Friday, December 21, 2018

Not always worth the walk

How'd he get here?

Many times I have hiked up a difficult trail to find a spectacular view at the top, and you usually say “That was worth the walk!”. Today I discovered that it is not always true.

The Villa here in Costa Rica is almost at the top of a mountain, and the trail you have to navigate to get here continues down the mountain. Every day we hear ATVs going down and they continue for a while beyond the Villa and always return back up. So we knew the road was not a loop, and there must have been something down there worth the trip. We could hear what seemed to be a waterfall and knew that this area had some beautiful waterfalls, so I suspected that must be what was down there. Our 4 X 4 was a rather civilized “SUV” and the rental agent said it was not a “Jeep” and they pulled a number of them out of rivers every year, so I really did not feel comfortable taking it down an ATV trail. The option was to walk . . . .

Friends from Ontario joined us yesterday and Nolan said he was game to walk down the trail with
Jaco Falls
me. We discovered one house below us, and then the road/trail became even worse. You had to be careful walking down because at times you were sliding down rather than walking, so it was safer to walk sideways down the slopes to retain your footing. Four or five switchbacks and we found a carved stone pig? Evidence of ancient indigenous people . . . . ? A bit further, and we came around a sharp turn and found a metal roof which on closer examination was once a bar but now stood with holes rotted in the floor and black with jungle moss. A painted sign said “Jaco Falls”. Once upon a time this must have been a thriving tourist attraction, although I cannot imagine how people would get here?

From the derelict bar a trail led off into the jungle. We had come this far, and we could hear the waterfall, so we continued on. The trail led to a spectacular series of waterfalls accessed by side trails and ropes. Of course we said “Wow, this was worth the walk!”.

However, after exploring the various waterfalls and trails, we had to walk back up the mountain to the villa. After only a few minutes we both declared that it was definitely NOT worth the walk. Now we know why the ATVs were so popular. That was the best way to visit Jaco Falls. Climbing the trail back up, you had to stop and catch your breath at every corner and we arrived back at the villa exhausted and soaked in sweat ready for another dip in the pool and a cold beer!

The waterfalls were nice, but really, some things are not worth the walk!

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