Many years ago I climbed up the Arenal volcano with Chet. She was alive back then ; and the volcano was active.
We got to see rivulets of lava cutting up the night seemingly right across the street from our motel room (except it wasn't exactly a motel room, nor was it on a street -- where the asphalt would have went were I you there were instead just a string of butterfly bushes to be found, crawling with colibris in the morning. They chased each other and clicked.) We also got to ride the horses uphill on lava, and see the canopy from above, and many other things.
It was a good year.
Above, as below : the topmost layer of jungle biomass, as it could be seen back then. Occasional cables and such hierramentas are also visible -- one doesn't simply go into the canopy.
Putting the leaf in diaphanous and the tree in mystery!
Below, the river, which we vaguely heard at the time has a waterfall somewhere. We never got to see it, there wasn't time, there wasn't really the inclination to push any further, there wasn't any room left, our wonderment stomachs fully distended with the already swallowed fodder...
It is strange what you remember, and what you forget. There's little in the sort of detail one always finds on Trilema about these pictures. Yet "I remember them clearly". I regret not having had Trilema back then ; but then again when I was in my twenties there didn't exist anything like an example to follow in this vein. I simply did not know, it never occured to me I would regret such a thing.
Above : a view from on high. We're in the present now, as you perhaps guessed. Yet where is it from ?
It is taken from the bridge below. On our way we went by the tower you can observe, and the innocent inquiry whether "hey, you wanna stop here ?", driven plainly enough by standing orders that we'll evaluate any amenties & amusements as may be offering themselves to the traveler on Costa Rica's roads just as long as they're sensiblei.
"No way!" came the well felt, visceral reaction. You see, many years ago I was in a group that nearly fell with a large, spacious, military helicopter. Out of sheer fortune the drop restarted the turbine and we didn't actually pancake, but for a few hundred meters the circumstance was overwhelmingly intense. At some point subsequent I discovered I had actually developed, on the quiet, a marked fear of some kinds of heights. It goes by specific movement and specific geometric relations, it's quite clearly driven by image complex recognition somewhere in the lower brainstems (the sort of process plenty of people call "thinking" and live their entire lives happily not learning the difference). So of course we went. Somewhat, at least, but what can you do ? A little bit each day.
Above : BartholoMeW left way, way in the distance (I think it may also fear heights -- or at the very least stairs).
Below : the rickety bridge in question. It... it... IT SWAYS!
Above : it's called rainforest, yes, tropical but still very wet. This'd be the reason (a view from the same high place).
Below, a plain road bridge, but with a twist : it's floored with metal grating, which (while perfectly safe) permits one to view the ground underneath. It moves while you move! And the bridge sways with traffic, and good god!
Above, as below : closer shots of the same bridge and of its driving river.
Above, a plant. What, problem ? This is exactly how plants go, what did you think ? It's totally inconspicuous and everything.
Below, for a stretch : the sights of the mysterious Palmares-Atenas derivationii which we finally managed to find. This'd be the scenic South-West "yellow" (ie, crappier road) Atenas-27 connection, rather than the "red" (ie somewhat better road) South-Eastern link.
It looks just like fucking Alba, dunnit!
Above as below, the lake at the foot of Mt Arenal.
Above as below, a toucan fellow that lived in the tree outside my very door. No kidding.
Above : derelict "butterfly reservation" (Costa Rica is chock full of these, to the degree it's a standardized item of development here, like a veranda say).
Below : the view from same. Isn't it interesting what the contribution of humanity upon Earth actually looks like, when so contrasted ?
Above : the exact sky tram that also figures in the above pictures from a different time. Everything's exactly the same, except the girlies attending it.
Below : a tree of leaves.
Above, below, and for a while yet : shots from the same place.
And yet the leaf always comes back to lyf!
Yup, we found the catarata this time around! Majestic cocksucking location, by the way, and also a fabulous spot for candid nudes I won't be publishing.
The trail includes some bridges. The one depicted above is quoted in the map shown below as 3rd : 143 meters long, 70 meters high. Yep, it also sways.
Breakfast joint. Their smoothies were quite passible, and in the environment altogether enjoyable. Just kick your feet up and suck the batido down!
Above, very shy yellow tailed bird. He had a peculiar call, but avoided the camera like the salvation of his very soul depended on it.
Below, cows. Rather typical for the region, I'd say.
Above, white nosed cuati. They're pestilentially common around the tourist traps, a sort of slower, more contemplative raccoon really.
Below, the card of a grandiose breakfast place in La Fortuna, along with a magazine. As to the place : I bought a couple of chocolate bars up on the mountain, because they had no more than that couple. The girls located the producer for me, and I bought a half dozen more -- because, etcetera. This'd be them, the chocolate factory cum epic breakfast joint, I heartily recommend.
The magazine... oh lordy, how shall we explain it. Basically, the overwhelmingly competent Orchid people produced everything on my elaborate list of demandsiii and eventually even a magazine!
The magazine in question being The Howler, printed by gringos for gringos. Above as below, the avatars of being a gringo.
Let it be stated plainly that I do not fault the locals for this in any way. It's really not upon them.
Consider that in spite of all the idiocies they spew, the old style family structure, with the grandparents and the dumber brother and the etcetera Scamwickkk is what they nevertheless desire, and whenever possible reconstruct. I deem the item above a very important archeological find, in that it stands for, speaks of, and by, and for, and ultimately symbolizes a culture. This, rather than anything else, is what post-empire white means.
Below, my breakfast. Excellent tomato soup (served at 9 in the morning, because yes, I say when), smoked salmon in pannini, banana batido with vanilla (can you put vanilla in it ? sure!) and I forget what all else. I left the place as distended as a tick (and left the hat behind, but they gleefully volunteered to keep it company for a little while until I come back for it).
Above as below, items of interest related to the almighty cocoa bean. Notice how the lot number is written by hand in pen, yes ?
100%. Accept no substitties.
And with that, our trip comes to an end. I hope you've had as much fun as me, for I sure as fuck intend to have all the funs in the world.
Why not, rite ?———
- Many places advertise Western-style items at the end of unadvertised Mongol-style "roads". There are also the occasional duds, "reservations" that look more like US "Indian reservations" cca 1918 (utter shitholes of unhappy poverty, for the innocent) than tourist attractions. [↩]
- San Jose has a major North-Western problem : Heredia (and to a lesser but very present degree, Alajuela). These are small townships integrated in the larger metropolitan area and populated in great concentrations by idle idiotic drones trying to live "the dream" with cars and office jobs. You know, "the dream". The extras getting ready to play their alloted role of zombies in the coming soon to a mall near you zombie-killing future.
As the (pretty much only) palpable result of the continued befouling of the New World by the spurious idiocies of the aspirational class, there's some terrible traffic jams stretching for miles within a dozen or two miles around the abominable horrors.
Consequently, while you may not care whether you're draining back towards town from the North or North-West via the 1, or the 3, you absolutely, necessarily, always want to actually go into Santa Ana on the 27, and not on those two. The Coyol derivation is the usual venue for this Southern switch, but the maps also indicate an earlier cutoff, the mysterious Palmares-Atenas derivation, which we never managed to find before (because it's well fucking hidden, why else). [↩]
- Have I ever recounted that anecdote of 5yo MP traveling (by airplane!) for the first time to the (Romanian) seaside, and going to the restaurant there (with his parents) and upon being served soup inquiring where the hell is the cream !? This is late communist Romania, you understand, most kids starved, MP couldn't comprehend wtf is wrong with someone serving Supa Ardeleneasca without cream.
The staff scared up a dollop of fine cream (not the sweet crap for desserts, the sour item normal people aka very few folk in a very narrow mountaineous valley ecosystem eat!) for me I know not whence, which I accepted with the majestic grace of Charles Grandet eating his pheasant little nothing.
The many intervening years have sadly not sensibly improved on this already shaky basis, I have lists of demands. [↩]