We headed west-ward towards a town on the Pacific Ocean, Puntarenas where we drove around until we found an LDS church. Staying awake in church is hard enough sometimes. Staying awake in church after a midnight flight and while not being able to understand anything said is really hard. But it was cool to see the little branch there along with the faithful members.
After church we headed along the only highway in Costa Rica toward Monteverde, a cloud forest in the mountains. We made a few wrong turns and headed the wrong way for miles a few times but eventually found the turn off. Everything I read prior to our trip recommended 4WD (which we did not get). We soon learned why. At first the roads were narrow but paved well. Then we hit the dirt road. Not just dirt. Dirt and huge rocks all over. And pot holes. Lots of pot holes. Big ones. We traveled several hours on these steep unpaved rocky mountain roads (white knuckled and praying we wouldn't get a flat because we were in the middle of no where with no cell phone reception). We only got stuck once. (On a really steep hill after clearing a pothole. The crappy toyota yaris stalled (thanks to a huge bus coming down the 14% grade hill) and Sam had to pull some moves to get it going again without peeling out or sliding back into the pothole). Needless to say, we were extremely relieved (and blessed) when we got to our hostel without any car trouble . . . oh and that we actually got to our hostel. We were using printed directions from google maps to get there. There are no street names so the directions from google maps just said 'turn left' 'turn right' 'turn right' . . .
We made it though. We celebrated easter with a yummy dinner and an entire bag of cadbury eggs (eaten mostly by me).
There isn't much to do in Monteverde at night if you don't drink. (I would recommend bringing a deck of cards). Luckily our hostel had a dusty circa 1990 Connect 4.
Monday morning we checked out of our hostel and headed on the dirt roads to the Santa Elena Cloudforest Reserve. It was amazing. I have never seen such thick, wet jungle. . . Once we'd had enough time there we set out towards Arenal.