Day 4/23


Yesterday evening it started to rain again and that is still the case this morning. Yesterday I have seen some beautiful big birds. Today I just have to photograph them. First change to try my new flash lens. With this I can warp my flash up to 20 meters.

Howler Monkey, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

You can count all water droplets and feathers.

Howler Monkey, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Such a difference with no flash.

Howler Monkey, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

I have seen the walking trails already yesterday. So for today I have to think of something else. Tenorio Volcano National Park is another volcano, not far from here. There is a nice waterfall with blue water. This morning I breakfast together with the bio’s. We get along quite well. Nice story telling between us. Around 09:00 I depart towards Tenorio Volcano National Park and expect to be there within 30-45 minutes. So na‚ą©eve…

In the end it takes 4 hours to get there!!!. Not alone are the roads much longer than indicated on the map due to all the twists and turns. But also the entrance of the park is hard to find. The little villages have no names and the names on the map are not on the signs. It becomes a difficult search. Today, I also speak my first Spanish, Jeee. ‘Donde esta Tenorio?’ I think it is wrong to ask it that way. But they do understand me and have to laugh about it. Two women are standing in the door opening of a little house along the road. Not knowing anymore where to go I ask them. A lot of Spanish jibber jabber follows that I do not understand, but I do get the hand gestures and guidings on the map. That will do.

Somewhere en route I hear a loud howling and think ‘Wow, that must be Howler Monkeys’. And indeed there is whole tree full of them. I shoot some photographs here.

Howler Monkey, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Finally at the park I have to follow 9 kilometers of horrible road before arriving at the trailhead. It is only 1500 meters to the waterfall, but that takes some effort. An azure pool is 2 kilometers further. What I did not know is that it is located on the other side of a very steep hill.

Rio Celeste, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

The water has this awesome blue colour because of volcanic minerals that are dissolved in it.

Rio Celeste, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

The blue of the water makes for a nice contrast with the red brown of the tree trunks.

Rio Celeste, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Vertically that works great as well.

Rio Celeste, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

A few days from now I will discover that the confluence of this blue river and another clear river is only a few hundred meters away. That one was high on my list but I was not aware anymore that it was here. Stupid! But there so many places to keep in your head that sometimes you do lose one.

The last part to the waterfall is a complete disaster. Almost 150 meters vertical via a kind of natural stairs with steps of around 30-40 centimeter, sometimes even more than 50 centimeter and very slippery. Below is a lot of spray in the air, but from somewhat further away I can make nice photographs. Someone is even taking a swim.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Then back up again. Once on top I am completely soaked.

I do not want to leave too late because I have quite a ride back in front of me and driving in the dark is far from wise out here. I thought to have found a much quicker route via the north, but this one also takes 4 hours. Searching and especially finding your way here is a complete disaster. One of the villages I encounter is weird. Just like a bus with prisoners just arrived here. All rough looking guys that hang around and a lot of police as well. Quite a contrast with everything I have seen so far.

There are a lot of maintenance activities and that causes a lot of delays. Driving hours behind a chicken-shed-on-wheels-with-moped-engine without any chance to overtake it, does not help either. Finally, I end in the dark but are already in the La Fortuna area, so reasonable well known territory. I just must not think that it would have become dark some 70 kilometers back already. Then you are really sorry for yourself here. Many people walk and bicycle along the road, without lighting. Very dangerous for them. The many turns and holes in the road do not make driving in the dark very pleasant here.

Would I have known all this from the start, then I would not have gone there most probably, but after all I do have som nice photographs. Tomorrow I will depart to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Back at the lodge I go straight to the restaurant, because I have not eaten anything all day. There I meet the biologists again and we have another pleasant evening.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Costa Rica Dry Season 2011, Day 4

Download the original gpx file here.