This post is originally from February 2, 2013
This post is only about one day, but it feels like I did enough for an entire year!
When I opened my eyes yesterday morning and looked up there was a massive tail poking through the roof of our thatched cabin/hut. The tail was about a foot and half long. You could tell that he was hiding under the tin on the roof but if the ceiling wasn’t so high I would have been able to reach up and grab it. When I returned from breakfast my new lizard friend left me a pile of presents. I felt quite at home with a pile of of shit laying on my bed. I am so used to my cat Orange leaving me random ‘treats’, that this just seemed like another day in my regular life.
We first ventured out to the jungle to canyoneer. We took a 4×4 vehicle up a mountain into the depths of the jungle. This jungle is full of waterfalls, which by the end of all our drops we would certainly become incredibly wet. Basically canyoneering is hooking yourself into a harness that attaches to ropes and you repel down cliffs. The cliffs that we repelled down were all waterfalls. It was so beautiful…but it is kind of difficult to take in all the beauty when you are concentrating on not peeing your pants! The first drop wasn’t that far down, but getting used to the idea that you had to release your hand so your body would drop towards the ground was challenging. I felt like a puppet hanging from a rope that kept crashing shoulder/head first into the rocks. Hmmmm, maybe this is not my calling. We literally had to hike down rock formations to get down to the next drop. Hiking in Toms shoes (canvas shoes with not a great grip) was also a bit of a challenge. Mainly I clung to the rocks with my hands which was oh so graceful…NOT. The next drop was a mere 40 meters! It was heart wrenching because the first bit was slow and you could use your hand to control the speed of how fast you go, but then they you let go and you freaking drop at top speed!!!! So bloody scary but also super fun. (Remember this is all in a waterfall!) The last waterfall drop was 70 meters. Holy Eff…when I got to the bottom I literally thought I peed myself because it felt warm between my legs. I got embarrassed and was thankful only two of my group mates would see the accident. Thankfully I didn’t urinate all over myself…it was in fact the carabeener that had created so much friction with the rope, which in turn heated the metal. Phew!!! When I told Tom, who is this 6 foot 4 ginger bearded Aussie dude about my accident he was relieved because he too had been thinking he had pissed his pants! The experience was quite adrenaline pumping plus also really physical. I was certainly still sore from rafting so this just added to my aches and pains. It was so worth it and couldn’t even imagine a prettier backdrop.
After returning from the waterfalls we went straight to an orphanage. We stopped at a market to buy fruit and then we headed to the home. It really did seem like a home. There were 18 children all under the age of ten that lived there. It seemed to staff about 5 women who also lived at the home. The children were so happy and excited to see us. The home was bright and clean. It really was a great place. In my past travels I have seen orphanages that make you cry, so this was a nice change. It is just hard to imagine what each child has been through knowing that each was taken from a home that either was full of neglect or abuse. Also hard to imagine that they get enough love and attention when there are so few workers compared to children. At the age of 10 they are moved to another facility where they stay until they are 18. At 18 they are forced to live on their own. This orphanage is funded by the government.
Finally at the end of the day we drove to a hot springs where the pools are heated from the nearby volcano. The pools were very soothing on my sore muscles until I decided I would go on the water slides. The first one was fast but fun. The second slide was the water slide from HELL. First of all it was dark. Once i put my arse on the slide there was no turning back. It was so fast that it threw my body into a laying position. Water kept pouring from the top onto my head as I was going down so I couldn’t see a thing. And I couldn’t for the life of me sit back up because the momentum was so strong. By the time I shot out the end of that damn thing my spine had been grated like cheese. I now how a lovely red scabby spine. Holy HELL!!. Just adds to the bruises from rafting and scrapes from canyoneering!!
Today we are in a town called Monteverde. Tonight we are going on a night hike with flashlights in search of random animals. Until next time…