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.
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.
Our little cabin in the woods
The natural pool was awesome after a day of climbing
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.
Chase hops on what I believe is a 5.12b if I remember correctly. Which I may not…
Jenny is a pretty amazing camp cook
The deck turned yoga studio upstairs
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.
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.
My 10c project, I toproped it first just to be sure. 5 months off climbing will do that.
View from the top, not half bad
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.
Pretty impressive stone architecture
Aquaduct system remnants
The lizard petroglyph
A parasitized wasp we found, super neat!
We also drove up to volcano turrialba
The view on the drive up, gorgeous farm houses
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.
Welcome to the park!
Golden orb weaver
The beach. Most people: “white sandy beaches!” Me: ” can you please direct me to the rockiest area on the beach?”
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…
But I found this cute little limpet
Lots of crabs!
And, unrelated to tide pools, a cicada.
Landcrabs on my way to the beach.
Day 2, snorkelling near the north entrance of the park at the whale tail
We saw a humpback whale and her calf
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…
We then went to some beautiful caves, where I swear you could do some awesome climbing if the water were deep enough
Going through a cave
Brown footed boobies!
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.
Sliding down the waterfall
We had a little fun stacking plastic bugs back at the hostel
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.