3/22 — La Fortuna, Costa Rica

No, there was no surf today. I’m writing about it anyway.

We got up a bit early and packed up. The clouds were low and dark. We walked out and had a regular rice/bean/egg breakfast at a Soda down the street (it’s called gallo pinto, we’ve always loved it). We are right next to a giant green volcano, but it is shrouded in thick clouds. We drove out to the national park and ran through the rain forest. Everything was green and and wet — everything. The world had become a lush, green, 360 degree presence of abundant life shrouded in misty mystery. We stopped at a huge kopek tree and admired it’s size, alone.

After our run through the park. we passed over a bridge with a few cars parked. We investigated and found a thermal river, steam rising into the green canopy above. We donned our suits and walked down into the river. The water was truly very warm, and I took to lying face down, opening my eyes, and staying suspended underwater. The river was surrounded with a vast, infinite, crowded world of green plants and trees. The most rose from the river and shrouded then entire scene magically.

We got back in the car and drove to a place called El Salto. It’s a spot below a bridge where the river had carved out a deep cove. We got on the rope swing and jumped in over and over again. A young local guy named Edgardo showed up and showed us better spots to jump from. We all got in and swam under one of the falls. It was breathtaking. For many years I’ve loved the feeling of a rope swing, particularly the moment you let go at the end of the swing, suspended in time and space. Here, this suspension occurred 20 feet above a beautiful deep green river, rain falling through the air, massive trees and greenery everywhere. Words had failed all of us at this point, and instead of words in any language, all three of us had resorted to primal hoots, yells, and high fives. We climbed up a log and jumped from the tip of the falls. It was magical, and the three of us were brimming with some great feeling of excitement and achievement, we couldn’t resist smiling and yelling as we swam, climbed, and jumped.. The rain was falling, the river walls were thick with tall green foliage. And here we were suspended over the river, dropping into the water, alone in a deep green world.

We drove to a nearby waterfall which required pay to enter. We were too cheap. We asked a couple if it was worth it, they weren’t quite sure but offered us their wristbands for us to get in. We changed out of our swimsuits to look different and started walking in. “Amigos!”, we kept waking. “Amigos!”, walking faster. “Ey!”, we turned around. The lady kicked us out with a half smile. So what did we do? We went straight back to the thermal river. While lying in the water we saw two toucans in a tree over the river. Thick fog was rising from the water into the trees. We drove back to our place wet and refreshed, with the windows down in the semi-cool, misty air.

A little while later at night we got in the car again and thought we’d go to the thermal river again. We got down to the upper part of the bank, but couldn’t see anything at all. Lucky for us, a few ticos showed up for a late night dip and we made our way in the shared light of their phones. We sat in the dark in the river for a little while. We took to lying on our backs, heads half underwater, closing out the sounds of the air and gazing up into the dark forest and sky above. After a while, the ticos gave us a bit of light and we navigated ourselves through the tunnel and over to the dark bank. We climbed it in the dark, and walked into a silent, wet road illuminated by a single orange light.

The feeling was known. We both have spent endless hours at night, walking under streetlights to and from people’s houses. It brought back a lot of feelings, not all good, but not all bad.

Ben’s face after we got kicked out
Ben