Day Three of our Adventure! And of course yours truly is up before the sun and was able to snag the above shot from my room! Now usually back home my routine is to get up around 5:30ish and login to the internet to: check the news, check the weather, check up on work emails, check the sports scores, check out movie times, check out social media, etc. Well there’s no internet in the jungle Gringo. Just more jungle! So I decided to go exploring with a fellow early bird : )
Nature is beautiful. Just watching the shade slowly peel away from the landscape as the sun rose over the horizon was just surreal. Internet shminternet. I wasn’t missing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of that stuff that robs my time. I was too busy downloading this new experience : )
Did someone say “Let’s find that waterfall!” Adventure time! So I packed my camera, hiking boots and knife and dove into the jungle. Just so you know I LURVE my new knife. It’s got everything: three different blades, pliers, both a flathead and a Philips screw driver, and a nail file. I was contemplating on bringing a machete with me just in case I ran into the Predator, but Customs would have taken me to “Taser City” once my bag went through security. I guess I’ll just file the nails of my killer until he/she submits!
I was so jacked to go exploring into the jungle and use my wits to deduce the location of this waterfall! I was ready for a good hour of trekking, the success of feasting my eyes on a majestic structure of water, and returning back to camp like a hero! After 10 minutes of walking in the jungle we found this . . .
So much for my deduction skills. At least the waterfall was worth it!
Back at camp I hung out (literally) in the hammock until our next big adventure: a four hour hike up a mountain to visit an indigenous village! I couldn’t wait! FYI to all of you who are wondering why I am wearing knee-high socks and look like I’m going to play soccer. They are called compression socks. They will help keep your calf muscle from over stretching and prevent you from pulling a calf muscle. I strongly recommend wearing a pair if you are doing a lot of uphill training. Your calves will thank you. Know what else I recommend? Not following too close to someone when climbing steep inclines! I got a mouthful of mud and debris because I didn’t keep my distance. I think I ate a family of ants . . .
If you go on a four-hour hike in the jungle on a hot day without a bottle of water you’re going to have a bad time. Thank god I had my double-chamber-Camelback-waterbottle-from-Winners full of water because this hike was “sobra ang trabaho!” (Tagalog for “lots of work”). Although I didn’t speak Spanish, some of the words from my language were understood by our hosts. And the reason why will be today’s history lesson: In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines and claimed the islands for Spain. In 1571, the Spanish established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies. Then I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. True story : )
On this hike I learned about the infamous “Bullet Ant”. This rat bastard’s sting is so painful that victims have claimed that it feels like being shot. According to Wikipedia, the pain is described as “waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours.” Two bites from this ant and you are a goner. I saw four of these things inside of 10 minutes. I think a slipper would have been more useful than my knife!
After a strenuous hike we manage to reach the summit! And man what a view! Seeing other green mountain tops cascading along the landscape made a beautiful tapestry of nature. Breathe this view in:
At the indigenous village we met the chief who claimed to be 100 years old! We learned that the villagers use the venom of the Dart Frog to lace the tips of their arrows. This allows for an easier kill of their prey. I would have loved to see this in action, but I didn’t think any of my teammates would have appreciated me using the bow and arrow on one of them! One thing that did surprise me was that you can get cell reception up there! One of my teammates was checking her text messages on top of the mountain! I think the amount of roaming charges she racked up was enough to buy a Benz for the CEO of her cellular provider. Where’s Dora when you need her? What’s “ripoff” in Spanish?
This was also my first time to take a bite of a fresh guava picked from a tree. My travel doctor told me to stay away from eating the skin of any fruit when in a foreign country. Screw him! He obviously hasn’t been trained in the ways of PURA VIDA!
The hike down the mountain was dangerous! Loose rocks + steep mountain = Ankle Spraining country! Life tip from Chris: when going down the steep terrain in life, take it “Suave Suave” (slowly or easy). It was a blessing that all of us made it off the mountain without a scratch.
Back at camp we took some time to relax by the river. Oh look! There’s another waterfall! I had to do the sexiest pose I had in my arsenal to commemorate this moment for the ages . . .
FYI this is my hero pose. Some people like to hit the “Magnum” look or the double bicep, but this my favourite pose. It’s my way of telling the world that I enjoy being me, am not ashamed of being me, and will never stop being me : )
And another kick ass group shot of the beautiful people:
One thing I didn’t tell you. This group was not complete. We had three other people who joined us from Germany at the end of the day. They were supposed to join us on Day 1 but due to delays in their flights, had to miss a day. So I’ve been enjoying a whole room to myself and now I have to shack up with my new roomie from Germany. Merde (French for “sh*t). I was planning on putting the beds together and using his bed sheets as a toga. Oh well. C’est la vie! Pura Vida to our new friends!
MOMENT OF ZEN: Take life Suave Suave. And when I mean life I mean people. When I was in the indigenous village, I thought of all the material things we use to create meaning in our lives: a new car, a second or third home, the latest gadget that shows Netflix/email/music/Facebook, etc. And these people I met on the mountain just have each other. No flashy car, latest cell phone, HD TV, or gaming system to get in between them. The most important assets to them are each other. So here I am in Costa Rica. Stripped from my comforts and I find peace with complete strangers. No urge to check email, catch up on the latest shows, see what other people are doing on Facebook, etc. All I really have for the next two weeks are these people that I’ve known for a little over 24 hours. So don’t take people too seriously. Laugh with them, forgive them, then laugh with them some more. After all, the group makes the trip : ) PURA VIDA!