Hidden Waterfalls and Adventure

Puerto Rico must just be the place for adventure.  If you have the chance to go, take it!  But I’ll wax poetic about Puerto Rico at a later date.  Let’s talk about hidden waterfalls and adventure.  When I visited Puerto Rico we stayed at a research station in El Yunque National Forest.  We were surrounded by jungle and rivers and amphibians of all shapes and sizes.  We spent one afternoon visiting the various streams and rivers for a stream ecology lesson.  This included a fairly large river that you could track from the research station to the shore, which was pretty cool.  I’m told we were there during a pretty hefty drought or our adventure wouldn’t have happened.  The river in question features pools connected by areas of rushing water.  The side of the pool we were focused in was essentially a rock wall was a small sliver open to a waterfall that could be heard but not seen.  The explorer of the group decided there must be a way to get to that waterfall and he soon disappeared under the water.  When he came back and pointed out the ‘path’, everyone soon followed.

Path is used loosely here.  To actually get to the waterfall from where we were situated, one had to swim about fifty feet to the other side of a ten foot deep pool, balance on a rock to catch their breath, then begin their ascent.  You see, there was an opening in the rock just above water that created a tunnel up to the waterfall.  It wouldn’t have been possible to climb if a tree limb hadn’t gotten stuck, providing a makeshift ladder.  If you’ve ever been on river boulders, you know just how slippery this whole situation was.  With the help of good friends, we all shimmied through that hole and enjoyed the view.  Here’s a picture that hardly does it justice!

17285_665450570267241_1152919931804729207_nIf coming up sounds precarious, coming down was just as bad.  It was impossible to go back the way we had come because there was nothing to hold on to one you reached the bottom.  The same explorer as mentioned before suggested we try sliding down the log you can see on the left side of the picture above.  There was a space just big enough for the average person to fit through, so away we went.  I must say, natural water slides are much more fun that amusement parks.  Surprisingly, no one got hurt and all eighteen of use made it to the waterfall and back out again.  While it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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