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  • Writer's pictureJuan Antonio Chavarria

Etapa 2 El Camino de Costa Rica

We return to the adventure in Cimarrones. If we take the Catholic Church as a starting point, we can say goodbye to the plans of the previous day. We cross the 32 Braulio Carrillo highway and begin the ascent. We will have intermittent ascents of 200 to 500 meters on a rocky path, mostly under the shade of trees, with some exposed parts

In the first 2 km, on the right-hand side, we can see one of the milestones in the yard of a house. This area is special for seeing toucans and birds in general. We pass some bamboo until we reach the stage milestone, which is hidden to the left, near the entrance of the condominium project, approximately 1 km from the previous milestone. This area is for appreciating the gardens of the houses and the birds that always fly early in the morning.

At kilometer 4 of the hike, after a small ascent, we have a house on the left-hand side that I call the bat house. They have a family of bats hanging next to the water tank. This is the last point to refill water for the day, and the lady sells homemade ice cream along the way.

We leave this house and begin the true challenge of the day, an ascent of almost 2 km on a muddy road, with almost no shade. This is the best point to see green dart frogs and tiger spiders that hide in the leaves next to the road. Don't forget to look back on the slope; you can appreciate the plains of the Caribbean and everything you walked the previous day.

AUpon reaching the top of the slope, the view is incredible: the volcanoes, the sea, Tortuguero, and even the border with Nicaragua on the clearest days. We also have guava and guaba trees. Here, we begin what I call the "ups and downs." We start by descending through the last houses in that area until we reach the point where the road turns into a trail.

I need to clarify that this is the most dangerous point of the route, it is common to find venomous snakes next to and on the trail. These could kill a human in a few hours. The trail is full of grass, so I recommend carrying your walking sticks ready to defend yourself.

We begin the ups and downs. I have always said that in that area, the hills look like mint ice cream balls; it must be that I really like ice cream. It's approximately 6 kilometers in this area, which is the most beautiful part of the day to walk. We have almost no crossings that day; we pass a couple of houses, and after the second one, we will find a road that goes down and another that continues flatter. We must follow the flatter one. This area can have a lot of mud; during the rainy season, it can get complicated as it is a dirt road.

We continue past a couple of houses on the right-hand side until we reach again a gravel road that connects the community with Siquirres. There, we turn left, passing a corral of cows. In the community, different lodging options are offered. In our case, we always camp at the school, but there are more options depending on the budget.

The route I am attaching is until Marine, which was the option we took that day. Everything must be coordinated in advance. From the crossing to the school, it is 2 more kilometers. There, we take a bath and rest. For a fit hiker, 4 to 5 hours is more than enough to complete the route.

Necessary equipment: For this stage, you will need comfortable and cool clothes that dry quickly, a hat, 2 or 3 liters of water, insect repellent, long pants, hiking boots and a small backpack to carry your belongings. It is also advisable to bring walking sticks and sunscreen. During these two days we will have nowhere to buy anything, although a small shop with snacks is being set up in Las Brisas, it is still in its infancy.

Technical details: • Walking on ballast and mud • Ascents and descents • Mud • Sun on most of the route • Mosquitoes and other insects present • Bullet ants and poisonous snakes (Terciopelo, Matabuey and Bocaraca) • The average temperature oscillates between 25°C and 35°C. • Humidity of 95%. • 14 to 18 km depending on the lodging. • Cumulative drop of 650 positive and 300 negative meters.

Stage Fauna: Sloths, Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, Basilisks, Armadillos, Dart Frogs, Toads, Coyotes, Birds, Hawks, Vultures, Jacanas, Herons, Heron, Seedlings, Flycatcher, Tanagers, Toucans, Military Macaws, Parrots, Hummingbirds and scribblers. Flora: At this stage, we can find soursop plantations, tropical plants, pastures with local trees, as well as guavas, guavas and bromeliads.

Here I leave the link of the route in Wikiloc.

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