May 30th, 2014 – El Pahuma Orchid Reserve
When we finally arrived at the bottom of the El Pahuma mountain trail, I was cold, wet, and hungry. Now that I am on the bus back I am fully fed, slightly less cold and still leave water imprints of my body wherever I sit. Minor improvements, but I’ll take it. The cold and wet came from our pit stop on the way down, the infamous waterfall (whose name I can’t recall) in the middle of the reserve. Today I have joined the ranks of a long lineage of Ceiba students, both semester and summer program participants, in venturing beneath the natural aquatic landform.
The waterfall was certainly majestic. I definitely have not encountered anything nearly as exciting in Wisconsin that could come close to comparing to this. Wisconsin Dells might be the Waterpark capitol, but it doesn’t have anything on waterfalls. As I stood merely paces away from the site of the crashing water, my desire to stand over a rock formation while being pummeled by an unimaginable amount of dynamic fluid pressure exponentially increased. I stared wide-eyed at this ecological wonder as I waited for more students to join me in my mission. When enough of us assembled, we began our ascent to underwater submergence.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins as I mustered the energy to breathe and withstand the chilling waters descending upon my body. Feeling the cold sting of the cascading water bite into my skin expelled the air from my lungs. The challenge to breathe functioned as a natural defense for the waterfall to deter the weak of will from completing the path, but I was resolute in my quest for adventure and ensured my own success in traversing the waterfall. And emerging from the holy water I felt changed indeed, my life enhanced by this phenomenal experience. There are so many ways to feel alive here in Ecuador, the levels of excitement providing an adrenaline junkie sanctuary for those that truly need their fix.
“It’s like a rollercoaster that only goes up.” (<– for Nerdfighters)
All photos are pretty self-explanatory…