Saturday, June 29, 2013

La Paz ( the peace) waterfalls eased my worries

"The best part is yet to come" said Alberto, the guide for the package tour.  "The waterfalls are the best."

I figured there is always a little bit of an exaggeration in everything any tour guide says and, thus, I discounted his assertion.

It was a pleasant walk through the cloudforest to reach the waterfalls.  A peaceful walk, indeed.

By now, we strangers on the tour bus were a lot more comfortable with each other.  We talked a lot more.  A whole lot of interesting small talk. With the Colombian-American about fried bananas. About goulash with the Hungarian-American. About California and life with the couple from the Sierras.

And then I heard.  The sound of water.

I love waterfalls.  After all, right from my toddler days, I have been to the falls at Courtallam, which was only a couple of miles away from grandmother's home.  We could never have enough of the falls though--we had to return to Neyveli and get back to school.

As the sound of water started getting louder and louder, the more excited I became.  And then, there it was!

Alberto was there to remind me that if this looked fabulous, then I would be blown away with the next one.  I started thinking that he might not be exaggerating, after all.  Perhaps no hyperbole in his guide talk.  Maybe he is one of those rare, honest guides.  I felt a tad guilty that I had hastily dismissed his earlier comments on "the best part is yet to come."

I chatted with Roberto the most.  "The girls in Costa Rica are beautiful" he said. I agreed with him.  "Here and in Cuba, too.  Latin bodies with a European flavor" he added.  I suppose if I were his age, I too would be analyzing women like that.  With age, everything takes on a different perspective.  Beauty is in the age of the beholder.

From the bend, I could see many of my tour group travelers appreciating the waterfalls from the observation deck.  I still had no idea what was in store for me.

And then I reached that deck.

It was magnificent. Awesome. Nope, all those are terrible understatements.

No photo of mine can ever capture what I saw and experienced there.

"Be careful if you want to go down there" Alberto warned us.  I removed my glasses and placed them in a pocket of my cargo shorts. And climbed down.

With every step, the spray from the falls increased.  It was delightful. Soothing. Comforting. Welcoming. Peaceful. I was overjoyed.

I reached the railing at the end. I could feel a lot of the spray. I felt the waterfalls washing away my pain. My disappointments. My problems. My worries. I stood there with my arms stretched outwards on the sides.  I remember feeling one with the waterfalls. There was a strange sense of oneness with the world.

Perhaps that is what the faithful feel when they go for a holy dip in the Ganges. The river washes away the problems if they feel that oneness. Oneness with the water. With the world.

I had always speculated, tongue-in-cheek, that most of my travels are my own versions of pilgrimages. In this case, it seemed so much to be the case.  It was bliss as I stood there getting damp from the spray from the falls.

But, of course, all good things come to an end, eventually. I walked up to Alberto. "Muy bueno" I told him. "Gracias."  If only I knew the Spanish word for "awesome."

It was mostly a silent bus as we drove back to San Jose.  Perhaps it was the exhaustion for some.  Not for me. I felt exhilarated. Re-energized. Revitalized. I reviewed some of the photos I had clicked. I could not believe I had been to all those places and experienced all those that I did.

I am an incredibly lucky guy.  I hope my lucky streak will continue. For a very long time.


Ramesh said...

Another chapter in the beauty of Costa Rica.

Someday want to go to the Manawaiopuna Falls in Hawaii, where the famous sequence in Jurassic Park was shot. Although a lot of the movie was indeed shot in Costa Rica, they pehaps couldn;t find a waterfall here to match that one.

Sriram Khé said...

so ... what's holding you back? pack up and head on to costa rica and hawaii ...

pay for my ticket and i will also join you ;)

did i tell you that the national park where i walked, fell, and fought off insects, was also one major location for jurassic park shots?

anyway, during the walk to the falls, when walkign with the colombian-american and her husband, i joked that we should watch out in case t-rex jumps from the trees ... the woman said, "oh, please don't remind me about that ... i won't be able to sleep"

it is so easy to imagine t-rex and hus buds hiding out there ...

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