Thursday, April 24, 2014

Casting flowers on a lost river in the land of the blossom eaters: Costa Rica 2014


The River flows through the land of the lost minus the Sleestacks, the giant lizards and the bad actors.

Floating slowly in our raft. 

Lolling in the afternoon heat, relishing the sweat coursing between my shoulder blades and down my back. 

I am slowly peeling back the scars of a harsh northern Minnesota winter with a tropical treatment.

Costa Rica

Sunrise over Upala
Home sweet home
Costa Rican Depth Charges

My eyes slowly get over the shock of seeing nothing but black, white, grey and blue for nearly six months. 

My vision is soothed by the salve of lush greens, aqua blues, brilliant yellows and gory reds. 

Everything is alive. A great twist of events after coming from a place where nearly everything has been dead and fallow, and in fact where the very environment has been trying to kill me.

-30 F.  Is deadly.  You can die shuffling through the snow to get your newspaper in the morning gloom.  Slowly but surely freezing solid as your neighbors shovel the walks to their Sauna just a few yards away oblivious to your frozen end.

Not here.  Not in Costa Rica, where the water runs blue green and the birds sing Spanish and the fish masticate flowers and you can melt chocolate in the very air.

Nowhere to go, nothing much to do
Fish Trees
Fish Food


Casting to the shore, testing the overhangs, sneaking presentations in the nooks and crannies where vines and bamboo dangle into the river. 

Looking for a fish. A very special fish. 

One that dines on flowers.  Machacha!


The hunt is on
Where Cayman live

We start out the day tossing flowers.

Plying the waters, asking the big ones to come out to play.  They prove fickle hosts and eventually we put away the Tenkara Rod and the 5 Wt and pull out the meat hooks. 

The bait casters.  The spinners.

Good water

The afternoon heat turns up 10 notches and so we wade and we cast, we lay in the cool waters letting them wash over us, quaffing cold Imperial lagers and eating Mango.  Listlessly looking downstream at the next bend as the Toucans and the Cattle Egrets flutter by.

Pura Vida

Life abides
Tight lines!
Lots of teeth mean lots of tools
Good one
Amazing how many teeth a flower eater needs!
The fish respond hungrily to our baits and the peaceful stretches are interrupted by violence as Machacha and Guapote assault our lures like intoxicated muggers then attempt to flee the scene back under logs and rocks.

Going to the market
No fear

As our raft (time machine) drifts downstream we sometimes meet locals.  They wave, they smile, they swim, they don’t worry about the mortgage, or their Iphone bills or their Internet speeds.

They win. 

Oh yeah!
At one point Alex our spiritual leader asks for the time and we realize that the day is near its end.  That darkness is what is next around the bend.

The fishing picks up.  Canopies of flowering trees cascade over the darkening waters, their flowers floating multi-colored in meandering lines with the current.  We watch in wonder as Machacha after Machacha rise up to pick the blossoms off the surface.
Slash and burn acreage

Kids always know how to get it done!

Watch it!
Blossom sucker

Good night in the garden of light and evil
As the flower fly floats, the sun sets behind the Volcano and the Howler Monkey begin to thunder and the Cicada’s start to whine. 

The shear volume of the forest buzzes in my ears just as a fine Machacha decides Dave’s flower is this evening’s dinner.

Bang!  We all cheer, stoked by the spectacle, by the ploy.

Floating in the dark we talk about remorse and regrets, but eventually we find our take out.  We make for home and a small Soda for more Imperials and fresh platefuls of Ceviche and Mariscada and Plantains smashed and fried into little pancakes.

Sleep finds me quickly as I know this is only our first day and we have many, many more to go.

Waiting for a miracle

1 comment:

William Kenneth Chaverri Segura said...

Great article and photographs, I hope more people like you come to enjoy Costa Rica, is a great place to fish, camping, trekking and more.