While they were not visible, we knew there were rocks on the river…because we could hear them rolling underneath us!  Like riding on top of a continual game of billiards, we paddled downstream with the rocks rolling and clanking and making a lot of noise underneath us.  Today was a high water run down the Rio Naranja!

It came as no surprise to arrive at the put-in for the Naranja to find all the familiar boulders nearly under water.  The west coast has had its normal share of rain this season, regardless; long ago Costa Rican rivers gave up their element of surprise in their ability to rise quickly on us. We are just used to it by now.  And we were certainly not surprised when our friend Arturo gave the thumbs up that his raft trip (which we were tagging along) was still a go; we have been on many adventures with Arturo and know that a)he is very good and b) he is not phased himself by a little high water. (Arturo and Ken share a famous story of being struck by lightning on a river in Mexico).     

So much for checking out the nice Class III run down the Rio Naranja today.  Steve had a big grin on his face when he declared that today’s run was “a west coast version of the pascua section of the Reventazon.â€?   It was squirrely, big and fast.  And while it might not do for any of our Class III trips, we had an awful lot of fun running it!  To top it all off, we were forced to soak in the sun all morning at Manual Antonio’s beautiful beach until trip time.  Some days the check-out trips are more difficult than other days—even factoring in a four hour drive back to San Jose after the river. 

And how about our two Nicuaraguan adventurers?  Latest word from Brian and Matt was
“Well, we survived the election.  Partied down pretty hard with the Sandinistas last night….