Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Getting To Be . . .

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. . . an old fart, I was told over the years,

makes you more patient,

but I’ve come to believe

I just don’t give a shit.

Costa Rican Tourism Clouded

By Fyllis Hockman

Mature Life Features

The last 18 miles of the road leading to the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica takes more than 1½ hour to navigate because it is full of ruts and potholes by design. The locals don’t repair it because that would make it too easy for tourists to visit. But that Cloud Forest is really worth seeing.

So what exactly is a cloud forest? The non-technical explanation is plenty of clouds and rain result in every inch of the trees being covered by growing green things called epiphytes. Half of all the vegetation in this forest lives on the tops of trees, creating a sea of emerald and jade and olive and lime under an opaque canopy.

Traversing a series of hanging bridges gave us a birds-eye view of the forest very different than that from the ground. And zip-lining over the tree tops added an adrenaline rush that topped our environmental appreciation.

Martha Campbell, the daughter of one of the original Quaker settlers of Monteverde in 1951, provided some historical context to the Cloud Forest community that survived its beginning without plumbing, electricity and phone by cattle ranching. She bemoans the large influx of tourists of the past two decades that means “more job opportunities, but also more cars, maybe more crime and I just miss the simple life we used to have.”

This enormously rich ecosystem supports 7 percent of the world’s plant and animal diversity in only 0.1 percent of the earth’s surface.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 27, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, Travel

Tagged with , ,

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