Monday, April 19, 2010

Costa Rica

(Chase writing)
These are the words I would use to sum up our trip to Costa Rica: gorgeous, fun, humid, refreshing.  We went to Manuel Antonio, about 40 miles due south of San Jose.  The national park there is basically a rainforest on the beach, so this means that as you follow the trails, sometimes you come to a break in the trees and see turquoise ocean crashing against rocks and islands.IMG_1675

A couple years ago, I read The Lost World (not related to Jurassic Park) by Arthur Conan Doyle.  In it he describes an expedition to the most unexplored jungles of South America with such awe-inspiring detail that I was overwhelmed with the desire to go there.  While the areas we got to walk through certainly weren’t unexplored, the rainforest was everything I had hoped for—brilliant colors, enormous trees, hanging vines, monkeys, lizards, and everything else you would hope to find in the tropics if nature got to run crazy for a long, long time.  Think Jungle Book or Tarzan, only somehow without snakes, tigers, gorillas…or really, any dangerous animals.  It is only now just occurring to me that we didn’t have to be concerned with such perils as we “hiked” on the well-manicured trail, nor was there any need for a machete, an indigenous guide, an elephant, or a canoe.  Nor could I have told you where to find any of those things.  But I digress.

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Those of you who know me well know that emotion is not something that visits me frequently, least of all something profound like wonder or awe.  However, in being surrounded by beauty that constantly inspired awe in me, my childish sense of adventure more than once caused me to ask Julie when we would be moving to the jungle.  (Don’t worry mother and mother-in-law: she said it wouldn’t be soon).

One thing that struck me was that the beauty of nature comes with a price: an environment to sustain it.  Of necessity, nature is dirty, and being in it means you will be touched and affected by it.  The climate felt similar to entering a bathroom after someone took a hot shower.  Landmarks a few hundred feet away were partially shrouded in a haze of moisture.  There is a universe of bugs to aerate the soil, to pollinate the plants and to feed the exotic lizards and birds.  Walking gets spider webs in your face.  Standing still invites ants, gnats, mosquitoes, and a host of other flying, crawling unidentifiables to “get on you”.  Trees get moss and soft bark on your hands.  Beaches get sand in your socks and shorts. 

But I still really liked it!

As we hiked through the rainforest, the air was oppressively thick with moisture and absolute stillness.  There was no breeze through the dense trees, and very little sky visible overhead.IMG_1911We took well over 400 pictures, but have managed to narrow them down to just under 100 for publishing.  You can take a look at them to know more about our time there by clicking here.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures. You must have had a really nice trip. We love you guys!

    Dad

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your trip looked so fun! Yay for marriage and fun trip.:) Love you both!

    ReplyDelete

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