Rincon de la vieja – Hell walk

partlycloudy.gifNice sunny weather and +29C again.

I got up at 5.45 today, had my shower and packed my backpack and set off to Musmanni (the most popular bread bakery chain in CR) to get a couple of sandwitches. I had no time to make breakfast so I decided to go the easy way. I walked towards Hotel Liberia and actually got there in perfect time. 3 minutes before the bus came !

We were a large group heading up to the national park today, about 11 (2 danish, 1 norwegian, 5 dutch and the rest gringos) arriving at 8:15. We all payed our US 6$ fee and headed into the park in smaller groups. It was a wonderful walk. We heard loads of birds, insects and howler monkeys. We even got to see several whiteface monkeys (capuchines). That was pretty amazing. I have only seen VERY few of them in the wild until today. Since I had made la pailas trail (the boiling mud-pot trail) several times before I played tour guide for that part of the day. We saw the boiling mud pots, the boiling water and smelled sulfur listening to the wonderful mix of animal sounds. Just that is a wonderful experience in itself !!!!

The Pailas trail lasted a little more than 2 hours and we had lunch at the ranger station before heading the other direcction to the Cangreja (crab) waterfalls. Just the trip there was calculated to more than 2 hours and then the return. We set off with Barbara, Martina, and me. We were soon followed by several others. The first 500 meters were right uphill. In that moment we sensed how tired we were already. NICE! … and we had a 2 hour walk ahead!!!!

It soon flattened out as we entered the dry rainforest. Not far ahead we saw these stairs going down towards the river and we all started decending. Not the smartest thing we ever did. There was nothing there except from a water whole and a nice place to swim in the river. We had to get up again. Not for that. The view was gorgeous !.

On the top again we followed the regular trail and soon started decending towards the river again and here we found a bridge to cross. We went up and down for a long time before we suddenly was in a part of the forest where there was a lot of sounds. No animals to be spotted but it is so nice to hear them. As we continued we crossed several smaller rivers, entered dry savannah landscape and more humid forest. The winds from the volcano brought with it misty rain and almost blew us off our feet. The changes in the landscape is wonderfully different and amazingly interesting. We did walk at a pace though and got to the waterfall in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Beeing there it was soooo worth the long walk. It was a lovely lagoon, small but all blue water.
Most of us went swimming and the water was really cold. I guess it is like that when it comes from high mountains even in warm countries.
The rest did us good too because we were very tired and at mid-day the temperatures are very unpleasant for hard excercise. We left the waterfall to go uphill for 20 minutes. Good thing we brought enough to drink. My legs were hurting but noone shall say I did not do my best today. hehe.

During the whole trip back to the national park guard house and meeting point we walked through the same variety of landscape that we did on our way there. It blew even more and it was good to enter the forest parts because in savannah we had to fight the wind and not only heat and uphill. We made that trip in about 2 hours as well and were almost dead meat when we reached our meeting point. While waiting for the bus to pick us up I found I was highly irresistable and very attractive. So was all the other HUMANS there. Some kind of small bug kept biting us and left us with bloody itching bitemarks. Bastards !!!!

Finally back in the hotel, we decided to go a group to have something to eat at 7pm and we sat down in the reception area and had a beer and relaxed while waiting for the time to fly by. I even got to practice my french with Sebastien from Canada. He went with us (the 3 dutch girls and me) to have dinner at a chinese restaurant. Food was ok but we were all so exhausted from more than 6 hours walking in highly difficult landscape.

I stopped by internet and replied some e-mails before going home to tell mami I am going to Monteverde tomorrow and make my suitcase.
Monteverde !!! WoW. I have always wanted to go there !. What an exiting adventure.

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