When we got to the operation center for our rafting trip it was still raining. We were told that the water level was too high to raft into the lodge, but we could hike in. We agreed to do so...our first mistake. The van took us to a dirt road. We then changed to a pickup truck older than any of you. Peter and Dick rode in the back with the guides. Joan and I squeezed in next to the driver. We drove for about 20 minutes and were dropped...nowhere, where we began our hike. The first 20 minutes or so was on a washed out road with mud up to our calves. I was wearing tivas which stuck in the muck and slid off my feet. One of the guides took off his shoes and gave them to me. I gratefully accepted. We then found ourselves at the top of a path that led down, down, down to the river. 750 steps later with a rope bridge crossing and many ups and downs, we arrived at the lodge.
It was quite nice! Our private rooms overlooked the river and with a hot shower behind us we felt terrific. It was still raining. We had a good dinner, retired early and looked forward to the next day hiking to waterfalls, swimming in clear pools and generally enjoying the spectacular scenery. It was still raining.
The next morning the river was higher than the day before but we set out on the planned hike. Did I mention that we were the only people at this lodge that can accommodate over 100? (We later found out that all the other groups had been cancelled). Anyway, it had stopped raining and we set out. Thirty minutes into the walk it started raining again. Downpour, Buckets, Torrential. We continued on hoping to reach the waterfall, but the bridge was washed away and the feeder streams were overflowing, so we turned around arriving back at the lodge drenched, but still in good spirits. We were still hoping to raft the gorge the next day.
The afternoon passed playing bridge and talking. The Meisters are good sports and good company. Another evening passed with good food but we were still the only folks at the lodge.
Now the condensed version: Night fell. Rain increased. Trees fell. Paths washed away. More rain, More rain. Generator failed. No water. More rain. Tree fell. Limbs pierced side of cabin next to ours. Snakes fled their holes. We spent the night thinking we would be washed away in a mud slide or devoured by snakes fleeing the deluge.
Morning came. Obviously the river had risen so there was to be no rafting. The only way out was to hike back up the mountain, another 750 steps, long paths, downpour, mud. At the top of the trail, horses were waiting to take us to the paved road. Seems that the dirt road had washed away and the only way out was on horseback.
So the missed rafting this very beautiful river but would try again when we next return to Costa Rica.
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