By far the time spent in Puerto Jimenez was the most jam-packed with activities each day! Perhaps it was simply because of the company I was surrounded with and because of my resounding stubbornness to make sure I didn’t miss a single activity… Either way, looking back on my time spent there, it really was quite amazing how many different things I was engaged in.
On this final day in Puerto Jimenez, the blistered and bitten Belgian guy did as he said he would: he sat all day on the steps of The Corner hostel and read a book. Myself, Jul and the other Belgian however decided to go sea kayaking! Now I had never been sea kayaking before, just kayaking in the calm waters of a lake back in North Carolina. But as the waters of the gulf were not at all choppy, the experience was quite the same as it was in the lake: calm and easily navigable!
After negotiating with a local for a good price on kayak rentals, the three of us headed out to sea! We navigated along the coast of Puerto Jimenez heading south right to the mouth of the river that Jul and I had swam across just days before. Along the way, a sea turtle was spotted hanging about on the surface of the water just before diving below the surface never to be spotted again. We paddled our way through the river for several hours, often having to duck and squeeze our way under branches and fallen trees that were in our way. Not really knowing where we were going, we simply followed the leader until the river literally narrowed and eventually came to a dead-end where it was no longer possible to pass! There were tiny little waterfalls coming from the land that dumped into the river but otherwise we found ourselves in a little alcove surrounded only by land! “Macgyver”, who true to form was always up to something adventurous got out of his kayak to see if there was anywhere on land to go. Perhaps for the better there wasn’t any path or place to easily walk around without creating one ourselves with the use of a machete (which he forgot to bring on this one occasion).
So without anywhere else to go, we turned around and headed back to Puerto Jimenez. Again, it probably was all for the better because once again the tide had risen (you would have thought we would have learned our lesson from the day before, but NO!!) making the trip back even more treacherous!! The tight squeezes we had to make on the way up the river were even tighter on the way back, but luckily in some cases a little easier as branches we once had to go under were now completely submerged!
As we navigated our way back, we all stated chatting about the good times we had experienced in Puerto Jimenez and eventually started chatting about our favorite person there: Berta. “F” always called Berta “Mama” even though she wasn’t of any relation to him, and with this idea in mind, “Macgyver” decided we should make up a song and dedicate it to Berta as a final farewell to her. Completely surrounded by nothing but jungle and the creatures that resided there, the three of us started singing at the top of our lungs “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen because of the lyrics dedicated to “mama”, of course changing the lines to suit and fit a song to be dedicated to Berta! It was quite humorous to say the least, and had others been in the vicinity they definitely would have thought we were all completely nuts!! We did actually come up with several original lines to the tune of Queen’s song that we memorized and planned to perform to her later knowing full well that she wouldn’t have been able to understand them anyway (since they were all in English)!!
The sun was once again starting to set and the currents in the river as we approached the ocean were tough to push through. But eventually as the first stars started to become visible, we made it back out into the gulf and as storm clouds closed in on us from all directions with lightning and spurts of thunder, yet surprisingly still calm waters, we made it back to the rental facility and dropped off the kayaks.
We were several hours past the time we said we would return the kayaks, as it was pitch black when we did finally get there, and the ticos were outside eagerly waiting for us. I sometimes wonder if they would have sent a search party had we not returned that night, or if they would have figured either #1 that we simply stole the kayaks or #2 that we were just crazy gringos and if we got lost/injured/died it would have been our own idiotic fault! Luckily none of those scenarios occurred however!!
That night was the final one for all 4 of us (Jul, the two Belgians and myself). The next day we were all heading out on the early boat back to Golfito and heading in our separate ways. We celebrated our last night with beers and good conversation but sadly had all neglected to remember to sing our “original” song to Berta:(. Such is life as the adventure continues…
On to Puerto Viejo (A Sunny Town)