Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Squeezy Beans part 2 of 2


Chelsey reporting: (continued from previous post)

We arrived at the little pulperia (store) in Carate 26 k later. It was literally the end of the road. Our bellies were fairly full off of coconut meat, mangos, bananas and guavas that we had found along the way, but still had our hearts and growling stomachs set on some squeezy beans. No dice. Packets of M&M's, soda crackers, peanuts, some beers and coke was all that was left at this little store, which consisted of a small counter and a few shelves. We were quite disappointed at this point, but settled on a coke, a pack of peanuts and a pack of M&M's. Our disappointment grew when we paid the bill, $6! After living off of the land and squeezy beans it seemed as though we had gotten pretty spoiled. Our dreams of outfitting the rest of our trek from the store were dashed. Not only were the choices super limited, but we couldn't have afforded it! Luckily, however, the Pulperia wasn't the end of the road for us.

A few years back I'd volunteered at Luna Lodge which is about 1.5 k up into the rain forest above Carate. It is a beautiful spot over looking the Osa and bordering the Corcovado National Park. I had helped build part of the road up to the lodge in return for meals and yoga classes. In hopes to stay and show the place to Jason and Dan, we hiked on up the hill. We arrived 30 minutes later dripping with sweat. We were greeted warmly by "Mom" on the deck over looking the beautiful rainforest. We were sold, once you walk all the way up there and see the place, it is almost impossible to leave. After a late afternoon of relaxing and talking, the night ended with an amazing dinner and a big cozy bed in a beautiful cabina. The next morning we did yoga on the yoga deck, followed by breakfast and a full day of acro yoga play and slacklining.

To get the most out of our time we decided to stay until dinner and then hike 55km through the entire Corcovado National Park - nonstop. "Mom" at Luna Lodge was so helpful, as soon as she heard our crazy plan (most people take 3 days) she hooked us up with some granola and 15 sandwiches (9 bean, 3 cheese and 3 peanut butter and jelly) We were stoked. After another amazing dinner of fresh fish, we said our goodbyes to our new friends, filled up our waterbottles with coffee, sugar and milk and tried to get some shut eye before are 1 am wake up call. At 1:30 am we were off, hiking along pristine and remote beaches, with no need for a headlamp. The stars were the brightest we'd ever seen. There was no moon, but the light of the Milky Way almost gave us shadows. We didn't have much in the way of maps, only a cartoon map that we picked up along the way which gave us a rough estimate on the length and times of each ranger station. We had heard that high tide was at 7am, so our first goal was to get past the beach section by then. After the beach section, the trail wound for miles through primary growth rain forests. The topic of choice at the Luna Lodge dinner table the night before was about Pit Viper snakes that came out at night in the rainy season... and spiders that made webs across the trail and would bite you when you walked through them.... We did not want to be hiking in the dark! We ran much of it, stopping to marvel at the tapirs, monkeys, and leaf-cutter ants. It was so surreal to be in that place.

By 1 pm we made it out of the park and into Los Patos, the last ranger station! Sweet. We were almost home free. We kicked off our shoes and enjoyed our new favorite meal: bean sandwiches. Ahhh, not long now.... by 3 we would be in La Palma enjoying a full plate of gallo pinto con huevos! Not quite... right when we were getting ready to go again the rain started trickling... then it started raining a little bit harder.... then "BOOOOM", "CRACK"... it started to down pour. Dan and Jason were able to fill up their water bottles in minutes, just from the mini-waterfall off the roof. It didn't look like it was going to stop anytime soon, off we went into the jungle, running up and down rough trails that had turned into little muddy slippery rivers. Thunder and lightning flashes were every where. It was amazing. There's nothing like being wet to the bone and trail running through the jungle. By the time it stopped raining we were onto our last 13 k section into La Palma. With 22 river crossings to go, our wet feet didn't even phase us.

Dan had hidden pack of squeezy beans as emergency rations, so with 5k to go, we all sat down in the middle of the wet and muddy road and passed around the packet of refried Super-GU. He'd been holding on to it since Uvita, the very beginning of the trip. It was a symbolic end to another amazing, epic journey.

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