A River Runs Through It

Trip Start Oct 31, 2013
Trip End Nov 05, 2013

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Where I stayed
Cabinas The Corner Puerto Jimenez
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Parque Nacional Corcovado

Flag of Costa Rica  , Puntarenas,
Monday, November 4, 2013

    I feel like I have mentioned naps and resting, but I never quite said that we never caught up on sleep in Costa Rica. The colectivo (a key player in this trip), left every morning at 6:00 AM, so there was no sleeping in! 

    This is just a forewarning, to remind you all that we were all a little bit out of it by this day. Only two of the three of us made it on the hike in Corcovado National Park. Also, need I remind you that the night before I was shown real life footage of snakes...which then haunted my dreams that night. 

    ANYWAY, we woke up around 5:00 AM, threw on hiking gear, and headed to the Panderia for a breakfast (however they didn't have anything too hearty). We got our seats on the colectivo (which they probably should have been stopped three seats before us). This time the colectivo was a crazy wagon type thing, covered by a tarp, and it sounded worse than a  Ford Pinto, and it was so crowded it felt like we were also crammed in a Ford Pinto. We were a motley crew of Costa Ricans (tour guides and normal citizens), Americans, and Germans. The adorable school children got on the bus, and got off at school. The rough road and sounds of the tree branches ripping the tarp and shooting leaves in our faces weren't exactly soothing, so needless to say a snooze on the way up was not happening. 

    After our two hour joy ride, we reached the last stop at a bar! Welcome to Corcovado, right? An 8:00 am beer may have done us good, but they weren't quite open. We got ready there and then asked where we head to the park (we missed going with the rest of the crews that were hiking). And the natives said to go on the beach for a mile and a half and then turn right when we see the building. Couldn't go wrong, right? 

    We were lucky to find footprints to follow, because walking on the beach to a jungle still didn't seem right. However, we decided "When in Costa Rica". And after about two minutes, we crossed our first overgrown puddle (or under grown river). Immediately soaked socks and waterproof boots (that's what happens when water gets INSIDE the boot). We're off to a good start here. 

    After walking what looks like hours we finally reached the ranger station. We presented our papers (which we luckily got done ahead of time), and then the rain started. It was sturdy enough that we decided to wait a few minutes. As we were waiting, we saw all of the animal skulls and warning signs. Nothing wakes you up by reading quick tips on what to do when you see a panther. 

    We decided that since the weather couldn't be much worse, we decided to start the trail. Naturally my eyes were wide opened and peeled looking for the terror that was slithering and just waiting to bite! After about an hour, we reached what we thought was the end of the trail. We asked a lone man sitting on a log on the beach, where he told us that the river wasn't the end, and that we had to cross it. Easy right?

    In one corner, a three foot tall river, running about 6 MPH into the Pacific Ocean: El Rio Madrugada. 

    In the other corner, standing at 5"1', weighing 105 lbs. Chelsi "Don't Call me Small Fry" Price

    I'll let you guess who won. 

    Long story short, I almost fell, AND dropped my camera into the river. The pictures that I am sending in now are courtesy of my co worker, Callie, who happens to be an amazing photographer. She was kind enough to send them to me to complete my blog. 

    We continued on for another hour, turned around, and then returned. We weren't so much walking at this point as stumbling like Freshman in college after their first party (the exhaustion had gotten to us). This time, we won the battle against the river (especially since there was no camera to be lost...only a cell phone which was in a waterproof bag). 

    After we reached the ranger station, we weren't waiting for long before he told us to head back to the colectivo early because the ocean level was going to rise. After walking and not blinking for a couple of hours out of fear, that was the longest walk (still stumbling) on the beach I have ever walked. My legs were made of lead and my Chacos were so full of sand that I was dragging

    Leaving early was smart with the tide, however we had an hour and a half wait for the colectivo. This gave us time to make friends with an Argentinian and a couple from Spain though, which made the time pass quickly. 

    Then began the most memorable of the colectivo rides! The whole time was spent joking around with the Argentinian and the Spanish couple. We were also sitting by a young kid who didn't say much, so we asked him some questions. It turns out he is the ONLY kid in his school! As he got off the colectivo, the Spanish guy said "Oye no te copies!" (Hey, don't copy yourself!). We were all in good spirits for being hiking all day. Then we took a turn off the main road, and we were all a little confused. We stopped at a farm, and we had all sorts of guesses what was joining the ride! Chickens? A cow?!? Turns out a broken dirt bike was taking the stand! The men hoisted it up, strapped it in (which took a good twenty minutes), and away we went! 

    After we finally made it into Puerto Jimenez, we decided to wash up and meet for dinner. In true tourist style we went to the Mariscaria (the one we had eaten at twice), AGAIN! This time I kept with my shrimp (shrimp pasta), which was also wonderful! We had a wonderful dinner, and the laughs kept going! They joked that I spoke Spanish like a Mexican Gringa, and they were surprised to meet a US citizen who could hold her own in Spanish. 

    We went home early, since we had all had a long day, and the next day we were all back out of Puerto Jimenez and were all headed back home.

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