Literally pouring rain so hard I was laughing at the ridiculousness of our hike through the woods. Down a slippery slope, across a growing stream then through a small series of trails that based on the tip we received would find us at a natural bridge created where a tree fell and a number of other trees sprung up out of the side of it. When I saw the big sign reading “NO PASE, CRAZY MAN WITH GUN” on a piece of plywood blocking the trail I felt that perhaps we’d made a wrong turn…
Previous to this we had been scaling the inside of a ficus tree in the same pouring rain, a tree that wraps it’s vines around another tree to more quickly reach the sun then likely suffocates it to death, very Gummi Bears escape route interesting. A local had given us the tip on the natural bridge and after a few slips and stumbles it was decided that the gun warning might be the last hint to turn around. On turning back it seemed the river rocks we stepped on earlier to cross the water we’re now fully under water as the creek had now raised to a small river some ten minutes after we had first passed it. We were now wadding through a stiff current in the hopes of escaping without being shot at by “CRAZY MAN WITH GUN.”
Diner parties, I love dinner parties!
I like when I meet people I can relate to and it seems Laura and Andrew a couple of Britts who had set off in a land cruiser from Chicago months earlier we’re bang on for my kind of people. I was set up under a soccer pitch with my tarp enclosing my tent and bike, a bit of shelter from the relentless rains. They we’re set up on the opposite side of the soccer field from me, all enclosed by lush tropical jungle in the peak of the Monteverde cloud forest. Only in Costa Rica can you take what is usually drab clouds and rain then spin them into an adventure forest for flocking tourism.
They had an awning off the land cruiser and in the intimate shelter we’d pass the time with beers, dinner parties and road trip tales. Hot damn if one night I didn’t bang out a nice halloumi cheese infused with thyme then nestled next to roasted garlic and hugged with a blanket of parma ham for a starter. Followed by a rustic pot roast of chicken thighs, butternut squash, carrot, string beans and freshly cracked spices. Brought all together on the plate with a cauliflower tossed in a olive oil and yellow curry blend with a few spices fire roasted on cast iron. Shit I missed cooking more then just pasta for one.
What the hell is your wife doing inside the bull arena?
All drizzly dinner parties aside I think the most fun was had at a little village Bull-O-Rama an absurdly bumpy forty five minute taxi ride from where we were camped. To keep up our continual good luck streak it turned out our taxi driver grew up in this little town with eight other siblings! Basically he knew the whole town and being as we were the only tourists who ventured into this event he was happy to introduce us to the locals.
Growing up in rural Alberta, Canada I’ve probably been to a hundred rodeos and thought nothing of it until the Britts and another Britt we’re all discussing what goes on at a rodeo. “ They wrap an animal on the front and back with rope, then tie your hands down, kick the animal to make it mad and people all watch and cheer.” It never accrued to me that they had never been to a rodeo and yeah from the outside looking in, it sounded a bit barbaric. The one Britt was out, the other two were in.
I think we were probably about eight beers in by this point and Andrew and I had been spectating the events for a half hour or more without a sighting of Laura. Andrew says to me, “ Mate I know what your thinking. My lovely wife, cute blonde in a foreign country, I should likely be more concerned of where she is right now. Really though she is probably talking someone up right now and will pop up somewhere random.”
At the most perfect timing a gate opens up into the friging arena and out walks Laura. “What the hell is your wife doing inside the bull arena?” I said.
He laughs, “See I told yeah, looks like she is taking pictures.”
Ohh man I have been to many a rodeo, however I’ve never taken it upon myself to ask if I can go
in the arena for some better photos.
One quad ride, a teenage beauty pageant, a dozen beers or so and a few new friends, we were are all headed back to deluxe camping in the soccer field. I think if I’ve learned anything on this trip, it’s that if you are open to everything and naive to the details, the world is a playground of adventure.
Or maybe that was be very cautious and keep your wits about you while traveling, damn I always forget
what advice I’m meant to follow.