Day 4: Chance Encounters

Going up to the waterfall canyons
Waterfall rappelling: hiking into a secluded rainforest canyon where a series of rappels descend breathtaking waterfalls and scenic trails carry hikers from one rappel to another.

Before this trip, I’ve never heard of waterfall rappelling. The thought of jumping from rock to rock down a waterfall is indeed exciting. But the moment I saw the steep, slippery rocks and felt the cold water as a chilly breeze swept through the secluded canyon, I was truly reconsidering it. Very much reconsidering it.

First, fear of height. Second, I don’t know how to swim. Third, I am not exactly the most sporty of girl—I paint, read, and write on my spare time, not climb down waterfalls. Anna knows I complain and I fear the unknown but if push comes to shove, I will bite the gun and jump. And to my amazement, I did it all! I went down 5 cascades: 3 were about 40 ft each, and the other 2 was about 200 ft. The first one, I thought I blacked out because I do not recall the fall. The last one was 250 ft and you just flew down the ropes. It was ridiculously and outrageously thrilling beyond words. I was screaming at the top of my lung and normally not a loud person, it felt rather cathartic. I felt like all the anger and the sadness and the stress just flew out of me. It was exactly what I needed to vent out the worst year of my life.
Waterfall rappelling

2009! You are over! I cut you out of my life and I will never think of you again!

Ah, after that release, we found ourselves at the Rainbow Fall, where if in the right light, you can see a rainbow. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy. Anna and I still got to shower under the waterfall. It had always been one of my secret fantasy to shower under one. Not with another woman though…but I’ll have to accept it as it is. Movies and books make it sound romantic to kiss under the waterfall but I realize under the water, it would be rather awkward…even a bit painful since it felt like the biggest bucket of water falling on your head and gravity is pretty tough. Still, I loved every moment under the water.
Rainbow Waterfall

During the waterfall rappelling, we met 3 other girls from New Jersey. How coincidental that they were part of our group. When they dropped Anna and I off in town, we parted and exchanged emails. I did not think we’d run into each other again. It was the first evening that we were in the town of La Fortuna since our B&B is rather far out of town, which was much better as I think about it. The town is…well, it’s a town and I left New York City for a getaway. The town reminded me of the city. But we made the most of it and had the local drink, Guaro which is made from sugar cane, at a happening spot called the Lava Lounge, which makes great guacamole and nachos. So of course, since it was sweet, it was an easy liqueur to drink. But after one glass, I was really feeling it go to my head. It was almost as bad as a Bajan rum punch. Dinner was at a local restaurant, Soda el Rio. Sodas are small restaurants/convenience store that is pretty cheap and we had the tipical dish, rice and beans. Before we left, we were warned by a coworker to be careful of the food, especially vegetables since there were tales of food poisoning but none of that happened to us luckily. I love the food but having rice and beans 2-3 times a day can really bore you, especially since I cook a lot myself and I rarely make the same dish more than once a month. We then ventured to another bar, Volcan Look because Anna loves cheesy hut and we end up running into the girls again! We only went there to kill time before heading to Chelas Bar where it was karaoke night!
Soda el Rio

Karaoke is one of my favorite pastime with Roxy and Nisha. Normally, we rent a room in K-town and sing out heart out. But this was going to be live karaoke where everyone in the bar can hear you. I thought maybe it would be a small bar. Nope! I was a little threatened by it so I armored myself with tequila and sang my heart out in the worst way possible. The best part of it was that no one will ever see you again. We’ve rappelled down 250 ft, why fear the embarrassment of shaming the world with our off-key singing?

We joined the 3 girls at a table near the front door as if we were meant to be looked at or to scope every individual entering the bar. For some reason, I didn’t care so much to meet anyone. I had originally told myself that I would try to have some sort of passionate vacation fling but the moment I landed in Costa Rica, all of that thought flew away and I just was happy being alone. You spend so much time searching and wanting that you forget what you already have. Dignity, respect, and class. I could not lower my standards to cavort with any random person for the sake of it. But I was reminded I shouldn’t shut people out. It is, after all, my new year’s resolution to be more sociable. Why then did every man that enter that room make me want to throw a rock at them? Why did they all look like the douche? Granted, the douche is Costa Rican and the worst part is when I drink, I get sad so a part of me wept inside. It hurts when you sit at a table full of people and surrounded by so much noise yet you feel utterly alone. I wasted my year waiting for him. I wasted all my heart and I loathed myself for thinking of him.
Chelas Bar

It was Anna who noticed my sadness. It was she who pointed me to a man we had met earlier in Monteverde. We had taken the same taxi-boat-taxi down to La Fortuna. Anna is very good at remembering faces but I was not so it was nice of her to point him out. She just wanted to match-make me. The moment I looked at him, he turned to look at me. I chanced to wave at him. He must have recognized me for he waved back. I forcefully dragged my legs to carry myself to him even though I was filled with embarrassment to approach a man. It is not my style to approach them. Shouldn’t it be theirs? Isn’t that what chivalry is? Maybe it is dead, after all. But I’m glad I went up to him. I ended up having one of the best nights in Costa Rica with him. When I thought that any chance of meeting a decent man no longer existed, here I was with one who was fun to talk to, willing to try anything even if it made him look silly, respectful of my space, treated me like a lady, and seemed to genuinely like my company. I am so jaded by New York men that I didn’t think these type of men existed anymore. Good-looking but modest. Sweet and gentle but firm and strong. Ambitious but care-free. I hadn’t felt like that in so long with another man. The feeling of attraction, excitement, and contentment made me restless all night. I had thought I had turned into the ice queen for real. Every man after the douche was a comparison to him. Every words spoken, every action taken, everything a man did, I was so utterly cautious and afraid that someone would do the same to me again. But that night, I did not think of this man as the douche. I did not think of him as the typical guy who jerks around but I thought of him as a man worth being by my side. It gave me hope. It made me believe and want again. There is a chance that such a man I want exist. I have grown so cynical and jaded that I did not believe I could be lucky. But this man gave me hope I could have all that I dream of…I just had to wait patiently. And one day, like a butterfly, love will glance my way and land on my outreaching hand.