Well, I am back from Pura Vidaville yet one more time, and Costa Rica in December has never been sweeter! The palm tree and pelican paradise was as tropical as ever. Though the waves were pretty small this year, I did get to visit the Surf and Body Boarding National Championships sponsored by Red Bull, and I was able to watch Rambo from Team Aventuras H20 kick some serious butt!
It was quite a scene at Jaco Beach in Costa Rica for the Surf Nationals.
The whitewater was great this year too. Here are a few highlights. Starting with the guide training trip down Chorro on the Naranjo River. This was a classic, humbling river trip. It started with a group safety talk, at the top.
Shortly downstream we stuffed a rafted into an undercut called cyclops. Everyone was fin and swam to shore, but we spent several hours trying to free the raft.
We actually used a raft bridge to get on the top of that rock on the left. It was a pretty wild maneuver bridging a gap above a shoot with a raft- then climbing up the raft and onto the rock. The next move we made almost resulted in a second raft getting stuck…
Arturo had this idea, and miraculously kept this boat from getting swallowed. This next shot is Arturo and JB trying to get the pinned raft free.
We never got the boat out that day, but as the river came down it came out by itself- once mother nature decided it was time. We eventually came back to make the first raft descent of the year, but we paddled the Rio Guavo first.
The striations on this rock are beautiful, nd it is amazing that this gorge is within 5 miles of the beach- Dominical, a popular surf break in Costa Rica.
This is just one of the Waterfalls that Jeremy Kingsberry and I paddled past on the Rio Guavo. It is a solid class III river trip with one class IV rapid. After this trip we moved over to the Sevegre drainage and ran the Division River. The put in requires an amazingly beautiful drive on a high ridge over looking the ocean and the foothills of the coastal range.
The Division is one of the cleanest watersheds in Costa Rica. It doesn’t have any agriculture or farming on the upper headwaters. The River is emerald green.
This is Josh Galt (from Facelevel) and Slade Andrews (former NFL strong safety), Ingrid, and Arturo dropping into a big ledge.
We stopped at a waterfall during lunch after the Division confluenced with the Sevegre River. This photo really captured a moment.
Agua’s Blancas is a great rapid that has a mean hole in the middle at the right level.
Here is a different angle of the same rapid with Jerry and Bobby from Earthtrek’s rafting in Coloma CA.
When we got to the bottom of this 15 mile run, we had’t had enough and the sun was not down, so we decided to make a run to do the first raft descent of Chorro on the Rio Naranjo- this was going to be a Tri-Fecta whitewater day running 3 rivers- the Division, Sevegre, and Chorro on the rio naranjo.
We had local expert and safety kayaker Felipe Cervilla hucking wave wheels as we paddled into Chorro.
This is Josh and Slades initiation into Chorro. They were ready for anything including a swim… which happened shortly afterward.
The entrance drop was just a little too narrow for the high water, and flipped the raft. Everyone swam through Chorro rapid, but came out on the otherside with a smile.
The drops keep coming.
It was full whitewater action all the way down.
The day ended on the beach after an epic surf session, and lets just say it was a KAVU day with good people, and good friends.
If you are interested in coming on a trip to Costa Rica in 2009, our scheduled dates are Dec. 5-12, or Dec. 12-18th. Give us a call at 503.772.1122, or check out www.NorthwestRiverGuides.com We have designed this trip to be family friendly, and provides a healthy active vacation while honing paddling skills and enjoying the tropics.