Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Glimpse of Paradise

The weekend following the mighty Challenge Irazu we had the pleasure of spending some time with fellow volunteers at our regional volunteer meeting.  We took care of business on Friday night and the following morning we went in search of paradise.  After walking along a hilly dirt road, crossing a mud pit and navigating down some sketchy stairs precariously perched on the side of a "mountain" we found what we had been looking for.

We descended the steps that stood between us and our destination, checking their degree of rot and determining if they would hold our weight and then made our way to the rocky embankment for our first real look at the landscape in front of us.  Tiny frogs hopped out of the way as the group of us took over the bank, in front of us  Pozo Azul waterfall cascaded into the cool waters of the swimming hole we were seeking.  Around us blue morpho butterflies graced the skies.  It was picture perfect (great time to forget to bring along our nifty new waterproof camera!)  

We smiled, took off our shoes, t-shirts and shorts and made our way into the water.  It took some getting used to, but it was worth it for a quick swim.  Then the challenge came.  "Do you want to go behind the waterfall?" asked one of our fellow volunteers that had visited this wonderland previously.  It took some work, swimming against the strong current that the waterfall produced, but it was worth it when we arrived at the rock wall that would take us to our final destination.  For the first time in close to two years we were able to search for hand and foot holds.  We could test out different grips, play with shifting our body weight, hang off of the side of the wall - this was a completely different type of paradise for us; we were climbing again.  It may have only lasted for a few moments, but it was an amazing feeling.  It felt right.  We continued on our way to the small cave behind the falls and sat and chatted until it was too cold to hang out any longer.  Then we were able to traverse that beautiful, wet and mossy rock once again.  New handholds found; new foot positioning; a renewed sense of freedom.  Then, with Chris' lips turning blue we hopped back into the water and swam to the shore in hopes of warming up.

The question is, were we looking for the beauty that Costa Rica has to offer or were we looking for the sensations that come with time spent outside.  We appreciated both, it truly was time spent in paradise.  However, I imagine that we would have had the same feeling had we found a wall in the middle of a cow pasture that we could hang on for a little while.  I guess paradise is different for everyone.

Pozo Azul (costaricaphotos.com)

Blue Morpho Butterfly (www.pctrs.com)

No comments: