Hostel Choza provided us with a hearty scrambled egg breakfast which set us up perfectly for our day hike. We began by following the map to the lagoon national park entrance. As it was going to be a 5.5km trek just to the start of our hike, we decided after a couple of kilometres to try a cheeky bit of hitch hiking. The first car that we thumbed down, stopped and dropped us near the entrance. The Costa Rican driver was very friendly and I got a chance to practice my Spanish – which is always fun.
We began our steep climb up, walking on fairly easy terrain, looking over the foggy mountains. Next, we reached the mystic, misty, miraculous cloud forest. It was absolutely beautiful. The trees were tall, intricate and unique. Their roots so elaborate, extensive and impressive, you could not help but stare at them following their path into the muddy soil. Looking up from the impressive roots to the tree bark, green furry liannas covered the tree’s trunk and draped like decorations from branch to branch. The leaves protected us from the rain, so I felt only drizzle against my warm face.
Some time later we reached the top of our climb. From here we followed signs to the observation point. The mud was thick and deep. Each step I took my foot submerged into the soil and mud squelched around me. A mud pool approached us and a log precariously balanced across it. We rushed across and after some technical manoeuvring made it to the goal – the look out point. Sadly, when we gazed from the platform all we saw were clouds. A fellow hiker said that the quote: ‘it’s not about the destination but the journey’ was not applicable here. However, I thought to myself that it was indeed the perfect way to sum up our day. The climb was great fun, the forest incredible and the challenge rewarding.
To make our climb more worth it, we decided to descend down a ‘so- called’ path to the lagoon for a swim. This mud path had clearly been washed away by the heavy rain as not much was left. With a combination of jumping, slipping and bum shuffling a little while later we made it to the fog covered lagoon. I jumped in the cold water, feeling totally refreshed from the strenuous hike. The clouds even began to clear up revealing, patches of the forest on the other side of the lake. One could say the clouds hindered our panoramic views but I think they also made them. The ominous white, misty air looked so dramatic against the grand trees. Having limited visibility made the experience more unique and memorable.
On getting out of the cold lake I quickly changed back and put my wet swim wear in a plastic bag. A possum heard the plastic ruffling and decided to attack me. It jumped on my rucksack and stole my plastic bag, running away with it in its mouth. I saw it claw open the bag find no food and just discard my belongings in the dirt. Clearly, my bikini was not the right size for this little pest. I retrieved my tattered plastic bag and muddy bikini cursing the little cretin. He decided to tempt his luck even more stealing my friends oreos from his bag, opening them with his dirty little paws and munching on them in front of us.
It was time to get away from this large, viscous rat and head back, we climbed up the treacherous path, getting a slight battering from the slippery rocks and trees roots.
By the time we reached the top we were covered head to toe in glorious mud and bruises. It was a fantastic adventure.
Luckily we got a lift from the park entrance back to the hostel – so avoided an extra 5km walk. After a shower some good Costa Rican grub and a relax, I slept soundly.