Monteverde: Free/Cheap Activities + Photo Spots

Despite not being the most well-known desitnation, Monteverde, Costa Rica, still lands on many traveler’s itineraries. As a budget traveler, I’ve culminated a list of all the free (or cheap) activities I personally did while in Monteverde. This isn’t everything we did, just the cheap or free things. Also, since we’re living in the digital nomad era, I’ve included some places I think have good potential for photographers.

Transportation: It may sound crazy, but we walked everywhere (except to activities which included transportation). We stayed in downtown Santa Elena. It is doable, but keep in mind the area is tons of steep hills, so it’s not for those who need accessibility. 

Accommodations: We stayed at Hostel Sloth (private room). I’ll link you to their Tripadvisor page (which also happens to have my review on it). Our room was incredibly clean, and had a mini fridge. The only drawback is there doesn’t seem to be a big social aspect to this place versus some of the other hostels. 

Climate: We visited in mid-August, and much to our surprise (more like, we didn’t research), Monteverde was chilly and windy! To quote some other backpackers at our hostel: “I packed for Hawaii, not Anarctica!” It’s true, you will need a pair of long pants and a windbreaker/rain jacket while here. It’s not objectively cold, but it’s much cooler than you’d expect. 

Note: Location links will be in Google Maps. 


Hiking/Cloud Forrest Access

Cerro Amigos: Cerro Amigos (location link) is the most recommended free thing to do in Monteverde. It’s advertised as a free hike, and it is free, but I’ll warn you that this hike is no joke. There are two small parts of the hike that are relatively flat, but other than that, it’s an hour and a half of steep uphill death.

 The two *REAL* reason to hike Cerro Amigos:

  1. The trails off the peak give you free access to the cloud forest. Check out this blog for the map of the trail. Or you can ask the radio tower watchman. Speaking of which…
  2. There is a jewelry shop at the top run by the radio watchtower man, I believe his name is Carlos. Go visit Carlos. He’s nice (brush up on your Spanish beforehand), and he makes really unique pieces for really affordable prices (cash only, obv).
It’s an hour and a half of this. Steep. 

We saw a Coati…I think.
But it’s not all ugly. 
The top is better on a clear day, but still nice on a cloudy one.
Continue reading Monteverde: Free/Cheap Activities + Photo Spots

DIY Tropigoth HeadBand: Knurly Crafts

Surprise! It may not be summer anymore, however, I figured I would post this tutorial in the spirit of Halloween. I picked up these knarly pineapple decorations from a thrift store. They’re made of a rubbery material and are more suited for home decor, but I couldn’t help myself. Initially I was going to have a two-pineapple headband, almost like wearing cat-ears or puff balls. However, it was too overwhelming, even for me, so I decided to make two separate headbands.

Continue reading DIY Tropigoth HeadBand: Knurly Crafts

I will never wear these again + the parachute dress

They sucked me in! I saw these babies while waking down the street and they are two for 12. I’ve wanted some Octogon sunglasses for a long time. I like the way they look on my face, and not to mention, the blue tint matched my outfit. I also bought a pair in black, but that’s besides the point right now.

Real subtle.

I should cue you guys in, I love conceptual pieces of clothings/outfits. I scored this particular dress at a thrift store for no more than 5 bucks. It reminds me of a parachute with all the ropes and zippers. It’s a charcoal blue color, which is just a few shades away from navy blue, my mortal enemy as a black-lover. However, it works well with black, so all is forgiven. Except for these bad photos, because you can’t really see the dress in all it’s glory. I’ve cinched it at the waist but it looks more parachute-y when loose.

“So what’s wrong with these sunglasses,” you’re wondering. Sorry, let me get to that part. After taking these photos I looked at these sunglasses and thought “wow, I am never going to wear these again.” And why would I have any reason to believe otherwise? These are blue and yellow, I wear tons of black and grey. They don’t exactly match the rest of my wardrobe. The title of this post could also be “Knurly buys shit they doesn’t need episode 32634 and one-half.” Does it bother you how I’ve mixed numbers and “one-half?” It should.

Back to me being vain. Since this is my parachute dress, I had to test it’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, I could not get any photos of me jumping (the photographer aka my friend was not willing to jump out of the plane with me) but here’s one of me landing safely:

Those are shorts and not my underwear, I don’t know you like that, I promise

Skydiving tested, Knurly approved.

Also, shout-out to you if you recognize this place. By the way, never pay for parking here, just cross the bridge and park on the residential streets like I do.

Finally: *really* important question guys, why do vendors with lots of sunglasses always have signs that say “no photos?” Is it because they’re selling knockoff designs or what? Do they not want want people taking a photo wearing the glasses and then not buying them? I wish to know the truth.

Anyway stay tuned for part two where I end up wearing these sunglasses again. 


Dress – Thrifted

Bralette – eBay

Shoes – Converse, Burlington Coat Factory

Sunglasses – random store whose name I cannot remember but who cares, because these sunglasses were the only thing that wasn’t overpriced there

Necklace that you can’t see – local store

Hat – also thrifted why do I even bother with these


-Knurly 

Weather Confusion

Hey, hi, hello.

Fun fact: I love thrifting, cause I’m cheap but I love shopping. A particular Goodwill near me runs a $1 special on two tag colors every Sunday. All items – clothing, shoes, accessories, housewares and furniture – are included in the special, including something undeniably fabulous…

A GIANT WOOL COAT.

Naturally I decided to take photos in the 80-degree weather, but don’t worry, I found a way to make it more appropriate:

Right, did I mention this was ONE DOLLAR!?

Continue reading Weather Confusion