Day 2: Pozo Azul "Blue Pool"

Saturday, November 3, 2007





Breakfast Costarican style!



Today, after a wonderful breakfast and and exploring the resort, we headed off for our first big challenge of the trip. We were going to huck a 30+/- foot waterfall! This was a clean run that Joey freewheeled off of last year:



This was something that I told myself I was going to do, no matter what. I had run an 18 footer on Big Sandy Creek in West Virginia, and was ready to raise the bar a bit.

The drive from La Fortuna to the waterfall was about 2 hours, so we stopped for lunch at a rainforest species reserve where I was able to get photos of many flowers and plants.



The hike into the waterfall was muddy and steep due to a lot of rain the past couple of days. We weren't sure what it would be like, but Joey and Chad were pretty sure we'd see more water than last year. We just hoped it wasn't TOO much water.

Say hello to my little friend! from the put-in


Once we got there, there was a steep path straight down to the lip of the falls. I took a look at the drop and didn't think it looked too bad; really not much higher than Wonder Falls (on Big Sandy Creek), but I still began to get that feeling in my gut and my need to 'nervous pee' grew and grew!


Andrew and Bill navigate the steep path




Joey passes down a boat, using a throwrope as a guide-line


I watched some of the others run it. Splat. Splat. No major issues. Splat. Imploded skirt. Splat. Helmet came off. The odds of an event-free run weren't looking too good. Instead of hmmming and hawwing over who would go next, I just picked up my boat and made my way to the put-in eddy. Cam pointed the landmarks to me and I took some deep breaths. This was it.

I peeled out of the eddy, passed the rock on the left, looked ahead to my reactionay and green tongue, leaned forward and started driving my paddle strokes. My line was perfect. I ws soaring through the air and down, but freaked a bit and forgot to tuck my paddle to the side. Last minute I raised it out of the way so it wouldn't hit my face. I didn't even feel the landing, the water was so aerated, but I wasn't holding onto my paddle hard enough. It ripped out of my hands. Damn! I tried a handroll. Almost up. This time I HAD to get it. I twisted my hips, reached for the sky and rolled it! Whew! That could have become embarassing! I looked for my paddle, got it and waited for the next paddler.




Splat. Splat. Splat. Broken paddle. Brutal. Splat. Splat. Another imploded skirt. What a gong show! But everyone had huge smiles on their faces.

The way out was fun rocky, boogie water. We took out just as the Costarican sun disappeared behind the mountains.

Tonight we stayed at a unique little resort called La Quinta del Sarapiqui. Covered breezeways led to tiny cottages with private porches. Fran, Marzella and I relaxed on our rocking chairs nad hammock for a while before dinner. Before we ate, Marzella and I explored the jungle trails at night and then enjoyed delicious chicken, salad, beans and fruit.

What a day!

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