We have arrived

Patience, framed by the jungle, safe in the heart of Golfo Dulce

We have arrived! In the heart of Golfo Dulce, our anchor was dropped in front of the densest tropical jungle any of us have seen. As we re-organized Patience after three days underway, Scarlet Macaws flew above screeching their colorful presence to the upper canopy. The volume of the jungle symphony, combined with its smell and sight, was so intoxicating; we couldn’t contain ourselves from back flipping off of the boat, hooting and hollering in harmony with the singing creatures of the jungle.

The density of the jungle is overwhelming. To walk it requires lots of work with tools, or this river bed.

Our first stop on land would be an undeveloped property of 30 acres set back one half of a mile from the beach. Our friend Roy from California has owned it since the early 90’s. He wanted us to go have a look and see if want to revive it after lying dormant for three years. We had no idea how to get there, so we stopped by the only development in the area – Nicuesa Lodge, a sustainable eco-retreat. Luckily the owner was at the lodge and presented to be hospitable, offering cold refreshments and information on how to reach the property.

The diversity of the vegetation is mindblowing! This strangler fig (Ficus) portrayed its unique root and structure as it overtakes another tree.

The jungle is overwhelmingly lush, with bustling life on every micro and macroscopic scale imaginable. After the years the 30 acres had no activity on it, the jungle continued its natural course and the property was overtaken once again. Once cleared to grow fruit, it is now overgrown with dense secondary brush. The cabin that was built for the farming family that once lived there is now a leopard den. Though this property has potential for reviving the farm and hosting people to enjoy the jungle, it is set inside Piedras Blancas National Park and building restrictions are tight. There will be more to follow on the development on this jungle property idea.

Leaf cutter ants doing their good duty, farming a specific type of fungus for their food. I could watch these little guys for hours.

This juvenile iguana was kind enough to let me get a close up. He was watching very carefully though.

As a great relief from working online and grinding at the Costa Rican building laws, our good friend Dana Baley came for a visit. She was fresh from traveling in India and Southeast Asia for several months and exuded and air of grounded and inspired energy after the impact of her adventures. She eased into the pace of boat life effortlessly, sharing stories and unwinding on the therapeutic bow of Patience.

Dana getting some relaxing time on Patience's bow, painting her talents with pastels.

Since we hadn’t been to the western portion of Golfo Dulce, we decided to take Dana on a boat tour, stopping at a few places along the way. Our first stop, not too far from Golfito, was Casa Orquadia. This seventy acre property is owned by a lovely couple, Ron and Trudy, who have turned this land into an astonishing garden. They grow native and exotic plants, fruits, herbs and vegetables. After 17 years there, they have become expert local botanists and were happy to share their knowledge on the incredible flora. We ate ginger flowers, pickles growing on trees, a coconut sponge, fresh pepper corns, a variety of tasty herbs and ‘the wonder fruit’ – it turns everything you eat intensely sweet. We also indulged in the beauty of orchids, the intense fragrance of perfume flowers, a rinse from the shampoo plant and painted our faces with a red nut. Needless to say, we had a fun and educational time in their lovely home.

The oil of this red nut is used by the local peoples (Barucas) for their masks and ceremonial art.

The other-worldy beauty of the bat plant.

Each "scale" of the shampoo plant has a tiny pool of deliciously fragrant liquid that we used to wash our face.

We wanted to show Dana Roy’s property, so the next day we want back to Nicuesa Lodge and the property just behind. This time though, we continued on a river bed for about an hour afterwards to access a waterfall. The staff at Nicuesa Lodge told us to climb the first waterfall to find a bigger one. The walk along the river bed is unique because it allowed us to penetrate deep into the jungle where otherwise, a machete and much time would have been required.  We found the first waterfall and climbed a tree and some rocks to the top. After another 20 minutes of walking up stream and hopping over boulders we found the taller fall – 45 feet of mostly uninterrupted water flow with a small pool below. Absolutely stunning! It’s a powerful experience to stand under the pressure of the water; every one of the five senses is saturated with the intensity of the falling stream. Nothing else is perceivable while you are under its grip.  It is deeply cleansing and invigorating. Later, happy and clean, the four of us hiked back to the beach and swam to Patience with big smiles on our faces.

This was not staged. Jakob, Paul and Dana hanging out on a lazy morning. Perhaps it Patience was rocking a little?

The following morning we motor sailed ten miles to the deepest corner of the golf – Rincon. This sleepy little corner is barely developed, only sporting one store and one restaurant and is as calm as a lake. We only spent one night here and were blessed with a clear, starry night. The sleepy tranquility of this corner, though enjoyable, is borderline stale, so we decided to make for Puerto Jimenez, the largest town on the Osa Peninsula. After three days of cruising the golf, a cold drink and tasty casado were most welcome as we enjoyed the experience of arriving in a new town for the first time.

pineapples have to babies too.

Paul and I checking out raw cacao, growing abundantly in this rain forest.

The next day we pulled anchor and made the trip across the bay, back to Golfito. It was time to do some more work in the cyberworld and more importantly collaborate with our good buddy Alex ‘Wass’ Wasserman for his arrival in a few days.

Dana and the twins. Thanks for joining us D!!!


1 comment for “We have arrived

  1. July 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

    it sounds amazing. the bat plant is beyond belief!

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