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Climbing Up to Where the Water Falls

Written by: Brendan Jones

As I step out of our thirteen person minivan I take a deep breath of the fresh, crisp Costa Rican air. Today is the day we take the first of many hikes up the side of a mountain. I had slept well, eaten “Lo Tipico” (beans and rice) , and had my music ready for this two hour long hike.

As we began to follow our guide, who was the only one riding on a horse, the group started sectioning off by speed. I was working diligently to keep up with the horse. No matter how hard I tried the distance between us only seemed to get greater. I then decided to slow down, enjoy the scenery and talk to a fellow classmate. As we walked and walked we passed by a variety of animals. There were horses, cows and other farm animals. Many of the local farmers there in La Paz had their livestock and fields high up on the side of the mountain. I can remember thinking how I could not handle waking up at 4 am to walk up a mountain for an hour just to farm all day. But most people I talked to said they enjoyed every part of their work.

We then grouped up at the top of the mountain a hundred meters of so above the waterfall. By now we were all tired and sweaty. Luckily, since we were so high up, we were literally in the clouds and the fog helped to cool us down. After climbing down a lot of forested areas and seeing a few neat birds, we had made it. Finally, we were at the waterfall we had just hiked two hours to get to.

As my excitement for swimming in the waterfall grew, so did my hunger. The same was true for the rest of the group so we ate at the rocks by the waterfall. Now, it was time to enter. Immediately upon entrance, I noticed something. The water was freezing cold. It was colder than the ice baths I am used to taking for the sports I played. Still, being so hot and exhausted it felt refreshing. Following the short dip was a long trip back down the mountain.


Brendan Jones

KIIS Costa Rica
Ball State University

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