WHILE IN COSTA RICA, THE MATADOR team went on a beautiful hike through the jungle up to the gorgeous Nuayaca Falls. The falls were strong because Costa Rica had just entered it’s rainy season, and the water was far cooler than the ocean. But you had to climb up the mountain to get there. It was under two miles of beautiful Costa Rican jungle, but under two miles is enough when you’re out of shape.
As a result, my hike through the Costa Rican jungle was an emotional roller coaster. Here are the stages I passed through.
“Sitting in the comfort of this air conditioned van, I can say with a hundred percent certainty that I’m going to rock this jungle hike like a goddamn champ. People will tell tales of the day I walked to this waterfall.”
“Wait, is this all uphill?”
“Riding horses up the mountain was an option? Why couldn’t we spring for that?”
4. Dogged determination
“I don’t need horses. I’m a human being. My ancestors have climbed mountains and explored the bottomless depths of the sea. We’ve walked on the moon. This jungle hike is nothing to me. NOTHING.”
“Oh wow, I am way more out of shape than the guys who walked on the moon.”
“IS THAT A MONKEY?”
“That’s a coconut.”
“Can we take a break? My eyeballs are vibrating along to my heartbeat.”
“Oh thank god for 2 liter water bottles.”
“Was there a half-second downpour that I missed, or am I just sweating that much?”
“Everyone here who hasn’t broken a sweat yet is just SHOWING OFF.”
12. Unbridled joy.
“THAT’S A MONKEY!”
13. Borderline hysteria
“AND A SLOTH! OMFG [dissolves into incoherent babbling noises]”
14. Profound relief.
“I can hear the falls!”
15. Unadulterated bliss.
“Let me just slip into the water here — Oh my god, this is literally the best I’ve ever felt.”
16. Deep satisfaction
“The best pineapples I’ll ever eat, just for me? Don’t mind if I do.”
17. Total relaxation
“WHAT? Sorry, I can’t hear any of my worries over the sound of the waterfall.”
18. Separation anxiety
“What do you mean ‘We have to go now?'”
19. Stoic acceptance
“I got up the mountain. Getting down will be a cinch.”
“Jesus, this jungle is beautiful.”
21. Mild concern.
“Is that a giant storm cloud rolling over the mountains?”
22. Intense concern.
“Oh god, I didn’t know I could get this wet.”
23. Surprised enjoyment
“Actually, this feels really nice.”
“I’m going to plaster social media with pictures from this hike, and everyone is going to be jealous.”
“I’ve never earned a cocktail so much in my life.”