Beach Hiking in Montezuma

Date of Entry: January 23rd 2017

Date of Writing:November 12th 2017

Here’s the thing about Central America.  It’s hot.  Really hot. And me being a good Canadian boy it can be a bit of a challenge just to survive.  So that basically explains why I’m up before sunrise, around 4:30 am, filling up some water bottles and leaving my comfy if very simple single room in Backpackers Montezuma.

See I want to hike to a waterfall, it’s about 2 hours away, maybe a bit less, but the vast majority of the walk is on the beach, and that’s just not an option for my milky white skin and Canadian heart, so time to take advantage of the fact that I don’t drink and hike it in the coolness of the early morning, the bonus points being watching a slowly developing and incredibly beautiful sunrise most of my way there.

It’s so cool to be back in Montezuma, the first place that had me fall head over heels in love with travelling back when I was 16, (Though la Fortuna and Manuel Antonio prepped me well).  Last time I was on these beaches though it was very uncomfortably bouncing up and down atop a slightly emaciated horse,  We turned back before too long and today I’ll walk much further than we went on horseback.

I reach an end of the first beach as a little more light starts to seep into the pastel blue sky and I head up the rocky paths that made horseback riding hard for this untrained Canadian, this time though it’s easy cutting through the well formed if slightly rough jungle path and coming out to the next , in a nearly endless series of beaches here on the peninsula.  As I’m about to descend I’m greeted by a fairly vital sign, one that I’ve never seen in Canada, that’s for sure.

I keep walking across the second beautiful beach as the actual sun completes it’s climb above the horizon, adding vibrant splashes of orange to the mesmerizing horizon.  I cross the creek carefully, with my eyes open, not wanting to be crocodile food.  (Though that would be some blog entry).  I do make a brief detour back to the little lagoon to cautiously look for the crocodile, but he, like most sane human beings must be hidden and asleep somewhere.

As I make a brief jungle crossing along the clearly marked path and head out onto the third beach I get my first signs of human life, a lone local fisherman heading out to get an early jump on the day’s work, some pelicans taking a detour to follow him for a bit before moving on, heading towards Montezuma town.  It’s an idyllic scene, and it makes for some lovely photos, and one hell of a meditation type memory.

Crossing onto the fourth beach I get another variation on the crocodile warning sign.  I like this one a lot, considering depending on your tone when reading it, it could easily mean be careful lest you break the crocodile, which is somehow not my first concern in this situation.  I also find a single beautiful white flower to mark my path before descending onto yet another pristine beach.  The sand may not be as white as in Brazil, but it’s still gorgeous and backed by the thick jungles of Costa Rica I feel like I’m in paradise.  But Paradise is starting to heat up, even though it’s only maybe a little past 6 am.

I make another jungle crossing and head onto the next and final beach, which is quite a long one, and only with the assistance of my camera zoom can I see the small waterfall that marks my destination.  This walk though has been just as much about the things I’ve passed along the way.  (I want to note I may be miscounting the number of beaches, it’s been a while, so if you are attempting this walk don’t count beaches, just keep going, and I promise you will get there.)

As I reach the end of the beach I see a trail that involves a bit of climbing and scampering upwards towards the top of the waterfall, and some crab covered giant boulders with no sign of a path which could theoretically lead to the bottom of the small waterfall, which is actually quite beautiful, especially since it crashes down almost directly into the pacific ocean.  By now the sun is just about up, and certainly hot enough to make me really want a fresh water natural shower,  so I make the decision to try to scamper over the huge rocks and get underneath the cascade first.

About halfway there I have to stow my camera and sadly did not bring my go pro.  But I get there, finding a slick black rock platform to stand on precariously as the water crashes down on me.  It’s a tame waterfall compared to the one from yesterday, but still intensely refreshing after an approximately 2 hour beach hike.

Heading back I know take the trail and head up to the top of the falls, where I promptly take a seat in the flow of water, letting my legs dangle over the edge and looking out at the endless series of beaches which have brought me here.  It’s a truly special view, and I spend a while here, relaxing, thinking, and reflecting on my life, and how lucky I’ve been to travel so much.

Finally I get up and head back down the trail and along the beaches that brought me here.  I’m watched by a beautiful eagle or hawk perched above me for a good long while before he finally takes off, also heading in the direction of town.  The walk back is far less pleasant than the walk there.  It’s mid morning now, which is hot enough to make me want to hide from the cursed yellow face, but still, the deep blue of the pacific glimmering under the sun, the verdant greens that much more vivid, it may be a lot less comfortable, but it’s still beautiful.

I make it back to town sweaty and pretty tired just before 11 am.  I’m definitely a little sunburned, and ready for a rest.  But after a few delicious ice cream sandwiches from the supermarket which are just absurdly delicious for store bought mass marketed ice cream sandwiches I’m feeling better, and determined to make the most of my last day in Montezuma.  Tomorrow I’ll be braving the somewhat complicated trip to La Fortuna by local bus, it’s just so much cheaper than the shuttles.  With that in mind I leave the hostel again, saying goodbye to some friends I made the previous night over ribs from the states and a few other places, including a professional fisherman based mainly in Alaska, a boudoir photographer, and a fantasy artist (who does covers for some amazing books), and head back to my personal paradise, the waterfall from yesterday.

The walk passes quickly and soon enough I’m back in heaven, enjoying the sound of crashing water as I stow my stuff, peel off my clothes, and hop into the impossibly refreshing pool below the falls.  I could spend so much time here, even with the added crowds that 13 years away brings.  It’s beautiful here, peaceful yet alive.  One of many places around this incredible world that I will never forget.

I walk onwards along the dusty road a while before heading back to town and encounter a camping spot and yet another beautiful beach before turning around and heading back to the hostel.  A few hours and a refreshing shower later I’m back across the road from the hostel sitting down and enjoying the most delicious barbecue ribs I’ve ever eaten with my friends rom the night before.  Leaving Montezuma was already going to be hard, with this incredible restaurant which I somehow can’t find online to give you the same of now in play, it’s going to be near impossible, but such are the sacrifices of love, and a trip that will take me through 6 countries in around 7 weeks.

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