Thursday, January 24, 2008

Costa Rica 14

L advised us to wear shirts and shoes as this was not going to be a jungle path for bare feet. L made it sound like it was going to be so much fun that I fairly skipped along the beach, so anxious was I to get started. After all, I had come to Costa Rica mostly to experience the jungle. We got to the start of the path and my opinion quickly changed. All I saw was an overgrown little path that led almost straight up into that dense growth that contained who only knew what. Facts and figures about SNAKES and biting insects and frogs that kill raced through my mind. I was in shorts and flip flops and as I looked at my feet, I swear my toes grew to be as big as melons. Just the right size for SNAKES to attack!

Up the trail we went, fairly crawling, it seemed so steep. Over roots that only had one purpose in life….to make me trip and fall headlong into the muddy trail or slide backwards down it. I am happy to report that they totally failed in this regard though. L was in the lead as we made our way up and down this trail, yelling back instructions to be careful of the ants and not to step on them and get bitten. And don’t just reach out and grab any branch to steady yourself either. It might not be a branch after all or it might have something on it that could hurt you. Look twice and then grab on if you must. And I’m thinking all the while that I purposely chose to come here and explore the jungles of this country. This was only the first little taste. Were all the jungles going to be like this? If so, I decided right then and there that I am just not a jungley type person!

In places we slid down on our butts, hoping that we could catch ourselves and stop our downwards descent. At one point, we actually had to climb up a tree and down its’ overgrown exposed roots to get back on to the path. It was turning out to be quite the adventure. We eventually, without any major mishap, came out to a spot very near the end of this outcropping. Almost all vegetation ceased, just the occasional root here and there, otherwise it was solid rock. We stood and were looking down at a shallow river that was flowing through the rock. The water had worn its’ way through and had created a cave that was open at both ends and the sea just sort of sifted its’ way through, creating this river.

Did I say that the rock wall we had to make our way down was slippery? Well, it was. There were some footholds and L clambered on down, shouting instructions back up to us as we cautiously made our way down, one at a time. One false step and we would go plunging, probably headfirst, into this river. Not a pleasant thought. We made it down and just before we stepped into the water, which was only about a foot deep and very clear, L cautioned us against stepping on any of the sea urchins clinging to the rock bottom. He said they were the kind that had stinging spines and would be very painful if we got one into our foot. This made me more than a little nervous since they were everywhere. Every surface seemed to contain them. More yucky sea creatures to be avoided. And to make it worse, the current rushing through here was very strong and you had to fight against it to get across. Plus the rocks themselves were very slippery. Like trying to walk on rocks that had been covered with baby oil. Thankfully, it was only a few yards across and by using utmost care, we made it.

Next we had to climb up a bit and were rewarded by coming out at the end of the outcropping with a marvelous view back to the beach. And the waves crashing all around us. It was great. L said we had a choice. We could either go back the way we had come, which was not an overly pleasant thought. Or we could walk just a little ways along the rocks back towards shore and then jump in and swim back! I looked at him horror struck! No way was I going to do that! Not that I can’t swim or that it was that far, maybe a hundred yards, but I was not going to get into the water that was that deep and that far from shore for love nor money. So that left no choice but to repeat our little journey in reverse. I am sure that both B and L would have preferred the swimming choice, but they accepted my decision with no grumbling at all and L led us back out to safety.

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