Fifty Shades of Green: Exploring the Costa Rican Rainforest
Saying "Adios" to the States, I set off into the wilds of the Costa Rican rainforest to battle a thousand snakes and rodents of unusual size through the powerful asanas of the yogic discipline.
In other words, I moved down to a lovely little ecolodge near La Fortuna, Arenal and taught yoga for a month. The initial journey seemed to take forever. One flight to the other flight to the cab to the shared van ride to the rickety pick-up truck that jolted over bumpy dirt roads. I arrived late at night, in darkness so dark it was hard enough to find my way to my room with a flashlight, much less see anything. I face-planted onto my bed as if the world outside didn’t exist.
The next morning I woke up to a world unlike anything I’d ever seen outside of a Dr. Seuss book. Like somehow in the night I moved from black and white Kansas into the world of Technicolor Oz.
Whosits and whatsits and bright coloured bobbles dangled from branches, limbs, feathers and pillars. Bobbing and weaving when struck by rain. Jingling and jangling Angel’s Trumpets, flowers as big as my face, blew their horns to the loud accompaniment of the jungle band.
I will never forget my first hike in that place. Single leaves bigger than entire bushes at home - big enough to make a fort of leaves, which, of course, is exactly what I did. Getting lost in the mud, squished and stuck and goopy all over. Snagging my clothes in the remnants of barbed wired from reforested ex-pastures, scrambling my way up the steep slope in the predawn light. Strange sights and new creatures and unknown sounds serenaded my senses at every turn.
I came out at the top. Just as the sun burst open across the lake, burning away the clouds that hugged the now dormant volcano. I stood stunned, still, panting heavily from the short but steep climb and all I could do was cry for joy. How was it that I made it here from the tattered shards of my life I’d left behind? Made it here, whole and so alive and so full of hope? There's something about Costa Rica that forces you to get off your butt and experience it before you die.
Written by Lauren Bringle