Day 82: Parque Nacional Corcovado (day 2)
Carate Travel Blog› entry 109 of 120 › view all entries
The next morning I woke up to a surreal image. Everywhere around us were collapsed dome tents, standing half erected in the muddy ground. Everyone who had been camping had retreated back to the ranger station and slept in the large sheltered dining area. Everyone but us...
After breakfast we set out again and started to walk along the beach. Rather than a trail through the jungle, today's trek would mostly follow the coastline. But before we could start following that coastline we had to overcome one obstacle. The little creek which flows alongside the ranger station had been turned into a mighty river by last night's rain. And we had to cross it!
We waded through it as close to the sea as we dared. This place was the widest, but also the shallowest, or so we reasoned.
After that the walk was largely uneventful. We didn't see as many animals as yesterday (most live deep in the jungle), no more snakes or ant eaters, but instead the most exciting animals we saw were agoutis (oversized guinnea pigs) and coatis (raccoons, or nose-bears).
But the truth is, I was simply exhausted. This was our second 40+ kilometre trek in a mere six days, and my feet just couldn't handle any more. The fact that we were walking mostly on a sandy beach didn't exactly improve my comfort either.
When we reached the La Leona ranger station I found a sign saying it was another three and a half kilometres to Carate.
I was so happy when we finally reached the exit of the park. There was a little camp ground with a small store, where they sold cold beers. Ahhhh... now there's a way to finish off a long day's walking.
I must say that in hindsight it had been too much to do this trek. I mean, I like treks, and this park is nothing short of stunning, but I had been too exhausted to fully enjoy today's walk. It had simply been too much to do two such trying walks so shortly after one another.
Still I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world, even though perhaps I didn't realise it at the time.
In fact, I am pretty sure I didn't realise it at the time, as by the time we arrived in Puerto Jiménez I wasn't in the best of moods. The bus ride back from Carate had been hell. It had taken us over 3 hours to cover the distance of 45 kilometres, due to several breakdowns. First we lost the exhaust pipe, which caused a delay as the driver and his assistant tried to re-attach it. They gave up after about half an hour and thus we continued our journey very noisily. Less than half an hour we had to stop again, this time because of engine failure. It took them almost an hour and a half to get the bus going again, while a dozen tourists sat down at the roadside watching, longing for a shower and a hot meal.
The bus driver got his vehicle running again and we continued our way to Puerto Jiménez, only to get stranded without gasoline a kilometre outside town. As the assistant bus driver jumped out with a jerry and started running towards town we decided we'd had enough and got out as well, and walked the last bit to Puerto Jiménez. Hey, we'd started the day walking, we might as well finish the day walking, right. Had I mentioned yet my feet hurt?
After a nice, hot, long and well-deserved shower we went to have dinner at Juanita's, a Mexican restaurant.
Now I must explain something about Arnaud and me. At times we can be very childish and gigglish, especially when it comes down to stereotypes. And these blond haired/blue-eyed Swedes were as stereotype as they come. She, all confident, outgoing and nothing short of stunning, and he the tall, broad-shouldered and good looking, yet shy and rather dorky boyfriend. So when the moment came when we asked them what they did for a living, his reply “I vork for Volvo...” caused a roar of laughter with Arnaud and me.
Sweden's most well-known brands are Ikea and Volvo, and of course he had to work at one of them. But just the way he pronounced “Volll-vo” - it was hysterical. Well, at least it was to us. They didn't really seem to understand what was so funny, so he continued: “I design ze back seat”
Arnaud and I just couldn't contain ourselves anymore and burst into laughter again. As tears rolled down my cheek I said to him “I bet many a Swedish teenager must be very thankful to you”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you know, aren't Volvo's all spacious and comfortable? Especially the back seats? Perfect for keeping each other warm and cozy and all?”
He didn't get it. In fact, he was beginning to look a little sour. While all Arnaud and I had to do was look at each other to conjure up the image of a couple of Swedish teenagers having a good time together after a date on the back seat of his parents Volvo, saying to each other “oh, I am so happy and comfortable and in love right now, I wonder who designed this back seat”
Hmm, I guess you had to be there. Suffice to say we didn't make any lasting friendships that night.