Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Turriabla & Pacuare & Puerto Viejo, Day 6


Check out the "nike" logo. Nothing pirated here, no sirree.

Eclectic storefront.

Since we'd had such a wonderful time on the Pacuare, and it was going to be our last river run in Costa Rica, we decided to try it again. Only this time, the water was a little on the low side, in spite of a downpour in the middle of the night, when some late-arriving neighbors woke me up, and I went for a stroll around the building at 1am. The rain on the roof was deafening, although not deafening enough to drown out whoever was wearing heels on the bare tile. I figured there should be water like the day before, but this was not to be the case.

We weren't in a huge hurry but we did have to check out and load all of our gear into the car, along with having room for our driver, whom we decided would have to find his own way back to Turriabla, because Puerto Viejo was the opposite direction. I was still on a mission to get some Colones from the bank. After breakfast I decided to do just that, having failed the day before as the line was so long I would have held up our departure for about 45 minutes. Kevin joined me in waiting in line for the bank to open. I figured we were about a half hour early, and there were about 10 people in front of us, but Costa Rica time is a curiosity to behold, a reliever of stress, because you cannot really go by deadlines and openings and all that rot we pay so much attention to in America. So, we waited, guessing if this guard standing there or not standing there meant anything.

The doors to the bank were these contraptions like something out of Get Smart. The day before when I'd tried to get money, and gave up at the long line, we had to stand inside the glass box and get scanned, or something, before entering the bank. I guess they were looking for weapons. They got space age technology to stop them bank robbers before they cause any problems. Why don't we do something like that. By the time a metal detector goes off in a US bank, it's too late. Here, the door doesn't open until you've been xrayed. Finally some time after 9 (I've lost track of time frames here) (who's looking at a watch anyway) we were allowed to enter, but we didn't have to stop in the glass box and wait for the door to open. We just walked right through it, and were told to stand on some faint floor markers that were there to control how the line flows. Little black squares did a snaking pattern, like the lines at Disneyland but squared on the ends. In the US the equivalent would be those red velvet ropes on those black stands with the gold tops, the ones that topple over if you even look at them. How much more permanent and maintenance free are the tile patterns.

So I finally got to use some EspaƱol, and got some Costa Rican cash at a fair exchange rate (it's basically two dollars per colone.)

You can see just to the left of Kevin, that area was under water yesterday.

It was still a fun run, just a wee bit bonier. Which made it harder. I didn't get caught in any eddies, and the spillover was non-existent. But, the rapids were way bumpier and I kept getting kicked off my craft. I think I swam three rapids; the kayakers and raft guides kept asking about my health. I'M FINE. Only my ego got bruised. By the time I hit the last major rapid I was so far off my board I just went with it. Face up, head first, one outstretched arm hanging onto the hydrospeed, staring at the sky, glad I had a helmet on, thinking I'd rather be nowhere else than right here.

I suppose a better decision might have been to do the Reventazon again, not having to scout so much, but hind sight and all that... I really would have liked to go and rerun the Spurt and filled in some of those blank spots.

Just before our last run.

Next: To Puerto Viejo


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