Oh, it’s all part of the adventure, right?
Our next destination in Costa Rica was Rio Celeste. Once I saw the pictures online and in my tour book, I HAD to see this. It showed these amazing photos of a waterfall with the bluest water I have ever seen short of BerryBlue Kool-Aid. And I’ve seen some awesome waterfalls so far in my life!
So off we go…in the BeGo, our faithful 4 wheeled drive clown car we rented… to Tenorio National Park where we will hike the short trail to the falls. In our tour book, it is marked as a less touristy, less visited area but with several options for accommodations near the park. We hadn’t pre-booked anything and planned to show up and check for availability.
We missed the turn-off at first, but soon we were barreling down the dirt road towards the park. Only 9 kilometers away! Then it’s a gravel/dirt road. Eight kilometers to go. Then it’s a bumpy, rocky road, like driving up a creek bed. No more barreling, but yee-haw! Come on, BeGo, ole girl. Don’t blow a tire. Because I’m driving you to this park, like it or not! By the half way point, I had mastered the art of reading the road for the smoothest paths (there were none). Our enthusiasm for “yee-hawing” waned and soon we realized why this was less touristy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–fewer obstacles to negotiate.
By the time we were nearing the park, I’m having these thoughts of, “Uh-oh, what if there’s no room at the inn?” Hmmm. To have to turn around and drive this road right back out would stink. We had looked up the names of a few places ahead of time and luckily our first choice had availability – Posada Rio Celeste (http://www.posadarioceleste.com/). And this was the first place where we were forced to use our Spanish.
Now this might warrant a lengthy discussion of its own, but suffice it say, I speak what I call “Caveman Spanish.” I put a verb and a noun together and somehow get my point across. And there are sometimes grunts and overzealous gesturing. Don’t judge me. I get it done.
So we had some yummy hot soup (Olla de carne) then set off for the falls. Woo-hoo! The photo says it all. It didn’t disappoint. Well, it kinda did. We weren’t allowed to swim in the waters below. Boo! But then again, it could be for a good reason. Same thing at the natural hot springs nearby. But to make up for it, howler monkeys jumped through the trees above us on our hike back out. Thanks, guys.
As you may have gathered, there wasn’t much around by way of restaurants or grocery stores, so we ate again at the hotel, which was great. The cosada is a local dish of rice, beans, meats (or veggies for non-meat eaters), fried banana or plantain and sometimes some additional fruits and vegetables. Anywhere I got this it always was fresh and delicious. But I’m rarely picky. Particularly if someone else is going to cook for me. So that was dinner.
The hotel, by the way, was great. I keep using the term hotel but it seemed more like a guesthouse. It was family run. We saw multiple generations there, cooking the meals, clearing the gardens, picking up food deliveries but what I suspect to be the sucker with the truck that goes in to town for everyone. Kids and dogs ran freely. This made for a serene setting for our short visit. Our room was basic and we had our own bathroom. The shower was one of those frightening ones with the wires on top of the shower head. This risk of electrocution still only made the water tepid. Eh, I can shower later.
The next morning, Janet had the privilege of driving us out of there. She did great. We’re happy to inform you that no tires were harmed in the making of this adventure.