Week 2- Stunning Views!

I had intended to stop covering each day separately to make my blog more concise, but each day is so different I hate to miss sharing anything. So at the risk of boring you, here is week 2.

Day 8-We spent a leisurely afternoon, driving north along Number 3 hwy up/down twisty narrow roads over one lane bridges reminiscent of Maui and Spain, past breathtaking views thru picturesque San Mateo and to Orotina. Road racer Don was in his glory! A late afternoon stop at a hillside restaurant for a refreshing fresh fruit smoothie while watching a large raptor soar above us on the mountain breezes was just what we needed to take us home. Look at these stunning views!

Day 9- The car was packed and we were on the road today early with our US friends (Pat & Joe) as our guides, heading to the Pacific coast beaches. First stop was Tarcoles to see 20–30 HUGE salt water crocodiles hanging around under the bridge, maybe waiting for lunch to fall in? Apparently they are large as those seen in Australia. The seaside town of Jaco lived up to its reputation as a tourist trap town so we didn’t dally there. Next stop Playa Herradura, a quiet cove sandy beach where you could easily spend an afternoon under the beach side palm trees drinking cold fresh fruit drinks with frequent dips into the almost too warm gentle green waters. Then off to Los Suenos Resort for a cold cervesa and delicious lunch overlooking connecting pools, cabanas and more beautiful beach. I would have loved to spent more time exploring the marina and many shops of this condo resort community. Back home in time for afternoon Siesta, then swim in pool before supper and calling it a night.

Day 10- Another early start for a road trip thru more twisting roads to Sarchi, just north east of Atenas where we visited a 90 year old family run business of fabricating the colourful wooden ox carts. Costa Rica’s national symbol. Eloy Alfaro & Sons Workshop is still powered by a water wheel that recycles water from nearby river and claim they use no electricity to make all of the wooden Wheels and Carts. Known as CR’s premier center for crafts and carpentry, Sarchi also has the Guinness Book record for the largest Ox Cart in the world- a record not likely to be broken soon. Who uses ox carts anymore?? Apparently CR farmers do as they still remain the most efficient method to remove produce from the fields during the long rainy season. If you can believe it, all carts (as well as decorated trays, bowls, vases, etc) are hand painted by local artists on site.

Making the wheels in various stages using 16 separate parts/types wood held together by metal band, heated, then cooled.
Water wheel powering machinery, artists at work
Finished Ox Carts

Day 11/12- Cheryl & John arrived Saturday night after a long day of travel, luckily escaping the storm that hit the eastern provinces, dumping 5–70cm of snow on our friends/family left behind. Sunday was an orientation day to Atenas and a repeat scenic drive down Route 3 with lunch at the roadside “Soda”/ restaurant, over looking the rugged mountains& valley. We were delighted to come across a Patron Saint Fiesta in San Mateo, complete with free food, a live fundraising auction with livestock, produce and more. in support of the local church!. The typical town treed Parc Centro also held unique outdoor sculptures and much needed shade from the hot sun. Cheryl’s comment on the condition of the roads was “They aren’t as bad as the road to Hana in Maui (less narrow) but just as windy.” We’ll make a race car passenger out of her yet ( as long as she sits in the back seat behind Don and can’t see the edge of the cliff/road!) We topped the day off with Mohitos on the patio with our US friends at sunset ( and into the evening.) The fresh mint and limes were compliments of our host Hisano!

Day 13- Tuesday was another real adventure to Volcano Poas and La Paz Waterfalls & Gardens. Again, a twisty road and with many uncertain road choices, but our trusty navigator (me!) got us there. No depending on GPS in this country, its old fashioned map reading! I can’t possibly describe the beauty from the top of Volcano Poas and the 5 tumbling waterfalls amid colourful gardens with butterfly/ bird/monkeys/large cats/humming bird sanctuaries, so I’ll let these pictures say it all!

Day 14- Last day of week 2 was relaxing around the pool and dinner with friends, enjoying a lunch of typical Cosados -Arroz con Pollo with dried plantain & salad- delicious!, (complements of our Host and house cleaner). Finally. We were also entertained in the afternoon by Michael trying to remove a captured iguana from Coco’s mouth! Again pictures will tell how we spent Valentines Day 2017, Costa Rica style! Buenas Tardes (good night) all.

Thus ends our second week. Looking forward to more beaches, touring a coffee plantation, hikes in some of the many national parks, including above canopy hanging bridges and much more next week! Stay tuned!

Don and Ann

P.S.

Car considerations- After much consideration we decided to get FULL insurance coverage for our rental car, as the risk of having to pay upfront for any damages and then apply to our third party insurers, was very concerning. Especially after experiencing the very hectic, crazy local Costa Rican drivers!