale while silence lays down upon the treetops. Serenity is held up in the furtiveness of condensation, in-between-ness of something about to happen, and the nothing of nature carrying on unobserved. The tranquility that rainforests do not always possess because of their vibrant and precipitous splendor — they are wild and bright while the cloud forest floats as a wilderness in a dream, blurred by memory’s shortcomings, a haven for the unconscious and the unnameable.
Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Before I start blogging in depth about our adventures in Costa Rica, I must first tell you about the dog of my dreams, who I met on the shores of Drake Bay, a gorgeous and remote paradise where we stayed for five days.
In Costa Rica, the dogs are numerous and roam free, and you would usually see them lying in or on the side of the dirt roads. They have the luxury of abundant play space and good weather, which I wish I, too, had all year round…
We met Mancha while walking along the beach towards the rainforest path. She was strolling and sniffing around the sand and decided to come over and say hello to us. After I petted her a couple times, she began following us and became our guide through the forest trails. She would stop and wait for us each time she went ahead, seeming for all the world like an extremely intelligent and happy little person.
After trekking along a lush and quiet forest trail (and spying a tucan in the trees), we stopped at a beach called Cocalito: beautiful, tiny, and all to ourselves at 8 in the morning. Mancha settled down in the shade with our bags and clothes while we played in the waves.
Soon after, another smaller dog came yapping his way towards Mancha. We learned later that his name was Cappuccino and that they were an inseparable duo as they belonged to the same owner (some Don Fernando). He seemed like the annoying younger brother and barked at every person that walked by the beach to ward them off from our private paradise 🙂
On our way back to the bay, we encountered mischievous cappuccino monkeys on the path. The dogs began barking at them, and suddenly at least ten more monkeys appeared, bouncing and scurrying around in the trees making screeching noises at the dogs. It was quite the show-down.
The dogs followed us all the way back to the bay, where we departed on our horse-back riding trip to the waterfall. When we came back later in the afternoon, there they were again, meandering on the beach like lost orphans.
The day before we left the bay, we decided to go back to Cocalito for a last swim. And who did we encounter but the two of them mosing around again on the bay? When we called them, their faces lit up with joy and they came running towards us for sloppy kisses.
They followed us all the way to the beach again, where there were many other people this time. Cappuccino terrorized every person that walked by, until people began asking, “Are these your dogs?”
“Well, sort of. They’re following us.”
We fed and watered them when we got back, but the dogs there don’t seem to eat much. They hung around for awhile under chairs until it was bedtime.
I would have taken Mancha back with me if she didn’t already have an owner… But at the same time, what dog would want to trade that kind of free-roaming paradise for the freezing cold civilized world of Madrid?