Only one week left in Costa Rica and as we pack and prepare for our triumphant return home our moods are polarized by extremes of excitement and sadness. We will be using this final week to spend as much time as possible playing with our new f-animal-y (pictured above) and staring at the ocean, aware of how much we will miss their presence once we are gone. Last week was spent bidding our adioses to our surroundings and to our amigos: we attended more than one party where we drank too much rum, cheered at our first (and last) soccer game (Cabuya vs. Cobano (it was a tie)), and ate/sang at a vegetariano potluck/Beatles sing-a-long at a local art studio. We also rented an ATV for one final trip over to the pacific side of the peninsula for one final sunset in Mal Pais.
It all started after Montezuma’s organic market. Jon had met someone who would rent us one of his all terrain vehicles at a good price, and I wound up in a conversation with a friend who told me about a secret waterfall that we could explore, if only we had a set of wheels. The coincidental conversations led us to believe that this last-minute jungle adventure was meant to be, so we reserved the quad and asked our buddy for directions to the falls.
The directions were bizarre, but we found the place, and after parking the ATV we stood atop a grooved valley with wild vegetation sprawling across it’s hills like twiggy fingers pointing towards a river that was running vertically down dramatic rock formations. We descended through the brush and in a few minutes we were standing on those rocks, the only two people in sight, gazing up at a waterfall to our left and down on another to our right. The valley appeared to stretch endlessly, but its infinite view was occluded from human perspective by dense jungle, sharp curves, and the steep drops of the cascading waterfalls. Jon tried to take photographs, but it was the depth that was so mind blowing and the two dimensional interpretation lost most of its magic.
We walked to the edge and peered into the large pool at the base of the waterfall above us. Below the surface, I could see the lower portion of the rock that supported my feet, its colors distorted by a gooey layer of algae, but beyond that the pool showed nothing- it’s waters black and eerily opaque. I knew it wasn’t black because it was dirty but black because it was bottomless, and I gulped, intimidated by the power of erosion demonstrated by the falling water. Jon dove in gracefully, but I crouched down onto the rock and slid clumsily into the abyss. The water was shockingly cool.
We splashed and swam, and Jon suggested we practice our flips as he spontaneously erupted into to a forward somersault, his face emerging from the water laughing with pure glee. I flipped too, but my giggles were mixed with splutters as I had to rid my sinuses of the water that had accumulated in them. As I regained my composure, exhausted from flipping and laughing and treading, I closed my eyes and wished that everyone would play in the water more often, because I wanted everyone’s senses to be bombarded with just how much fun it is to be a human.
We dried off, hoped back on the ATV, and sped off through the countryside towards Mal Pais. There, we spotted our first Costa Rican “craft beer” bar and got so wrapped up in the delicious hops that we actually wound up missing the sunset. Luckily, when we emerged, the star was still painting the sky, and I was able to enjoy a twilight dance with the cosmos. .
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