Second most amazing day!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2010
1
12
16
Trip End Jul 10, 2010


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Costa Rica  , Alajuela,
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Left early for Braullio Carillo National Park again. We had tried to get there last week but turned back after sitting in a line of traffic for 2 hours. We have since learned there was a mud slide that closed the road, there seems to be a lot of them now with the rains.

We headed up to the Sarapiqui Loop to see if we could find any whitewater rafting.  We have discovered that when traveling in Costa Rica you need to add 3 hours to your estimated time of arrival.  We have never arrived anywhere in the time frame we thought we would.  I can't even imagine finding the places at all without a GPS.  By the time we got close to the area it was late morning and by now all the tours would be gone. 

We came through Zarcero, which I had read about and forgotten I had wanted to visit.  So it worked out perfectly.  They have this garden where a man comes everyday and trims the hedges, maintaining the shapes.  The church at the end of the park was pretty and well-maintained.  There was a wall along side of the park and I heard someone banging on it from the other side.  I went to look and a guy was chipping away at it with a hammer.  Then I noticed some women who I thought were painting the wall.  We went to take pictures and saw that they were actually applying mosaic tiles.  It was a very nice place to visit.

We then left in search of the national park and took a wrong road.  We passed over a very pretty stream and stopped to let the guys climb on the rocks.  We then took off again only to go around a curve and come upon Catarata Del Toro.  The parking lot was completely empty so we almost didn’t go in, but then saw all the gates open so decided to try it.  I am so happy we did because this was the second best day after the dolphins.  Robby went in to check and came back and told me I had to go in.  We all went in and entered this open area that was a restaurant.  I looked to the right and there were hummingbirds everywhere.  There must have been 100 of them flying through the restaurant, out into the gardens and back to the feeders.  I couldn’t take enough pictures and videos.  They were in all colors, tiny and big and not afraid of us at all.  There were feeders all along the sides of the restaurant. 

We ordered lunch which was a choice of beef or chicken.  Between the five of us we ordered both.  It was excellent.  It came with carrots, black beans and rice, coleslaw, plantains and avocado.  All for $8 per person. It’s probably the first meal that was actually seasoned.  Ticos don’t use salt and pepper, they don’t even offer it to you in a restaurant, you have to ask for it.  Anyway, the meal was great. 

We sat and watched the hummingbirds for an hour.  Then a kudamundi came to get bananas they hang for him.

The other part of the attraction is an incredible waterfall.  It costs $10 to walk down to the bottom of the waterfall and takes about 2 hours from top to bottom.  Just as we are deciding to take the walk the rain starts.  So we wait while talking to the staff.  We have not met an unfriendly Tico yet. And of course Robby can talk to anyone like they’re his best friend.

The rain finally stops after 30 minutes and we decide to go down.  By now it’s 3 pm and it gets dark at 5:15 so now I’m worried about getting back before dark.  We all grab umbrellas and head down.  Sara and Courtney are in the lead, I’m next and the guys are behind me.  The girls take off so I decide to go too, to get ahead of the guys who stop and take pictures.  It’s easy going at first down long inclined steps made of mulch and rocks.  I’m thinking piece of cake, the walk back up can’t be that hard.  We reach this scenic platform and get a great view of the falls.  We continue on for about 10 minutes until we turn a corner and there are flights of concrete steps.  The steps have to be a foot high and I realize that it’s going to be really hard coming back.  I’m determined to reach the bottom because I always hear about what I missed. The girls have gone down a lot farther than me and the guys are still not in sight, so I continue on.  There are a ton of steps, sometimes you have to go up again only to go down.  I finally reach a grassy area and see the girls down below on the rocks.  I look to see how to get down and decide to stay where I am.  The steps down are made of rock with moss on them and they are very narrow.  The rain water is coming down the sides of the mountain, washing over the steps and they look really slippery.  The guys finally make it down to where I am and take off down to the bottom.  The skies have now decided to open in a full fledge storm, there is lightning and thunder and you can’t even see through the rain.  I see Sara slip and fall into a mud puddle, I see her get up and start cleaning off only to slip again.  Then I see Robby shed his shorts and take off running across the rocks in his underwear.  He leaps off a rock to jump to another one and falls and I decide I am the only smart one.  He then decides he’s going to climb the face of the mountain and go to the small waterfall.   He makes it there and back without dying, while Sara has fallen again.  Meanwhile, I am standing up above them on a flat area pretending to be a lightning rod with a large umbrella. 

Finally, everybody is soaked and ready to go up.  There was a family who had come in when we were coming down and they have just arrived at my area.  The father climbed down with a little boy on his shoulders while his wife came down holding the hand of another small boy.  So we decide to leave before we get behind them as some areas are single file.  The girls head up, Robby says see ya and takes off running up and Don comes over to go up with me.  We start up and I’m doing okay on the incline but am dreading the concrete steps.  We finally get to the bottom of the concrete and here comes the couple with the boys.  Now they are both carrying a boy on their shoulders.  I’m in awe as the mother passes us carrying the boy, a backpack and an umbrella.  I tell Don to let them pass as they will definitely be faster than me.  I make it up the steps, resting at every turn which turns out to be a good thing since there is something to see that I missed going down.  We finally make it back to the top and I know my legs will be killing me tomorrow.  We take some more pictures of the hummingbirds, change clothes and thank the staff for a great time. At that time, the staff informed us that there are 240 stairs that we climbed down, and then up again.

We start home and come up on an accident in the mountains right on a curve in the dark. Costa Rica's law states that you can't move your car until the policia gets there, so both lanes were blocked and a line was forming.  Don decides he is going to go to the front of the line and try to get around the accident on the side of the road.  He gets Robby to go scope out the ground since it's been raining.  I start getting upset because there is a ditch on the side.  We are prepared to get out of the car while he tries it knowing he is going to wreck the car.  Robby comes back and says it doesn't look good but I can tell Don is still thinking about it.  The policia arrive and it takes three officers to stand and look at the front panel torn back on the pickup.  All of a sudden another truck comes up alongside of us and decides he's going to try it on the other side of the road.  We're thinking the policia is going to stop him but they wave him on.  Sara gets out to videotape it expecting him to fall in the ditch.  He goes to the far side which is behind a tractor trailer and disappears.  We hear him spinning his wheels and smoke coming from under the trailer.  After about ten minutes he finally makes it past.  Robby is talking to another driver so he tells us to follow him as he knows a shortcut back to Zarcero.  We turn around and follow him and have bypassed an hour of waiting for the accident to clear.

We drive home and stop at a restaurant near our villa that we have been meaning to try since we got here.  Had a nice dinner and came home and then we all passed out for the night.

What a great day!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: