G + T + Catarata del Toro

Klaus and Sonja showed us photos of this beautiful waterfall before taking off.  Since it was basically on our way to San Jose, and we were having so much luck sleeping in the parking lots of national parks, we aimed to sleep there and then visit the waterfall the following day.  What I had not planned for was private property and a locked gate.  We arrived just after nightfall.  Still hoping to sleep there, G tried to summon someone to the gate with no luck.  We eventually made it to a small village and finagled our way into parking in the drive of a local eatery.  This was another serendipity moment.  There was a semi final Costa Rican football match happening that night.  Every local restaurant and bar that lined the main (and only) street in town was open and showing the game.  People were moving between the establishments; it was clear that this was a close community.  The sounds that poured into the streets when a team scored were rousing. The crowd was well into the night and full of good “cheer”.  A local struck up a conversation with us.  He shuttled tourists around in a van and was there visiting a friend since it was off season. Our new friend soon brought us over shots of a drink that was made locally, chirrite (I think).  Now, “made locally” did not immediately translate in my mind to “moonshine – can cause blindness”.  It was fruity, went down well, and we can still see.  All is well that ends well.

Early the next morning, we headed to the del Toro Waterfall.  For all the hassle of finding a place to camp the night before, we were the only two visiting the waterfall.  Del Toro is a spectacular, must-see, 120 meters tall waterfall that lands into a small volcano crater.  The colors were dramatic because of the chemical soup in the water, and the spray off the falls stung your eyes a little.  Adjacent to the waterfall there was a mini rain forest with a one-kilometer loop through it.  There were over 50 different types of hummingbirds living in the forest.  I can’t imagine how it must feel to own property with a spectacular waterfall and a rainforest on it.  The owner of the property was a pretty cool Dutch guy in his mid forties.  He had retired from the finance industry and after a search for “something different” had found this property.  And was this something different …

We headed to San Jose after the hike for some TLC (from George: for all non-Americans out there TLC apparently means Tender Love and Care, simply put we went to the mechanic) on the truck.  On the way, we stopped in a little touristy town at a Dutch church.  We cooked up some lunch, enjoying the surroundings.  We also applied a special touch to the truck.

It took us some time to find a suitable camping spot in San Jose that night.  Our intended campground is now a giant supermarket, so that wasn’t going to work.  We asked about sleeping in a huge park owned by a local church, but were quickly shot down.  Something about churches and being charitable/helping people in need popped into our heads.  We finally settled in right outside of the park gates beside a well-to-do international school.  It wasn’t too long before a car pulled up beside us.  At first we were anxious until the noises floated into our tent.  Comedy, pure comedy.  We were alone the rest of the night.

 

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