Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

Sloth of the TreeTops

May 1, 2007

We headed to the Pacific Coast town of Dominical after leaving San Gerardo. We spent one night there before we  decided to move further outside the city to a place slightly more expensive but held more than a bed in the room. So we ended up at Hacienda Baru Nature Reserve.

At Hacienda Baru we signed up for one of their tours that took us up into the canopy of the rainforest. With ourselves and a guide we strapped into a series of harnesses, ropes, and other contraptions that made climbing a lot easier. A one-way lever was attached close to our feet and another in our hands. With this setup we were able to pull our legs up close to our chest, have the foot lever lock into place on the main rope allowing us to ‘standup’ and move our hand lever up next, then the hand lever would lock i nto place, and we could repeat the process all over again. Using this process we went vertically up 120 feet reaching into the uppermost part of the tree. I was a bit scared since I’m not real fond of heights and Rachel handled it better and was even bouncing off the tree a bit. Rach reminded me that tree climbing was my idea! It was really cool though and I became more comfortable with it. In addition to this we also rode on 5-6 zip lines through the forest, and at the end of the last one was a sloth! She was within feet of us going ‘full speed’ as our guide said up this little tree. She soon realized it wasn’t big enough for her and came down to the forest floor to find something better. Unfortunately, she found an even smaller tree that started bending back over itself the further she climbed up, but with another guides help who pushed the tree to run into another one she found herself on sturdier limbs. It was a rare and nice finishing touch to the morning and awesome to see a three toed sloth up close and personal.

We heard about a horse ride trip that took people to a set of waterfalls. For us though it was a bit much to fork over and not quite our style. We prefer to hike if possible and therefore set off on our own. First we walked a half hour into the Dominical from Hacienda Baru and found a taxi to take us to the entrance and from there we walked for an hour or more and came to them. They were gorgeous with two smaller waterfalls dumping into an  upper pool that collected water for the main spectacle pouring out below. We swam and even climbed up onto the first ledge at the base of the main fall. After eating lunch we hiked back to the highway and hoped for a bus to come along as no taxis hung around the area. With luck we made it to a bus stop just as the rainy season decided to start that afternoon. 20-30 minutes later a bus arrived to take us back to Dominical. The rain was coming down heavier as we got off and to our dismay there were no taxis available to take us to Hacienda Baru. With no signs of it letting up we began our 30 minute walk back. 10-15 minutes into our very dark walk along the dirt road a Jeep pulled up next to us. It was a guide from earlier in the day who offered us a ride. There wasn’t enough room in his Jeep so we climbed on to the running boards. One of us on each side, and off we went! Pretty exciting…wet ending to an exploratory day.