Great, there we were, dumped out on a lonely jungle back road. Does this happen to anyone else? I mean, how often does the transportation bus for a guided rafting trip have it's engine catch on fire and cause everyone to evacuate?
I only had two days in Costa Rica and I wanted to experience one of the top five most amazing jungle white water rivers on the planet: The Pacuare River.
Though I have done some of my own rafting adventures without guides, I prefer to use guided trips in areas I'm unfamiliar with. The experience is more fun, more relaxing and takes less logistics.
So I'd bet all my time on one excursion to the Pacuare. I was on an extended trip back from South America making hops to check out new locations. I'd just come from Ecuador and planned the short stop in Costa Rica before departing back to the United States.
Needless to say, when smoke came billowing into the bus from an unknown fire in the engine, I was none too amused at the predicament. The entire company and crew were left with no bus and no means of communication other than two-way radios. No cell reception in this remote area.
|Fried engine wasn't on the excursion itinerary|
As I stood out on the highway looking as pathetic as the rest of our party I wondered if I'd even make my flight back much less lose my opportunity to do the whitewater.
Now Costa Rica is a place I could spend at least a couple of months exploring. There's a plethora of jungles, beaches, mountains and white water to explore. This was just my "taste test."
Despite the bad luck in being stranded, we were fortunate that one of the guides was able to get a hold of the river portage employee. They had a tractor that hooked to a wagon which they use to take everyone down to the actual put in spot. We were also lucky in that while we were pretty remote, we weren't too far away from that put in road and eventually they showed up with tractor and wagon in tow.
|Out secondary transport. 10 miles at a speed of about 3mph...|
|Tractors are great for getting down to the river but not so on back road highways|
|Ready to finally get wet!|
|That's me closest to the camera obscured by a wall of water|
The great thing about doing a jungle river over doing a mountain fed one is that the water is really warm. This wasn't some snow melt frigid river, this was inviting to get wet, particularly given the heat and humidity outside.
At one point we were allowed to float along by ourselves and enjoy the calmness that comes with just floating down naturally. With Monkeys swinging from the trees and bright tropical bird singing along side the river banks, it made for a really memorable moment.
|Yes, that bridge is truly scary|
So in the end, I was able to enjoy the river and get my taste of Costa Rica. I definitely need to go back and explore the country some more.