Big Dogs left to explore Costa Rica

In January 2012 a Big Dog Force and a Big Dog OC1 left for Costa Rica and neither of them returned. Our small team left England and its new year blues, packing shortie cags and sandals and a tick list including jaguars, parrots, monkeys, a few poisonous snakes and warm, steep, tropical rivers. Overnight in Charlotte, NC broke the journey with BBQ and beer, then southwards without delay to Central America and the ever-increasing selection of Costa Rican whitewater.

I’d kayaked in Costa Rica in 2005 and lots can happen in seven years: a new kayak company with new kayaks to paddle new rivers! It was the new rivers that surprised me. Despite the constant flow of American kayakers, Costa Rica is still a destination where first descents are being discovered and paddled by a strong local boating community. Many of them work as raft guides and paddle for pleasure.
For two weeks we kayaked and canoed the deep jungle gorges of the famous el Rio Pacaure and the steep creeks of el Rio Chirripo Pacifico and the fast dam release runs on the Balsa and the Vulcan and we even squeezed in some jungle bashing epic adventure. We returned to England with new stories, sun tans and six packs (well hidden by Costa Rican beer and rice and beans and fish), but our boats stayed.
Branson had his balloons, Kirk had the starship Enterprise, and now the local paddlers in Costa Rica have a couple of Big Dogs to help explore deeper into the jungles and higher up the volcanoes.
We didn’t see any jaguars, but perhaps our boats will.

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