We didn’t get a chance to sleep in as we had booked a tour to the rainforest that had an 08:15 pickup. We were advised to eat a good breakfast. I set off to find pancakes. The pancake store wasn’t open. The Burger King across the road was. They had a picture of some heavily processed breakfast tray which had pancake shaped carbohydrate discs. I tried to order one but the server spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish. I left with a plastic tray with warmed sliced ham, dried out potato croquettes and some sort of bread. There were no pancakes. I ate the ham and a few potato-esque cylinders before giving up. I was very hungry by lunchtime. Bec & Alastair looked disgusted and aghast at my bag as we passed them in the street.
The tour was a 14 seat mini van that was full, bouncy and cramped. I managed to fall asleep with my head banging on the window. Our first stop was the toilet in the information centre just inside the rainforest. It was as crowded as India which meant the queue for the toilet where we were instructed to change into our bathers was as long as the 10 min time we had before we were due to meet at the front desk and leave. I thanked my previous career as a contemporary dancer as I balanced en demi pointe on the tops of my sneakers and shimmied out of my shorts and undies and into my bathers, without touching the stinky toilet or the cubicle walls. Or falling over.
We drove up and up a windy road and the guide pointed out the small waterfalls that we’d visit on the return journey. We stopped at the roadside Cafe and placed orders for lunch. We were dropped off at La Mina Cascade hike: 30 min downhill to the waterfall, 30 min to swim (seriously!? Leeches!), 30 min to hike along the Big Tree hike back to the main road.
We were lucky we weren’t rained on. By the time we got to the waterfall we we warm enough to tiptoe into the freezing cold water. After much manly squealing and standing on Julian’s toe I jumped in and joined the others. It was not that cold and quite refreshing. I was glad to have made the jump.
Hiking out became like every other hike we’ve done in Canada: staring at the path ahead and completely failing to look around. I imagined what places to hike back home in Western Australia. I’ve done bits of the Bibblemen track. I’ve hiked through Kalbarri Gorges. I miss the eucalyptus leaves and smell of the trees. But not the flies.
There were wasps flying about our plates at lunch. There were wasps on Toronto Island. Wasps in the Galápagos. I was still scared shitless of being bitten in the neck and asphyxiating to death so I ran away, leaving Daniel to eat surrounded by three sugar-hungry insects.
Despite having time to nap in the evening after returning from the rainforest I was still tired with a headache (was it amebic meningitis from the rainforest!?) at 22:00 when we got ready to head out for New Year’s Eve. We’d got tickets to Oceano, a bar on Condado Beach. There was a dress code. I have no idea how men wore suits as I was sweating with jeans and a T shirt and was cranky and hot. I tolerated being elbowed by women dressed up with heels and carrying martini glasses. As soon as the count down was over and we all sighed at fireworks at a hotel down the beach I split. I had intended to shower and change into shorts back at the B&B (I did) before heading to the beach with Dan and Julian (Julian did; we crawled into bed). I was so comforted by a cool shower and a soft bed that I celebrated the start of 2015 with a comfortable air conditioned sleep. Dan slept terribly. Apparently I kicked him all night, twitching. I had the best sleep.