Feeling Like an Eight Year Old
04 April 2015 | Buenavista Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Beth / so grateful to be able to jump in the water and cool down
Martin said he would take us on an outing up the Rio Lampara and to the waterfalls. It sounded like fun and we enthusiastically said, “Yes!” not knowing quite the adventure it would be.
After the rain stopped on Saturday morning, Martin and Karen picked me up from Madcap, went over to Casey’s to collect Jim who had just emerged from the casita after one of Becky’s excellent massages, and continued on down the Rio Dulce to Hotelito Perdido where John and Angie (Angela G) had been enjoying lunch. With the lancha loaded, we turned into the Rio Lampara and zoomed carefully through the green waters with Martin offering commentary, “This is Foolish Bob’s place. That is where Chiqui grew up” as well as the admonition, “The Canadians are responsible for spotting logs and rocks.” That was no small responsibility because the rain lately has brought all manner of debris down from the riverbanks, but we were lucky – this stretch of river was mostly clear and we had no mishaps.
We went as far as we could along the river – about 5 miles – before clambering out on the right bank while a young boy took the lancha over to the left bank to tie it up. The path from there is always rough, rocky and winding up and down through the jungle, but on this day it was also treacherous with slippery mucky sections. We made our way along about a half-mile of it, turned left at the fork and descended to a beautiful swimming hole at the base of a small waterfall. The blissfully cool water felt just wonderful after our sweaty, mucky hike, and we splashed and played in this swimming hole surrounded by lush greenery.
Then Martin said to me, “There’s a little hole behind the falls. I’ll show you!” and that’s when the experience turned from a lovely adventure to a new location into a “Woweee!!!” kind of a day for me. I followed him under the overhanging rock to the place where he said, “I’ll go first. Then you follow and I’ll grab you when you get there.” I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and plunged into the splashing, plummeting water.
You have to understand that this is something I would never have done a few years ago. I was, for most of my life, timid about going into deep water, about going far from the edge – or the boat - or where I would have to hold my breath. But I did it!
It was only a few seconds and a few feet along before I felt a strong hand on my arm and I was pulled into the teensy alcove. I sucked in some air, found rocks under my feet and must have looked wildly excited because Martin, with a grin as big as mine said, “It’s just like being eight years old, isn’t it?” And yes it was. It was magnificent.
He swam out through the falling water while I stayed and laughed with the sheer joy of it all. A few minutes later I swam out too, emerging with enough endorphins in my system to last all day. I love how such a little event can be such a big experience. How perfectly wonderful it is that we can experience this childlike glee when we are grey haired and decades past childhood.
We scrubbed the mud out of our sandals, toweled ourselves off and headed back up the path. We all made it safely back with no tumbles or scrapes – just muddy feet again – and with me fairly dancing along and still exuberant about the reward at the end of that trail.