Monday, October 09, 2006
One of the best of our day trips was a hike to the Rincon Falls. We started early as the drive to the trail head was several hours. A steep and narrow road over the mountains led through small villages to the north coast road. The views were lovely and included several beautiful beaches. We left
our maxi taxi at a farm and visited the ducks, pigs and goats. Doesn't this pig look a bit like Babe? The farmer's home was quite comfortable and he allowed us to change both before and after the hike inside. Later he had us taste his curry goat and gave us all pieces of pumpkin and huge avocados to take home. We passed this gentleman on the road when we first started out. I think he was picking up trash from the road. We certainly didn't see any that day.
Our guide, Snake, is very famous around this area, partially for the 16 foot boa constrictor he keeps as a pet. His description of feeding it was pretty horrible - a staked live goat, once every three months. He introduced us to a recent addition to his menagerie - a much smaller boa constrictor. He's shown with Jesse here and a close up with the snake.
The hike was steeply uphill at first and we were all huffing and puffing. After an hour and a half we were treated to a small waterfall and pool. That water felt marvelous. Jesse climbed up the falls and slid down to much laughter. Another hour brought us to a very steep descent to the waterfall. The rest and swim had revived us all and thank goodness as this section was very challenging.
We used a rope to partially rappel down and other ropes to hold on to while traversing a narrow shelf of rock. The waterfall is over 250 feet high and in a very beautiful valley. Those are people at the bottom of the falls in the shot here which puts the height in prospective! The rainforest canopy sheltered us most of the day from the direct sun. Here we swam, ate snacks, and lay out on the rocks talking. Some of us dove off the rocks into the pool and climbed up under the lower cascades.
We went back up the rope and took another way back, breaking our trip again with another swim. This time in a river. Snake pointed out the leaf eater ants busily munching away at the bushes and carrying the bits off in a long line to their nest. Some of the pieces were much bigger than the ants! After a change at the farmer's home we headed down to Maracas Beach and Richard's, famous for his Bake and Shark. This popular treat is a freshly deep fried (yes, most everything is fried here) lump of dough that comes out crispy on the outside and somewhat hollow in the center. This is split and stuffed with shark meat in sauce and handed to you. Then you add any combination of condiments from a big buffet type table; basic salad things, spiced pineapple, garlic sauce, hot sauces. Fabulous! (After all this we had trouble staying awake for the trip back.