As it turns out, a lot of people I know have been to Costa Rica. Some have family homes here, some have businesses here, some have come time and again and have five-year plans to retire here. It’s understandable, the allure. Even though my exposure has been very limited, I know the rest of the country holds magic and beauty all throughout it.
One of my friends from Saudi days sent me a message a few days back and included a photo of a waterfall. Told me where it was generally located but left the task of actually finding it to me.
So today, with my camera AND battery, I went hunting for it. I say hunting but I only went to one location. Why that was the case will be clear in a minute.
After getting to Jacó this morning, I pedaled around a little bit, checking out an internet cafe ($1.20/hour for computer/internet usage) and went and looked at another cafe which seemed like a great place to get a cup of coffee. I didn’t get a cup of coffee because I was hot and sweaty and coffee was the last thing I needed. But I wanted to look more closely at the location.
After that, I rode north up Pastor Diaz Avenue toward where I knew it crossed two rivers or streams. I couldn’t tell the size from the map. Logically though, following the water from the rivers might lead to a waterfall! So smart. At the end of the avenue was an estuary. There was a small parking area and then a wooden bridge (with about half of the planks not nailed down) leading across an artery of the river to the other bank. Looking across the bridge: Jungle!!!
Not really jungle. Just green, lush, and tropical. Palm trees. Bamboo. And a sort of cleared out path leading to god knows where but definitely upstream. So I walked the bike across the bridge and then started walking up the path with the river to my left. As I began to walk through this green paradise, I noticed a group of young people to my left by the river bank. I greet them.
Only with a little less exclamation. Because I don’t want to sound like a complete spaz.
I continue on and see what looks like someone’s private property. Tin roofs. Dilapidated. As I walk up and survey the area (plastic toys, 3 or 4 different domiciles) my eyes meet with a family of four off in the distance all staring blankly back at me.
OK then. I guess this isn’t the way. I wave and turn around.
On the way back, I stop to take photos. And it’s this odd mixture where everything was mostly green and wildly alive or brown and dead or dying. And as I parked my bicycle against a tree I notice that, in each direction about two feet apart, are holes. Dug by creatures of some sort. I suspect crabs, but this was a good ways away from the water. Some of the holes are finger-sized. Some are fist-sized. I kept a close eye on where I stepped. Each step. Nothing ever came out of them while I was there, but I noticed that some of them were definitely more fresh, with dirt in clumps piled around the outside of them.
Here are the photos.
And then I decided to leave. As I was packing my bag to put it in the basket, I noticed this on the tree which my bicycle was leaning against. The exuvia of some seriously creepy looking insect. Which means there’s a bigger one of these somewhere out there! Probably lots of them! Auuuuugh!!!
And then this is where the waterfall hunt came to an end. Because after I walked my bicycle back across the bridge to the road, the group of people who I had passed on the way into the jungle had swollen in size by a couple. When I got to the other bank, I thought that I should like to take a photo or two of the bridge and maybe the river. Not that it was anything that magical. But you know, photography is a thing with me. After I pulled out my camera and took a few photos, a young woman in a bikini from the group across the bank appeared on the bridge. Looking all “come hither.” She approached, and introduced herself.
Then she wanted to know if I wanted a massage. Or maybe some sex back at her place. Then another woman from the group crossed the bridge. Suddenly, I was in the midst of a gaggle of prostitutes. (Is gaggle right? I think it is.)
We talk for a bit. Because I like talking to people. And this is probably the most interaction I’m going to have for the day. So, you know. Eventually…
No, let’s not exchange numbers, thanks.
No, I DO like women, really, thanks.
And as I can finally begin to make a comfortable exit without seeming rude…
OK, well it was great meeting you! Adios!
I make my exit. Suddenly, I’m paranoid as I’m at the off-the-beaten-path of the beach and by myself. And probably rightfully so to a certain degree. It’s problematic, exploring alone here. Which kind of sucks. Again, it would just be nice to have somebody to go exploring with.
So I decided to go home. I was feeling particularly sore from yesterday which involved an unusual amount of heavy lifting. And by heavy lifting, I mean lots of pushups and situps. I’m like 98% muscle now! But sore.