Wow, I’m exhausted. What a crazy few days. I came to Costa Rica with an open mind and with no real goals, so I didn’t have any expectations of places, pastimes or plans.
The last few days were completely unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyable. And of course a positive lesson has been learnt here again today! Excellent, that means I have something to write about!
So in brief, the last few days have seen us catch the bus from Santa Teresa to Cóbano and then onwards to Montezuma. It took a while to locate ‘decent’ accommodations, as standards have been acquired with age, but there are lots of, shall we say, more sociable places should you chose.
The short hike to the waterfalls in the morning, was to be the first of many, but we weren’t to know this, until my other half suggested we walk the signposted seven kilometers to Cóbano.
Two nights in the simplest of accommodations on the beach in Cóbano were chosen as our place of rest, which encouraged two sunrise observations and an eight kilometer hike (four each way), through the Cabo Blanco nature reserve, to another beautiful beach. (Side note: I must tell you that we saw a deer, an ant eater some monkeys, butterflies and an iguana.)
As the walk between Montezuma and Cóbano was so pleasant and as the hike through the reserve didn’t quite make us fall into the category of stupid, we decided to hike to the next town; Mal País.
Everyone we spoke to about our plans to hike to Mal País, sucked air through their teeth, like a mechanic prior to quoting you for some work.
“Ssssthhooo”, and a waving of hands that indicates how steep the terrain is.
We had looked on google maps and assessed the contour lines, so we knew it was going to be a little up and down, but we were self proclaimed hikers now, all in a days traveling.
Now I know that seven kilometers is not far, but when it’s about forty degrees and sunny it feels like double. And when it’s also steep dusty gravel roads and you’re underneath a heavy backpack, it feels like triple.
Whilst heading up the steepest hill, (not the one that caused a car to get stuck, the steeper one), something came to me amidst the dust and heat. All I needed to do was take the next step! That’s all – each step, on its own, separate from any other step, isolated steps, is all that was needed. If I removed my attention from the hill in front of me and just made sure I had everything I needed within me to take just one step, then I was fine. I even started to say in my head, “only this step, only this step, only this step”. It worked so well, but if I tried it a different way by adding the word ‘and’, it failed due to anticipation of another step.
Using this method allowed me to conquer the hill with much less pain and proved that we only ever need to take just one step. This is true not only of the walk, but of the last few days and also in life.
One step is all you need.
So now it’s time to stop taking steps anywhere and just sit. We all need balance in our lives. Time for a sunset……