109. A Jungle Adventure, and... Fair Food!?!

Saturday 1/21- Shortly after our house build began, 2 additional houses were started across the street from ours, these houses aren't finished yet and no one has moved into them, but we have met the owner a few times while he was at the property checking on the progress or working with his building crew.  Over the past year Nick, the owner, has chatted with Ramie on several occasions and got to know a bit about each other.  Nick is an American who has been living here in Costa Rica for a few years with his wife and two very young kids.  He and his family live about 45 minutes South of Uvita and own a big chunk of land on the mountain with hiking trails, waterfalls, and all sorts of beautiful nature.  He has invited us on several occasions to come visit his property and take us on a hike through his piece of paradise.  Up until now we haven't been able to coordinate a time, but today finally worked out for all of our schedules (plus, it would be good for our mental health to get out of the house and get our mind off of things) so we agreed to meet him at his house around 8am.

To get to Nick's house is an adventure in itself. The first half of the drive is on the main highway, but once you turn off the well-traveled road it's another story! Slow going through rough, narrow roads with sheer drop offs. Ramie loves driving these types of roads and he was having fun, me... well, not as much. I will admit that there were amazing views of the ocean and then the mountains, but I don’t particularly like roads like these. I don't know how high we climbed but we were getting into some pretty high mountains (and our ears popped more than once). 

We got to his house at about our scheduled time, met his wife and kids and chatted for a little while. His wife and the baby wouldn’t be doing the hike with us today (sometimes all 4 of them do this hike as a family) but his 4 year old son was going to come along. Nick first brought us to an open area of his property where he wants to build his forever home.  It has an amazing view of the ocean and valley below and truly would be a fantastic place to live (minus the drive to get there). We then walked back towards his current house and then down a makeshift road into the jungle. He had this road put in when he first bought the property but hasn't maintained it since he doesn't actually drive on it.  Now it’s just a path to the hydro wheel that generates electricity for his home (oh, did I mention he isn’t connected to power or water here, he’s completely off-grid and all on his own for that). The washouts, loose gravel and the steep incline of this road/path made it a bit of a challenge just to walk down without slipping and falling but we managed to make it to the bottom of this first hill while staying on our feet the whole time.

You just can't capture the angle in photos but this is much steeper than it looks

Eventually we made it to the end of this steep part where his hydro wheel was. He took Ramie down the even steeper embankment to show him how it worked while I opted to stay back at the trail. 

While the guys where looking at the hydro wheel. I found this 💜 shaped vine. Maybe Breeze left us a little sign.

When they came back from their little side-adventure, we continued into the jungle & toward the waterfall that Nick told us about. The path now became a narrow foot path at the edge of a steep drop-off. As we were going along I felt that if I slipped and fell down this hill my body would probably never be found. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous walking this stretch of the trail! Nick and his 4 year old son had no issues walking this since they have done it many times before. Ramie was being cautious and admitted that this was a hell of a work out on his bad knee but despite already being in pain, he wanted to keep going.

Eventually we got to the first particularly tricky section and Nick gave us instructions on how to traverse down the side of the hill while holding onto a rope that he had strung down from a sturdy tree. He then picked up his kid in one arm, grabbed the rope with the other and went down the hill.  He really made it look like a piece of cake. Ramie was next and didn't have any trouble. I was last because I like to be in the back so I can go at my own pace and not get in anyone else’s way (plus, I prefer to watch someone do it first so I can see just what needs to be done, remember the story about jumping off the catamaran a couple of blog posts ago?). It probably wasn’t very graceful, but I made it to the bottom without tumbling down the hill. Once we got to the bottom of that section Nick told us that there were only two more rope sections to go. Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into!? He had a small bridge here over what would be a creek during the rainy season, but was just a dry creek bed this time of year. Nick told us that he and his hired workers carried concrete down this hill by-hand in order to make that bridge!!! Holy Cow, and No Thank You!! 

That is Nick just to the side of the pic.
Its a long fall!

We continued on through a less nerve wracking section until we eventually got to the next rope section. This one was much steeper than the first and the fall if you were to misjudge your step it would be much worse.

I let the guys go first again, and I eventually made my way down the rope while the guys patiently waited at the bottom. After a little bit more jungle hiking down some very narrow footpaths with very steep drop-offs we made it to the last rope! Just like the others, don't slip! If you do there would be a lot of trees and brush on the way down to get caught on or smash into. Eventually we made it to the “bottom” of the climb and to the waterfall. I will admit that by the time we made it to the waterfall I was shaking from nerves (not from fatigue) and had to take a minute or two to calm myself.  As I was taking a few deep breaths, Nick, his son, and Ramie started to walk toward the falls and go exploring in the river and waterfall. After a minute I walked out onto the rocks and looked around at the waterfall and the area we ended up in. It was beautiful! I didn’t go explore up the river like the guys did, but I did check things out on the bank that we came down to and spent a peaceful moment by myself here in this beautiful & completely natural area. There was a series of waterfalls here. They went both up and down as far as you could see. It was truly beautiful and peaceful!

Ramie taking pics of one of the upper falls
Carefully walking because the rocks were slippery
One of the lower falls. That tree that went over the water fall was about 3 feet in diameter

When the guys came back we spent some time chatting and resting a bit before getting ready to hike back up all of those hills we had just come down. On the hike down I could tell that these hills were steep and scary, but going back up put a whole different perspective on what that hike really was. Nick once again picked up his kid in one arm and walked up the path using just one arm to pull himself up the ropes. Ramie tried to insist that I go before him so he’d be behind me in case I slipped, but I am just too stubborn and told him that he had to go first and I’d go last again. As we were climbing he would try to help me but I am even more nervous taking someone’s help because I worry that if I slip I’ll take them down with me.

At one point while we were climbing back up the narrow path with the steep cliff drop off I was so nervous that I was literally crawling on my hands and knees. About halfway through this climb I was so scared that I physically could not move. I was just frozen from freight. I was dripping with sweat not because it was hot or I was physically exerting myself that much, but out of sheer terror (I have truly never been this frightened before). I was covered in dirt and mud from crawling up this hill when we made it to the rope that I had to climb up. Once I was able to get my hands around the rope, I felt just a little bit safer.  That only lasted a moment, though, until I was about halfway up the rope. At this point my arms were getting tired and I just stopped on what felt like the side of a cliff and held on for dear life. Ramie said that even though I was more or less laying down, I was almost as vertical as if I were standing. That should give you a bit of an idea of how steep this section was. I know Ramie was getting irritated that I didn’t go first because one of the biggest issues that I was having was that I didn’t trust my footing. If he had been behind me, he said that he could have placed my feet in a way that I could be confident I wouldn’t slip, but at this point it was too late for any of that. Ramie & Nick were at the next plateau above me and were shouting great words of encouragement trying to get me to keep going.  I was on my own! I’m pretty sure Ramie was ready to jump and grab me if he needed to but that would have really only made things worse. Eventually I made it up the rope section. At this point were probably only half way back to the beginning and we had some more scary areas to climb through. At the next rope climb Ramie stayed a little bit closer to me to show me where to grab and where to place my feet. He was close enough that he could hear me whimpering and kept telling me that I was making “cute little monkey noises”. I’m pretty sure that those noises were from sheer terror and would have been the last thing anyone ever heard from me if I slipped and fell down from this path. I honestly didn't even consciously know that I was making any sound at all.

Eventually we made it back to the very steep makeshift road and I told the guys that I needed to stop and calm my nerves. I was shaking, sweating like a pig, my mind was fried, and I was covered from head to toe in mud and dirt. It was at this point that I realized that I had a cuts on my knees & legs that I didn't even know were there. I probably looked like someone who was already 2 weeks into “Survivor” but I had only spent a couple hours out here in the jungle. Surprisingly, though, I wasn’t hot or physically exhausted, 95% of this was all in my head. And much to my embarrassment, Ramie & Nick looked like one would expect after a regular hike in the woods.  At this point I told Nick that if I had known this was what the hike was going to be like prior to coming I would have never went with him. I did admit right then and there, though, that even though I was more terrified than I have ever been in my life, I was glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did this hike. Would I do it again? NO FREAKING WAY! I always say I’ll try just about anything once—this was my once! 

Here is a video from one of Nicks trail cameras. You can see Ramie talking about falling down the hill and how high we have to step just to walk this section of trail.

We then finished our hike, up the super steep hill, which ended up being the most physically exerting portion of the hike, but the easiest on my fried brain. Once we were back to Nick's house we chatted with him and his wife for another hour or so, getting to know a little bit more about each other and learning about their move here. It was nice to get to visit with some new gringos and hear their story

Real time update: About a week or 2 after our adventure at Nick’s house we were watching a YouTube sailing channel that we follow “Adventures of an Old Seadog” which is about a guy who is sailing around the world by himself. During one of his episodes he had some major issues and terrible weather and made a comment that it was “butt-clenchingly nerve wracking”. Ramie & I both started laughing because that perfectly summed up my thoughts about the hike to Nick's waterfalls. I had to write down the quote because I knew that had to make it into this blog! 😊

On the drive back home from Nicks, we were almost at the bottom of the mountain and back to the highway when we were flagged down by some people that had a flat tire. Ramie stopped and talked to them and learned that they had just bought this used SUV but it didn't have any tools in it that would allow them to get the spare tire off. Ramie got his jack and the spare tire tool from our truck but unfortunately they aren’t universal and our tools didn’t work to get the spare off. Ramie was able to help them get the flat tire off their truck though. These people are stranded with a flat in the jungle, the closest tire shop was in Uvita which is about a 20 minute drive from there. Ramie offered to bring them into town to have the tire fixed, so we loaded up the tire and two of the four stranded people. We got back to Uvita around 1pm on Saturday and as luck would have it, the main tire shop was closed. There was another tire shop on the other side town so we headed to that one and found out that unfortunately that one was closed too. Damn! This was not good for them! Although one of the couples were locals and the other were their in-laws from the US, they just didn’t know what to do now that they couldn’t get the tire fixed. Ramie told them that he has tools at home and will go get them and that he thought he’d be able to get the spare tire off. It was at this point that they told us that they have another car at home and they don’t live far from here, so they asked that we drop them off here at the highway and they would walk home to get their car and drive back out separately.

We told them we live close by, we’d go get the tools and go back to meet them at the stranded truck with the flat tire. This wasn’t really how we wanted to spend our afternoon, after all we did have a pool party to go to, but it was the right thing to do and we hoped that someone else would do the same thing for us if we ever needed it. We were back to their truck a short time later. We told the 2 that had stayed with the truck that the tire shops were closed but we would help get them fixed up. It didn’t take long for Ramie to get the spare tire off the bracket and mounted for them. The flat tire was put back in their own vehicle and Ramie gave them instructions on where to go on Monday to get it fixed. They offered to pay but the money was with the people we dropped off in town (who hadn’t even made it back to the stranded car yet). Ramie told them he wouldn't have accepted it anyways and he only hopes that they pay it forward to the next person they find in need of help. 

Anyways back to the plan for the afternoon. Pool party at Geoff and Tracy’s house! It's really just the 4 of us, so not a “party”, but some hang-out time and a refreshing swim after a strenuous hike.

We made it home, quickly showered from our hike and car repairs, and headed back out the door to get to the pool. Tracy has been telling us for weeks that she has all of the ingredients to make funnel cakes (or as Ramie kept calling them falafels, not 100% sure why, but probably because it sounds like waffles?? I keep telling him that there is a big difference between waffles, funnel cakes, and falafels)!! Once we finally arrived we had to tell them all about our adventurous morning, relaxed with some drinks, swam in the pool (which gets more sun and was much warmer than ours currently is) and then made and ate lots and lots of funnel cakes to close the night.


They were delicious but I think the consensus was that they were too much work to make and probably won't happen again unless there’s a special occasion (plus, I know I’ll be suffering from eating all of those ingredients that I shouldn’t have, but they were soooooooo good and it made it worth it)! They were delicious and thank you Geoff and Tracy for sharing with us. 

Pura Vida!



  1. Sorry that We have not commented for quite some time but having just gotten back from Mexico and putting the house back in order took precedence! Now we are stuck with never ending winter, well a little snow and lots of rain and cold temps. ISH!!
    I found this saga to be entertaining, informative, humorous and a testament to the well being and trust in humanity. You tell stories of your accounts and we laugh with you when times become difficult and you bravely push through to the end of the epic event. You take your precious time to help others in distress which is extremely commendable and ask nothing in return but require “pay it forward “! Informative in the flora and fauna that you experience as well as a deep seeded fear of taking a header exploring areas that may be personally harmful. We truly lost two individuals of character when you left the neighborhood and you are missed.
    We will shortly be getting ready to put the cabin in operation once the rain, cold temps and ice leave the lake and we will be ready for another summer of prace, tranquility and hard work
    We were also sorry to hear of the passing of Breeze, he is now in doggie heaven chasing his favorite toys and out of pain( RIP)!

  2. No worries at all Ken and Edie we know you've been reading them. Sadly it does seem like winter will never end for you all. Yes, this was an experience that I'm glad both of us did and was worth it in the end. It was truly beautiful and tranquil being that far back in the jungle. Once your Cabin is opened up you will be living the dream and enjoying the lake. Take are and we may see you soon.

  3. Hey Guys!! Debbie here....wow what an adventure!! The whole time Dana was telling the "downhill" story, I kept thinking, you have to go back up and how is that going to be???!! Yikes 😲 As always I thoroughly enjoy reading all about your adventures. Keep them coming!!
    P.S. very sorry for your loss 🐕😥 Breeze had a great life with you two 🤗

    1. Hi Debbie, It sure was an experience. Im glad that Dana pushed herself beyond her comfort zone. I would love to take other people on this hike because once your there, its totally worth it. I just dont know anyone that is nimble or comfortable enough to actually do the hike. Also thank you for your condolences. We sure do miss Breeze!

  4. wow what an adventure! I would never have made it.

    1. Overall it was really a beautiful hike. You never know what you can do unless you try. Thanks for reading we appreciate it.


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