Guaro is to Costa Rica what tequila is to Mexico and a reasonable person will have a difficult time deciding which one could do more damage to you!
Sit and chat with a group of paddlers who have done the Pacuare River here in Costa Rica and you will soon figure out that everyone has mixed emotions. For some the take out is the time to let out the breath they have held for the past eighteen miles (no kidding), for others it is the end of a day in paradise…the Pacuare is a jewel. Granted, if you did not do the Pacuare, every other run you were on would be a jewel, but this run is the most well-known.
We hit a window of opportunity today. Last week the levels were too high to run this part of the river (there are several sections of the Pacuare–all fantastic in themselves). There is no such thing as roadside boating here in Costa Rica, so even a little higher water level mixed with a chance of rain can rule out the Pacuare on that day. So even though this week´s paddlers had just warmed up with one day of paddling, we decided to go for it today and do the lower Pacuare.
The saying ´this ain´t Kansas´comes to mind about halfway down the put in road. Dense jungle surrounds you the further down you drive. We came around the corner at one point to find a toucan sitting in a tree above us. And then another ten feet further and there was another–probably the biggest toucan we have ever seen. And both posed for a photo op!!
The river today was a beautiful green. And hints of blue sky came out in between the clouds. It was the perfect setting. Once launching and heading downstream the experiences shared were a mixed bag. We have with us this week a veteran group of WDC paddlers. Included in the group were John and Roy who had not been here in ten years and John2 who comes every year. They had a great time comparing notes about how different the rapids were today than in times past.
Lower Haucas has been a stickler this year at lower water levels. And we have not had any trouble walking it more than once this year. The tongue that we followed through the main drop of the rapid for so many years disappeared and a ledge drop followed by a horseshoe hole–with another hole downstream now takes its place.
Once we finished the last wall shots (which save themselves for the last two rapids of the day–just when folks are starting to let down their guard), we found Miguel and Johnny waiting for us at the takeout. And no sooner were the boats loaded than we were seated at an open-air bar enjoying celebatory drinks before heading back to town. That is where the guaro came in!