The Patriot

The Patriot

 

April 2017.

The adventure begins in the misty mountains of the Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Some time ago, I was told about a place called the Patriotic, a place that holds the name of our country, and the myth of The Patriot. However, upon meeting the locals, they told us that this mystical place that we were looking for was impossible to reach.  

 

Several people have tried to conquer the canyon of these misty mountains but no one has ever returned successfully. Neither the most experienced hunter, nor the most skilled poachers have been able to enter these canyons. 

I offered a great amount of money to anyone who would accompany me on this expedition, but no one accepted my offer. Nobody wanted to be trapped in the treacherous fog. The canyon of the Patriot is described as something that continuously   gets higher and narrower and the river alone is a temperamental monster, growing as much as three meters in only two minutes. 

Legend has it that animals protect the falls; thousands of tarantulas and poisonous snakes. According to the locals, this was "mission impossible." 

 

Although I knew it was a risky expedition, I am not one to ever settle and except defeat. I began drawing out a route using new technology as well as old cartographic maps from the 1990s .

Even as my muscles turned cold under the prospect that the mountains could absorb me, and the possibility of never seeing the sun again, i decided to carry on and hunt down this mysterious legend.   

 

 

Since I was a child, I always remember crossing this river. Every time i crossed it, it seemed to have a different color. Our intense research with the maps and through the help of locals seemed to indicate that something incredibly magical was happening in these parts of the forest... something that was hiding from us.  

 

_Rain_

It did not stop raining. With each hour that passed, we watched the river widen, trying to barricade us and prevent us from passing. We fought against the clock, exhausted. We were about to give up when all of a sudden ....

 

A morpho butterfly danced above us, becoming our companion. We decided to follow it as it guided us along the riverbed, reassuring us. Wherever the butterfly paused, the river changed color, sometimes it was aquamarine, sometimes turqoise and sometimes forest green. The butterfly was our guide for hours, escorting us on our way into the mountains. 

As we climbed the mountain, suddenly the legend of the locals began to make sense. The canyon was seemingly endless, and the forest steadily became more and more dense, forcing us to turn around. We returned down to where our friend the butterfly had left us. We settled, and pitched our camp.  

_The rain does not stop_

The rain and thunder did not let the sounds of the river breathe, nor did it reveal the cataract. Then, suddenly, through a calm gap, we caught the first glimpse of the falls.

The waterfall gave life to a little Jurassic planet, a place with its own unique ecosystem. We noticed the waterfall´s deep pool was inhabited by strange life as we spotted the curious fish hiding under the green mantle that fringed the pool.  

We tried fishing, but failed.   

 

And at nightfall the canyon and river exposed their magic.  

 

Before darkness consumed us completely, we witnesses a parade of howler monkeys, followed by Morfo butterflies, tarantulas and finally a cloud of mosquitoes and flies, thirsting for human blood. 

 

_Night_

I cannot see my hands.

Suddenly it seems the forest is on fire. To me, it looks like the giant, ancient trees are burning in flames. The canyon began to fill with lights the size of my hands, floating like sparks of incandescent embers from the ashes of burned trees. A sequel to what had once happened in this very river. A fire that was observed for hours, neither the dense fog nor the vicious rain were able to tame it.

At night, one can see the past of the forest come to life, as the luminescent orange figures dance between the walls of the canyon.  

 

At dawn the howler monkeys announce that it is time to go.

Oddly the forest is still wet, seemingly there was no fire.

Now I understand why nobody  leaves this waterfall .

 Mysterious sparks of fire defend this magical land, our land, our homeland. 

The Costa Rica, my Costa Rica.