We passed by this monument dedicated to the Costa Rican pioneers who first came to this isolated valley in 1954 to establish homes and farms. They were coffee plantation workers who dreamed of having a place of their own. The hiking trail to the waterfall actually begins at a trout farm. There are several trout farms in the San Gerardo valley. I throughly enjoyed the first part of the hike. It wasn’t easy by any means. Lots of steep trails, big tree roots, rocks to rappel up with ropes and caves to move through. My brother who likes to make videos as he travels by interviewing his companions had me share my feelings on film. If you click the photo below you can hear what I said about enjoying this hike.
shortly after I gave that interview I changed my mind about the hike not being scary, when we came to this swinging suspension bridge. There were no closed sides to it. Some of the slats on the bridge were broken. You hung onto this rope that was torn in some places. I WAS VERY SCARED!! What if I slipped and fell into the river or onto the rocks below?
My husband Dave took this close up of my face and you can see how hard I am focusing and concentrating on getting across that bridge without falling. And once I was across I had to handle the terrifying knowledge that I needed to travel back across it on the way home.
We sat at the waterfall for quite a long time which helped me gather my courage for the trip back. There were all these gorgeous butterflies at the waterfall and Dave took photos of several different kinds.We met a Dutch couple who were birdwatchers. They taught us the call of the resplendent quetzal and as you read in my blog post yesterday we spotted a quetzal on our hike back. I walked the bridge very slowly on the return trip but I was proud of myself for conquering my fear.
I did change my mind about the hike. It was too scary! But I’m still very glad I did it!