The first week here in Chirripo National Park was a very wet one. The rain would hammer down as early as 11am unfailingly, drenching us by the time we returned to base Crestones. However, in the past week the sun reappeared, giving us some incredible days with blue skies. With this sunny weather more wildlife surfaced and visibility of the peak improved immensely.On one of these beautiful days the ranger gave us a day off to explore the many trails. We decided to climb the second highest peak in Costa Rica, Ventesqueros. There is only eight metres difference between Ventesqueros and Chirripo (the highest mountain). The trek to Ventesqueros was steeper and physically more demanding. But the clear skies and mind blowing view from the top made the trek worth it. We could see the surrounding city below, countless lagoons and of course an incredible view of Chirripo. Given the altitude the sun was much stronger and a few of us (notably the pale skinned English) got sun burned. To cool down we had a quick and I mean quick swim in the freezing cold lake. The perfect day ended with a beautiful sunset. This is living!
The Ranger clearly underestimated us. We already finished the work we were meant to do at the end of the first week. We made him a happy man! The downside of finishing our scheduled work so quickly is that we had to work on paths that were far away from base Crestones. On our last day of work we had to tackle a 2.5km descent to arrive at the worksite and a 3.5km climb back to the ranger station, packed with spades and pickaxes.
The past two weeks have flown by. Tomorrow we are going up Chirripo for the second and last time with a new group of visitors from Fieldbase. Monday is our last day and it is Tuesday that we descend back down and return to Fieldbase.