Another Neverland

A couple of more Journeys under the belt in the last two weeks and I have literally been unable to sit down and write about stuff.  Not that there isn’t plenty to write about, but getting it put into words has been the most difficult part as it seems as though I am trying to translate experience into language, and the language has evaded me!  I guess this happens sometimes in writing, but something tells me that it goes a bit beyond that…

Okay so the journey of a couple of weeks ago did not pan out at all in terms of it being anything that we could envision ourselves being a part of, for many reasons which are not important here, but suffice it to say that we were sorely disappointed as we had so looked forward to getting back to work.  And we found ourselves without any further options in front of us and we were/are feeling the walls of our current living space crumbling around us, very much like the rest of the world’s walls are crumbling very rapidly – whatever anyone’s current life is like, it is changing in some way or another – fast.  I have a Phoenix bird tattoo – it is a constant reminder of the shift we are all a part of right now, not to mention that this is a very important part of any decision that we make regarding a future endeavor.  The future will not be created as a repeat of the past, it will be different, and it must be different no matter what.  And the rain begins – again.

So how do you see a different future when all we have to work with is the ruins and wreckage of the past?  Great question!  This is most definitely the current conundrum – LOL.  I sure as heck don’t know how, but I do know that poco a poco we will work it out, IF we have our awareness open and ready and willing for all things new and different.  This is imperative.  And as at this point we were without any further options in the ‘what next’ department, and things were feeling very much like the scene from Star Wars when the group was in the trash masher and the walls were closing in…’I’ve got a bad feeling about this…’ and then all of a sudden we had two more opportunities right in front of us, in totally opposite directions.

One of the options we have yet to visit, it was not arranged to be first on the list, but the other was urgent and was a ‘go and see it right now’ kinda deal.  Some friends of ours had been out to this place a few years back with a friend of theirs (who fell head over heels in love with it) with the idea of somehow making something out of the situation, but it fell through then.  And now the owner is in a really bad fix (desperately pushed into the situation of having to make some urgent changes…) and these folks were called up to go and check it out (by their friend) to see what it would take to help the man and make things work, and they called us because they knew that if they could actually acquire this place, they would need someone like us to live there and ‘do’ it because they could not, at least not yet.  This required packing up for a Journey, and I mean a Journey, because none of us had any idea what it would take to find it (again), let alone get to it!  The last time our friends had been there it was not possible to drive in, requiring a horse ride or an atv quad or a very long walk, which they had done, as well as helicopters getting them in on one trip.  But since we are now well into the rainy season we had no idea what to expect, so we planned on leaving at day break – Mate and I actually had to leave our mountain top before light to get to their place on the coast at daybreak.  There were four of us – Mate and myself, our friend JD and his eldest son Micah.  We all squeezed into our ’95 Hilux and headed for the Talamanca mountains, once again.  Interesting that we had gazed in this particular direction during the last trip to the Talamancas, when the ants chased us back home from the camp site; we were now going to be a bit further to the north, entering in from a different town.  I must reiterate here that there are not too many developed roads into these mountains, they are the last outposts of a wilderness that is so vast it is an international park system of close to a million acres, and the highest points in this country, with the only way to cross – and it is possible – being on foot, through extremely rough and rugged terrain.  What a Journey that would be!

The Destination
The Destination

DSC_0062 DSC_0066(can you see the road?!)

Anyway, so here we are packed up with some food in the cooler to sustain us and our rubber boots and ponchos and hats because surely we would run into rain and wet, and a pack because we might not get out the same day.  Thank the Powers-That-Be that we now have four new tires!  We wouldn’t make it without those.  We made good time to the point of heading up into the mountains, but as a good reference consider this: it took us more than an hour and a half to go fifteen miles.  We only made one wrong turn, which was quickly realized as the wrong road came to a dead end and the right turn off was nearby, phew!  We could see the right road from our wrong road. (Some of these pictures you can see the road that we came in on behind us from across the mountain; and the ‘right’ road across the draw that we backtracked across to access the ‘right’ road ).

the 'right' road as viewed from the 'wrong' road
the ‘right’ road as viewed from the ‘wrong’ road

This is where the traveling was starting to get challenging, although we had been in four wheel drive since we left the pavement behind (in the ‘town’), we are talking about some serious four wheelin’ now.  We started down the ‘right’ road and it quickly became rugged and we reached the point where JD said that ‘normally’ we could not drive beyond this point (that we were now at), and it was at least another mile and a half to the gate, but there just so happened to be a young man there at the parking spot and he said that we could make it, ‘No problem!’, and could he get a ride? He was heading that way…so he hopped in the back of the truck and we started to crawl into the Place That Time Forgot.

When I say crawl I am serious, as crawl we did.  The road was only as wide as the truck at many curves, and we had to make our way down one side of this mountain and into the water drainage – quebrada – cross the river and head up the other side and around it.  There was even a little wooden bridge that was built a long time ago over an extremely rough spot that looked as if it might crumble, but it held.  So many pictures that I could have taken but it was not a photo shoot journey, at least not yet, so I missed some of those exciting moments as I was squished into the back seat.  Anyway, the weather was definitely on our side as was the fact that we were still very early in the morning yet – it was a beautiful day, the sun was out and there was no fog or mist or rain to be seen.  The scenery was absolutely amazing; here in this part of the world there are some of the most beautiful vistas ever, and the crawl into this faraway place was causing a lot of excitement in anticipation. We finally rounded out of the deep parts of the water canyon along the edge of the next mountain which rolled down into a beautiful little homestead where the young man in the back of the truck lives,

nearby homestead
nearby homestead

so we parted ways there and continued on.  We had only a short way yet to go, another steep drop of road which led into the next ‘valley’ between mountains, and this was our destination.  We actually were able to drive right up to the gate and entry – wow!  This was a new one for our travel guides, so we considered ourselves blessed – had it been necessary to hike in we might very well have had to camp over for the night.

And there it was…DSC_0080 DSC_0081

As we looked up the slope of this carved out niche in paradise, the water fountains and flowers that adorned the hillside with the trails in between that led up to the buildings that had been built by this single man over many years, to say that I was in awe would be clearly understated.  So far out in the middle of a vast wilderness this man had created his sanctuary and invited any who were willing to make the journey to enjoy it as well.  Obviously only the tough and adventurous were able to make it in, yet apparently there had been many over the years, but this had dwindled to but a few as our world had recently entered the throes of upheaval and change.  The owner/builder was getting on in years and it was time for him to go, change was needed in his own life for many reasons.  He had lived up there with limited communication – internet was sketchy (but not impossible, especially these days), he had sequestered himself into building his sanctuary in the wilderness and it is truly a work of art like nothing I have ever seen.

DSC_0084 DSC_0085                                                                            DSC_0083

Everything was built out of western red cedar from Canada that had been shipped and hauled by ship, by truck, and then piece by piece by oxen into this spot so many years before, to create this incredible place.  The man is a master wood worker, as you can see in the pictures.  Unbelievable!  A small Englishman that is a true master – and when it is time to go, well – it’s time to go – and apply your skills elsewhere, if that.  It may be just time to do something different, yeah?  Anyway, he had built his own casa to live in, and a couple of guest quarters, there is a study/library meditation sitting room there, and a chapel.  This is not a religious place by denomination, but it is a sanctuary that is as close to the heart of God and Gaia as any I have ever had the privilege to experience. He has built several outside areas just for enjoyment, with areas for being in the open yet covered and with the views of forever.  There are trails through well-manicured jungle forests leading to waterfalls that are in the hundreds, some hardly in reach because of the difficulty in getting there, some hours away, and some within reach and there are even some that he has never seen!  There are natural hot tubs built out of rock and what he calls the Victory Watering hole that is the perfect place to have a cerveza or a glass of the best wine or brandy you can imagine.  And what is amazing is that it is all in very good condition, okay it needs a little bit of help, but really I was shocked to see the amazing cleanliness in the buildings and upkeep of the landscaping.  The water itself comes from springs that anyone would find a privilege to drink, the purest and cleanest and coldest, and all of the electricity is from hydropower.  This in itself is a major endeavor of maintenance, but all is in excellent shape.  What else do you do up there except take care of your place? And keep working the wood, which he does.  I guess all of the seclusion we have ‘enjoyed’ here where we are now for the past several months, the meditation practices and all have ‘trained’ us in for something like this, possibly…

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However, we did see the need for some food growing, that was the missing piece in the operation, but that would not be a problem, there was plenty of room for a greenhouse.  A shade house would not be needed, as this was in the cloud forest and the mist and fog there is in abundance, although he mentioned that this year there was a drought up there and he had never in all of his many years there seen it so dry (and where we are the rain is in abnormal abundance – ?), and this is what of course allowed us to be able to drive in to the gate this time, the dry spell.  Obviously there is not a problem growing food there as the nearby homesteads were growing corn, tomatoes, beans, squash and other good stuff in abundance, and so could we.  The things that might be difficult to grow there would be the fruits, as most of those do better at lower elevations and with higher humidity, and this is at 5000’ plus, which is a consistent flow of temperatures in the seventies mostly, sometimes cooler at night – i.e. blankets and good sleeping.  Whatever the case for growing stuff, we can figure it out.  The bug situation was certainly different, and the critter world is as vast as you can imagine, everything is there, in abundance, except my beloved howler monkeys.  The capuchins and spider monkeys are there, and all of the cats, and even the tapir ranges through that land, but the howlers prefer lower elevations – boo hoo.  The owner had nearly stepped on a terciplelo (fer-de-lance) and he had seen at least three of the very shy and extremely deadly bushmaster snakes.  Yep, it is all happenin’ here, except for the madness of the cities – good trade, yeah?  Oh this place is dimensional – for sure!  There is a new species of butterfly here, yet to be named – our traveling partner got some pictures, awesome!

We climbed to the bell tower of the chapel and we could see to forever, but there was no bell. (Note: find suitable bell.)

view of forever
view of forever

I envision meditation bells stationed all around this sanctuary.  Our host gifted us with some coffee beans picked from the wild organic coffee that was growing up on the mountain, and some delicious herbs for tea.  There are so many wild medicinal plants in this area, some under propagation, that I truly will be grateful to have the opportunity to learn all about them, if that be the case.

We do not know if this is our place, but it certainly feels like it very well could be.  What it would take to move in there will be an incredible challenge – it is barely fathomable for me to see our little truck hauling/crawling through there with one load at a time, no guarantee if we can get through or not, but the good thing is that we don’t need any furniture – maybe a refrigerator, but that would be it, the rest would just be tools and stuff for gardening, and some personal stuff.  Yes, a few rugged and rough trips through the incredible rough roads in, but do-able (we are researching Unimogs, which would be the ticket for sure – we do not have oxen).

We had covered the tour and were discussing the meat of the matter when the sky darkened and we knew that we had better get to action quickly, because rain on the road would be anything but good for the way out.  We quickly gathered our group just as the rain started to dump, loaded up and began the unreal trip out.  It was raining hard, and we have no defrost or AC so the windshield was in a perpetual state of fogged, JD was wiping at it constantly so Mate could see, we were getting wet with the windows rolled down for air and the road was slippery and bumpy.  Mate realized he was on the little wooden bridge AFTER he was on it – but fortunately he managed to get all four on it – by feel, I guess, or luck – and we really crawled around, through, up and out.  When we got to the top of the hill at the turnoff, the one we missed on the way in (there is a small village here) there was a group of locals standing under the roof with their phone’s taking pictures of us coming up out of there and cheering for us.  We made it!

The trip back to the coast was pretty much a time warp, we did get lost after we got back into the ‘big town’ as we tried to get back to the main road, it was raining really hard and we were tired and turned around somewhat but after we stopped for a drink we got realigned and found our way back to the ‘real world’ okay and we were back ‘home’ in a moment.  We spent the night on the coast with the extended family of our fellow travelers, tired and beat from an excruciating yet exhilarating journey into a world beyond this one.  Our hostesses had prepared a beautiful and gratifying pot of soup for our weary souls; we were able to visit about our journey for a short while before climbing exhausted into our beds for a very deep sleep.  Mate’s shoulders and arms were all bound up from holding onto the truck into and out of this Neverland, but he was a very happy camper, nevertheless.  The next day we discussed the possibilities over coffee before heading back here to our place on this mountain.  Bringing all of the players together to see what we have to work with…phase II.

The reality is that this is possible, it is about pulling all of the pieces together to make it happen, with a little cosmic help.  It will happen or it won’t, we shall see.  This week we must travel yet to another location because it has been arranged and we look forward to the trip, backup is a very good thing these days.  One never knows what the Universal Magician (and really, that ultimately is us) might pull out of the hat.  We are honored, and life truly can be one exciting adventure – at least some of the time, yeah?  Reality can also hit hard as well, we did return to a party in the house next door…but that is another story.

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Author: Elena in the Jungle

Living a very simple reclusive and self sustaining life way out in the jungle with my husband, growing as much food and medicinal plants as possible, I find my freedom and sanctuary in the amazing and spectacular array of life that surrounds me, gifts of Gaia, most especially while traveling around on my horse.

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