Alone and Enchanted
It had been a number of years since I had been to Latino nations south of Mexico. This was my first trip to Central America and to Costa Rica. I was fully equipped with a small, light-weight, backpack, and medical kit, change of socks, a shirt, long and short pants, rain jacket, and one pair of durable walking shoes. The plain was simple really. Head east from the capital San Jose, race walk alone 100 miles over a volcano, into a damp fog filled tunnel, through a snake infested rain forest, down a narrow twisting mountain road with no shoulder nor guard rail, circle a remote butterfly farm, enter a banana plantation, pick wild orchids, and dodge buses and trucks while keeping a close lookout for bandits, muggers, coyotes and white-faced spiders. When I see the Atlantic Ocean I’ll turn due south, keep walking until I reach the humid tropical jungle at the border with Panama, follow a dirt trail for a while, then pray I will be able to find a way back to San Jose in time to catch my flight to New York.