Picking up where we left off, Andrea and I made it back to Brittany's home in Barva without incident on Friday night and proceeded to head out for rafting on the Rio Pacuare at 5:30a the next morning. And a fun rafting trip it was! Reveling in the sunny weather, we put into the water by 10:30a and headed down the beautiful forest valley flanking both sides, completely unbroken except for the occassional cabin on the hillside.
After about half an hour, Brittany, looking up at the sky, made a comment hoping for a nice tropical rain as we cruised through the forest. Sure enough, our sunny weather soon turned to clouds and we found ourselves in a warm torrential downpour, with the rain coming at us sideways and with more water splashing me than I've had in showers at home. Without pictures, there's really no way to describe it other than to say the raindrops splashing off the surface of the river, the sounds of the rain against the leaves of the trees, and the sounds of the birds and Toucans as they flew through the rain was amazingly scerene.
We pulled over about an hour and a half down the river to hike up to a local waterfall...a broad cascade of water rolling down the front of a jagged rock face. Everyone waded through the water below the falls, but a few of us, including Andrea, Brittany, and I, started to climb up the face of the waterfall, getting a massage from the water falling on our shoulders.
After some lunch, we continued down the river and found ourselves in a 'dos montanas', where each sides of the forest become a wall two hundred feet tall on a side. All of us rolled out of the raft and started to lazily float down the river, taking small detours to get under small waterfalls dripping off the edges. I hate using this term, but have to admit that it was somewhat 'movie-like', doing the whole floating through a narrow jungle canyon in the middle of nowhere. It didn't take much imagination to think that I was quest for some hidden treasure or something. :)
And then, a little more than a day later, I find myself back in my room at home in Seattle, departed from the pura vida, or pure life that all Costa Ricans are so proud of. Andrea is continuing her travels through the end of the month and I can't wait to hear about all her awesome stories. Happy trails Andrea! :)
And now, photos.
- Arrival in Costa Rica, meeting Brittany, her host family, and a party in Barva
- Manuel Antonio, our weekend trip to the beach down on the Pacific Coast
- Monteverde Cloud Forest and surrounding area
- La Fortuna and Volano Arenal, including a trip to the Baldi Hot Springs