Monday, September 8, 2008

Cascada San Ramon & Petroglyphs 9.8.08

We were up & at ‘em early this morning, meeting Cristofer at 9am. The boys were a little slow but manageable. We had a nice breakfast (with another favorite food called ‘Gallo Pinto’, a rice & bean concoction that’s super yummy for breakfast) & headed off to the Ecological Reserve where the trailhead was for the hike up to Cascada San Ramon (the waterfall).
The hike was 3KM, only about 2 miles, but it was a killer!! The trail started out straight up, then about 2/3 there, dropped down into the jungle. It was hot & sunny and once we made it into the jungle, the temperature dropped significantly.
The trail was great up until the rock slide destroyed it. Apparently, the rockslide happened in May and it was HUGE!! Taking out about 100’ deep of dirt. We went from a hike to rock climbing, jumping from side to side of the stream to make our own path. It was one hell-uv-a-hike. But oh so worth it when we arrived.
The waterfall was down a rock face and was probably 30’ wide. I don’t know how tall it was…but it was tall!
There was supposedly a geocache placed around the base of the waterfall and so Michael & I searched & searched….but nothing was found.
Again, the rockslide took out a significant amount of dirt so we’re sure it was washed down stream as well.
Bummer. I decided to climb up to a downed tree to check out around it and got up the hill fine….but didn’t make it unscathed coming down. I started slipping and could do nothing but slide down the hill with the loose dirt. Hmmm….a few bumps, scrapes, splinters & bruises later, I was fine. The waterfall was so inviting and I was so muddy/sweaty/dirty….what else was there to do but to rinse off! Ahhh….it felt great. I’d never been in a waterfall like that before. Of course I was soaked through & through…but I was as dry as everyone else by the time we were finished.

The hike out was a bit more difficult, but we made it back with no problems. Back at the trailhead, Cristofer was waiting for us & we enjoyed an ice cold beer to celebrate our accomplishment. We were pretty exhausted, hot & sweaty and it took us about 4 hours. Of course as Scott puts it “we put ourselves in a lot of pain by hiking straight up the @$(%& mountain for 4 hours!!”

We chatted with Cristofer & he took us to a spot on the island called ‘Albergue Ecologico’, another finca (which is a farm) where they had both petroglyphs and a great lunch spot.
The finca had a hotel on the property and we checked out the rooms which were only $16/night. They were great!
And the property was fabulous – tons of flowers, butterflies everywhere, a magnificent view of the Volcano
and the food was great too. We’d totally stay there if we came back.
There was something pretty funny/odd that happened though… We had been seated at a large table under a thatched roof hut for lunch. Liz & I took off to take some photos & Michael & Scott moved from the table to the hammocks. They heard a large ‘thud’ and looked over at the table, where they were just sitting, & found a super huge tarantula!! On closer observation, it seemed he leapt from the roof somehow, caught a large butterfly in flight, & dropped down to the table to eat. Seems logical, don’t you think?
We laughed hard thinking of the boys sitting there & trying to get away from it if they were close! Screaming like little girls laughing all the way. We decided to move tables…. J Actually, Michael has been drawn to insects this trip. His story is he’s almost died this trip – having a heart attack when he found a scorpion on his shoulder (he had just put his shirt on and it was hanging on), then a tarantula lands right where he was sitting at lunch, not to mention the grueling hike up the @$#&%( mountain!! But who’s writing this blog, anyway!! Haha…

We were all pretty exhausted plus we were hot & sweaty so we headed back to the Hotel to clean up. We met back at the bar/restaurant and ordered another bottle of rum/cokes special and Michael, Scott & I proceeded to kill it….and order another! After all, it was Scott’s big day! We had another wonderful meal & then they brought out the special desert that they had prepared for us….ice cream and chocolate brownies! And Scott’s had two birthday candles ready to blow out. We sung him the “Happy Birthday” song with Roseanna & Heidi singing along in Spanish.
It was great! And the brownie/ice cream was such a treat!! Ice cream is difficult to get here as it’s so bloody hot, it won’t stay frozen for the trip back to the house….and the generators at the store don’t keep it frozen anyway.

Speaking of rum…they make a rum here called ‘Flor de Cana’ that is very, very good. It’s a super smooth rum and is incredibly inexpensive. At the stores, a liter of rum is between $5-8 dollars, depending on the age of the rum. We picked up two to bring back with us (it sucks we can’t bring more back!) – one is aged for 5 years was only $5, the 7 year was about $6 and there is a super special one that’s aged for 12 years for about $8. Incredible. We found a special setting on the camera to capture what we were seeing...and this is it!! hahaha....

After dinner we headed (read stumbled) back to our respective casitas & crashed. So even though we didn’t find the geocache (I’m still bummed about that…) the hike was good, the waterfall incredible, & the petroglyphs & food was spectacular. I love this place!!

Back to S&L’s house tomorrow…


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