Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catarata La Fortuna

I am going to be sore tomorrow. Real sore. I can already feel it. Why? Because I hiked to a waterfall. I could have taken either a horse or a taxi, but what with it being nice and cool, having the day to walk about, and the guy at the hotel telling me it was a nice walk, I set off on foot. 

Oh man. The whole thing was only 7 kilometers from town but the last 4 were nothing but steep gravel roads. The last 2 kilometers almost killed my will to live. It was like a cruel version of the lines at Disney Land. You would climb each hill thinking it was the last only to find another (steeper) one once you reached the top. And of course the clouds dissipated the moment I started walking. 

I met some people at the hotel and they told me that their guide book described it as a stair-master with a view. That was a lot more apt of a description than what I received from the hotel guy. Partly due to the trickery of the slope and not knowing how much more I lacked, I eventually willed my way to the top. 

Then of course, once you get to the park entrance, how do you get to the waterfall? Oh yeah, right. More than SEVEN HUNDRED steps. They weren't normal steps either, a kind of like mud covered cinderblock legos. Ah, but the view at the bottom was worth it. The water was clear and bright blue. 

I took a dip in the water and iced my tired muscles and watched the fish swim around my legs. (I freaked out when one mashed up against my leg. Then I realized that it was a leaf.) I budgeted my time so that I could leave in time to make the hour and a half hike back to town before dark, so I dried off a bit and hiked it back up the SEVEN HUNDRED steps. 

The decent into town was much better but I was using kind of a controlled falling method due to tired muscles. As I waited at one of the bends for the cars to pass one stopped. It was a Costa Rican family I met and eventually passed on the way back up the stairs. I had joked with Grandpa and now he was stopping to ask if I wanted a ride. Did I ever! So, in the end, the hour and a half I planned for took 25. Perfect. Pura vida!

PS. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me when a waterfall is a cascada and when one is a catarata. Or is catarata just a Costa Rican thing? 

And how cool is this tree I passed on the way up?

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Well, you know me. I had to look up the differences. A waterfall with large volumes of water are involved is called a cataract (catarata). Waterfalls of small height and less steepness or a series of small falls are called cascades (casadas)