Costa Rica in 3 weeks, part 2: Cachi Crags and Uvita

My second week of adventures following my internship at the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens and my surfing trip in Tamarindo included a trip to Cachi Crags for some much needed rock climbing and a stopover in Uvita, a small town next to a beautiful marine reserve.

Cachi crags

I met up with Jenny and Chase, who I’d come into contact with through a friend of a friend, in the small town of Cachi, south of San Jose. I was a little tipsy as I’d gone into a bar for the wifi and come out 4 beer and 3 Facebook friends richer, but we went to the local market set up on the side of the road and picked up some delicious veggies and homemade yogurt. After a ridiculously steep drive down a single lane dirt road, we met Don-Vidal, owner of the climbing property, who set us up in a nice little cabin approximately 10m away from the crag. We were literally able to watch each other climb from the kitchen. We had 4 days of climbing with 1 rest day.

image

Our little cabin in the woods

image

The natural pool was awesome after a day of climbing

image

Some crazy rock. It looks like it would have amazing holds everywhere, but its really rather slopey, and although you almost always have good feet the hand holds can be thin.

image

Chase hops on what I believe is a 5.12b if I remember correctly. Which I may not…

image

Jenny is a pretty amazing camp cook

image

Our kitchen

image

The deck turned yoga studio upstairs

image

So on ‘ojo del tigre’, there was a wasp nest critically close to a handhold. One makeshift torch later we learned that the wasps were of the stingless variety. Anyways, he sent it.

image

Jenny got it just as bad as the wasps. The torch swung and scraped her up pretty well. I’m just glad she wasn’t impaled.

image

My 10c project, I toproped it first just to be sure. 5 months off climbing will do that.

image

View from the top, not half bad

image

On our rest day we visited Gyuapa National Monument, an archaeological site. This is a top view of the foundations of multiple buildings and an aquaduct system.

image

Pretty impressive stone architecture

image

Aquaduct system remnants

image

The lizard petroglyph

image

A parasitized wasp we found, super neat!

image

We also drove up to volcano turrialba

image

The view on the drive up, gorgeous farm houses

image

Pretty successful rest day!

Cachi was pretty different from most of the climbing I’ve done, really interesting, I tend to rely more on being good at finding small balancey feet rather than searching for awkward hand holds, but that’s what you’ve got to do here as you generally have good feet! There is definitely room for development if anyone wants to commit to cleaning a lot of forest off of rock. As of now I believe there are less than 20 routes, plus a few projects, and nice wide range of difficulty! I was able to work on a 10c while Jenny worked a 12c and Chase projected a 13b.

With my forearms sufficiently sore and missing a significant amount of finger skin I made my way to Uvita, mid pacific coast area, to enjoy the national marine reserve for a couple days. I had a small room to myself near the beach, with a Spanish only speaking staff which made things like losing my key interesting… On my first day I visited the south end of the reserve, then arranged for a snorkelling/whale watching tour the next day. I went down to the beach as I heard there was music on my first night. I was met by a woman who introduced herself as brighthawk and invited me to join in the fire circle. They played drums and danced for a while, apparently there was an event called forest dance that I had just missed where they performed fire circles every night and that’s about all I got before I went to bed.

image

Welcome to the park!

image

Golden orb weaver

image

The beach. Most people: “white sandy beaches!” Me: ” can you please direct me to the rockiest area on the beach?”

image

And I found it. Tide pooling and surge channels. Unfortunately it was kind of mid-high tide though. You’d think I didn’t check the tide tables or something…

image

But I found this cute little limpet

image

Lots of crabs!

image

And, unrelated to tide pools, a cicada.

image

Landcrabs on my way to the beach.

image

Day 2, snorkelling near the north entrance of the park at the whale tail

image

We saw a humpback whale and her calf

image

Island ballena where we snorkelled again. Parrotfish, coral, sea urchins, other neat fishes I don’t know the name of and gigantic sea.stars! I may have been pulled into a surge channel at one point while exploring sea urchins and algae…

image

We then went to some beautiful caves, where I swear you could do some awesome climbing if the water were deep enough

image

Going through a cave

image

Brown footed boobies!

image

Once I had my fill of salt water for the day I joined a few people for a few hours at a waterfall nearby. You can slide down the watersfall, and climb up the rock around it. To the left, a long-ish V0. To the right, anything from V0-2 depending on where you were and how wet your feet were.

image

Sliding down the waterfall

image

We had a little fun stacking plastic bugs back at the hostel

image

Sunset swim on my last night in Uvita

With burned on tanned skin, salty hair, sand everywhere and a surprising number of ants in my backpack from my room I told the ocean I’d never leave it again, packed up and left on the 5am bus for The Yoga Farm in Pavones.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Costa Rica in 3 weeks, part 2: Cachi Crags and Uvita

  1. I think it’s amazing that you had an internship in such a beautiful place doing something so awesome! I am a zoology major in Illinois and I love to travel. Everyone asks me what I want to do with my degree and the only thing I can really tell them that I am 100% sure on is that I want to travel the world. I’m not sure how to get to that place or how I am going to pay for that but I want to travel and work with animals. Do you have any advice for me on how to get started? Where do you look and how do you get connections for internships like this? Is there a way to make living traveling as a biologist?
    If you get a chance, please email me

  2. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from
    a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you.
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab
    inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s