Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rio Celeste, Costa Rica

The Rio Celeste trip was organized by the teachers at the Blue Valley Private School. Shar is a teacher there and since no kids signed up the trip was taken over by adventurous school teachers. I was invited by Shar to come. So for 15,000 colones (aprox. $32) I got to go on a local adventure.

It didn't turn out to be local at all. It was a five hour bus trip to the lodge where we were staying, half of it over very bumpy dirt roads. For some strange reason, luckily, I can now withstand long bus trips over bumpy roads and can sleep through them. Even when Adam was driving the 4x4 through hellishly bumpy roads I just tipped back and fell asleep.

At the lodge there were four people to a room and the rooms contained bunk beds and lots of spiders. We were getting settled in and the next door neighbor ladies started having a screaming contest in spanglish: Muerte! Kill it! Cockroaches and spiders that were huge and fuzzy. I have two spider bites on my inner thigh. Not itchy, just kind of painful, with the knowledge that a spider was there. How did it get there? I slept with sweat pants on??

The next morning we get up and head to the national park. Since we were in a group of mostly ticos and school teachers with visas, we got in for the Tico price 500 colones ($1) instead of the gringo price $7.

I was told that it would be a three hour hike in and a three hour hike out. On the bus ride to the lodge I was looking around and there didn't seem to be that many 'in shape' people. Shar and I concurred; it wasn't going to be as rigorous as we thought. We looked like gear heads with our camelbacks on, but they are so handy.

Andele Arriba!

We thought that there were going to be hot springs but when we got there it was stinking so bad of sulphur, the water was this weird murky bluish grey color, and there were signs everywhere saying that they weren't sure how safe it was to swim. So the group decided not to go in. I kind of agreed. Recently I've been trying to improve on my inclination for being accident prone. You couldn't see very far into the water, and remember we are five hours from anywhere in the jungle. No need to push it. It was hot and humid enough, no need to step into mysteriously bubbling pool of water.

So we kept going until it was time to loop around. The loop around is crossing the stream. Not a big deal but the pictures are fun. Make sure you zoom in on the Abby crossing. Abby is Shar's roommate who doesn't particularly like the outdoors, was complaining incessantly about the gross factor, and requested that somebody sleep with her to protect her from spiders. Huh? And “Hell no” from Shar, Ryan and I. We could not figure out why she came on the trip. She's from the New York City area and cried when she saw cockroaches in their new apartment in Escazu. Come on now, NYC has cockroaches too.

Anyhoo, everybody made the crossings. I was so happy to be hanging out with Ticos. They were so happy. There was one family that came and the dad brought his two daughters and his mother. They were all just having a grand time. When we stopped for lunch he made them refried beans and tuna fish sandwiches, uummm yummm! I stuck with my trail mix though.

We stopped for lunch at the waterfall. The waterfall was amazing, especially the pool. It was this amazing blue color. It made for a very photogenic waterfall.

We made it back to the lodge. Everybody was wet, tired, and happy (except Abby of course). We had dinner than took the bus down into the pueblo and watched a futball game. It was Costa Rica vs. Panama. Panama looked really tight, but only managed to sink one goal. The Costa Ricans looked like the sloppy players but managed to sink three goals. I'm starting to like futball (soccer). It's really only a two hour commitment. They don't turn off the clock for anything unlike American football or basketball where the games can last longer than a four hour hangover in a crappy airport.

The next day Shar, Ryan and I took off for a power hike up to an old volcano that has turned into a swampy crater lake. The hike was like climbing a latter of roots and rooks. I was sweating gallons and I was happy to have a camelback it was quite a hike. We came back down and than powered through the hanging bridges hike that was more even and well maintained trail. We stopped long enough to howl at the howler monkeys and duck the flying shit. The trailheads for the two trails started at the lodge. Ironically enough this easy trail was where I took a major spill, but I protected Adam's camera that happened to be in my hands like a newborn baby. Hope you like the pictures.

Rio Celest Pictures

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