Monday, June 05, 2006

Eco Tico Trip

Today, Francisco, Jen and I drove about 45 minutes east toward the Caribbean into the Braulio Carrillo National Park and Rainforest. I was surprised to see how close it was to where we’re living. The roads towards the Caribbean side of Costa Rica are in far better shape that the roads going west towards the Pacific. It’s amazing what the country’s largest Port (Limon) will do for attention to road infrastructure. I’ve become accustomed to passing 18 wheelers on blind curves in fog and rain. Throw in some falling boulders and potholes for good measure too. You’ll find religion quickly, if you haven’t already. Sister Mary Catherine of the Highway and I are in kind ;)

We reached the Aerial Tram 5 minutes before closing time, but off season desperation worked in our favor, they waved us right on through. We picked up our guide and boarded the contraption. It was absolutely fascinating. We rode for about an hour through the many layers of rainforest. Starting at the bottom and working our way to the top of the canopy, it’s estimated that this particular forest is over 300 years old. Birds, snakes, sloths, anteaters all made brief appearances.

Of course my twisted mind kept thinking about 2 things.

1. What if this basket we’re riding in breaks loose from the wire it hangs on and we plunge 200 meters to the rainforest floor. If we survive the fall, our broken bones will keep us from escaping to safety before night falls. We’ll surely get eaten by something.

2. What if one of the many deadly species of snakes we saw in the trees drops itself into our basket? Who would I use as a human shield? Jen? Francisco? Maria (The Guide)? Oh,… The pressure.

When I wasn’t contemplating my death, I was thoroughly enjoying the view. Something I STRONGLY recommend to anyone who visits Costa Rica. After the tram ride, Maria took us on a walking path that extended deep into the forest so we could see all the terrible things she described from the safety of our basket 300 feet in the air, up close and personal. And it wasn’t long before the first frightening encounter occurred. As Maria was showing us a leaf the size of my last house, some sort of vampire bat flew out of the bush and right into Jens chest. Screams ensued, there was also some running involved. After the blood returned to our face, we regrouped, Maria then warned us that we should expect to see some snakes and not to panic. The deadly Fer De Lance gets aggressive when you “panic”. I kindly asked Maria to define “panic”. I needed to know, was she talking about internal panic, or all out “holy shit im going to die, run fast” panic. It was the latter, but I knew I was going to do both if one of those things came near me. So right at that moment, I had a word with my inner self about crisis management, I then felt prepared enough to continue. It’s getting darker, and I seem to be the only one thinking that’s not a good idea to be on a dirt path in the rainforest at night. We have no flashlight, sticks or guns….just our guide Maria, who moved to the rainforest to be closer to the “narly surf” in Limon. She’s nowhere near a snake charmer. Yes, this worried me.

We saw a colony of Leafcutting Ants the size of Alabama, Butterflies that could eat a small human child and some mosquitoes that reigned supreme. Despite the forests deadly inhabitants, Jen, Franc and I were amazed by it all. That’s probably why we didn’t see the…........

(To be continued tomorrow....it's pretty damn good too)

4 comments:

Pookie Pie said...

tease....

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StratoCade said...

Wow Jase. That sounds like your personalized hell... Did they have June Bugs?

the doc said...

That�s probably why we didn�t see the�........

So...?