Rainforest Waterfalls – excerpt from my journal – Harper
Hummingbirds buzzed along the exotic flowers within a few feet of where I sat in the screened patio with my soul mate and her family. They read stories told by others as I drafted mine. Sounds of birds, unknown and unseen pierced the air through a chorus of insects that spoke to the abundance of jungle life. Among the shadows and shades of greenery, brilliant blends of red, orange, violet, purple blue and crimson, hung on stalks or balanced on shafts. Huge waxy flowers that defined exotic beckoned to be examined. White and yellow butterflies darting back and forth through the layers of foliage add to the dimensionality of the landscape. In the distance, a pair of large hawks, wings spread wide, glide on thermals searching for movement below as rain clouds gather.
Something special about the waterfalls in the rainforest, cascading down on us from the river above. They are birthed in the clouds and the deep smoky mist that snakes slowly across the jungle canopy and though the mountains during the afternoon rains. They are cool and crisp, clear running over smooth rocks into pools carved deep from centuries of wear. There a number of such falls, surrounding the jungle Villa we had rented high in the rainforest of Costa Rica. We were eager to experience them.
My Love and I set out for a short walk to the largest of the falls, we took the wrong path, winding upwards and over streams wild with jungle splendor. Travelers Palms arched with leaves spread, towering 30 ft. above and easily that wide. They waved gently in the breeze, like elongated fingers of a giant’s hand, fingertips reaching skyward. Fan palms with corrugated leaves, three and four feet across, waved down at us, casting welcome shadows and respite from the sun. As we moved, flocks of humming birds darted thru bushes awash with blooms. Our eyes caught movement, and we stopped to gaze as giant butterflies with iridescent blue wings, lazily flittered in, out and above the canopy of hanging vines. Around us creature unseen, crawled though mossy patches, draped and dripping, glistening. Beneath out feet, a blanket of leaves, pods and bark in various states of decay and rot covered the trail. The ground was still damp from yesterdays rain as the water slithered down to the river below.
The sound of rushing waters guided us toward our destination as we wound around pathways begging to be reclaimed by the Jungle, save for the efforts of Charles, owner/caretaker of these 234 acres of paradise. As the roar of rapids and crashing water on rocks increased, a narrow opening between bead like vines and trailing exotics marked the edge of the path. There, rough-hewn steps, fashioned by machete and tree roots, zigzagged down the slippery mountainside to the falls.
As we cornered turns, ropes knotted around branches steadied our decent while glimpses of the falls quickened our pulse. Eyes widened, jaws dropped as paradise unfolded before us. Our walk to the falls transported us to a pristine spot of storybook wonder. Shedding cares and clothes we savored the experience. Drips and splashes crashed over and onto us. Sprays of crystal moisture cascaded from grooves etched on the jungle floor, breaking into bubbles to splash upon us as we glazed upon it.
Grateful, we moved our hot warmed bodies, glistening with sweat from our brief walk along the trails, to welcome the river. In that place, the water that came daily from the sky, nourished the earth and feed the rivers above, now rained down around and upon us and we rejoiced. As we sat on rocks, soaked in pools, relaxed in the rays of earth and sky, moments became cherished memories, the time was our to devour. Mindful of bites and the effects of sunlight close as we were to the equator, as the heat of day increased, with gladdened hearts and smiles we climbed and sojourned toward the villa.
We were late returning to the four; son, daughter and their spouses, patiently waiting to adventure in the rented 4WD, the miles of ruts, washed out earthen roads and streets that bumped down to the coast line and the ocean surf . But that is part of another tale…