This is our fourth day in Costa Rica and things have been very busy. We have been buying groceries, getting our transportation arranged, and making preparations for the arrival on Saturday, of a hiking group we are hosting for a week. There really hasn't been much time to absorb where we are, but this morning I had a real "Costa Rica" moment. I was hanging out some laundry to dry. A fine mist was being blown up from the trees below the house by a strong wind. The sun was shining, but the temperature was slightly chilly if you weren't standing in the sun. The mist wet my face and arms as I hung out the clothes. I was muttering to myself that the clothes would probably never dry if the forest insisted on breathing out mist all day. I looked up from the line and saw a sight that reminded me of why I love this place so much... there in front of me, stretching from horizon to horizon was a rainbow.
This is "rainbow season". The heavy downpours of the rainy reason are past, the sun is out and the thick mist expired by the rain forest hangs in the air against a blue sky dotted with clouds, it is the perfect recipe for a rainbow! I dropped the clothes pins I was holding and ran for my camera. It is a good thing I did since seconds after I took this photo the winds blew the mist away towards the lake taking the rainbow with it.
After breakfast, we went with friends to Liberia, a small city 1 1/2 hours from where we are staying. We needed supplies that we can't get in locally so we all piled into the car and made our way down the mountain. The road from Tilaran to Canas, (a town at the foot of the mountain), is steep and serpentine. It affords a lovely view of Volcan Tenorio and Volcan Miravalles off to the west. Huge boulders of volcanic rock lay nestled in the deep grass on the mountain side that faces Tenorio... a stark contrast of black rock against the verdant green grass is a reminder that the now sleeping volcano, was not always so quiet.
Once down the mountain we made our way through the busy, narrow streets of Canas and pulled onto the Pan American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to the southern tip of South America, (according to Guinness Book of World records the Pan American Highway is the worlds longest motorable highway). The temperatures are hot and the air is dry on the flat lands due to the aggressive deforestation of this part of Costa Rica in the past. Now laws have been passed in Costa Rica to prevent further damage to the rainforests, but here the landscape has been forever altered. Even in it's altered state the landscape is a sight to see. Pasture lands stretch from the highway to the base of the mountains to the north. Mango groves and commercial teak wood forests lay to the south. Horses and Brahma cattle graze unfettered along the highway, bicycles and pedestrians appear at intervals along the way, indicating a small pueblo resides behind a curtain of tropical foliage along the road. It is a straight shot from Canas to Liberia and the time and miles click by quickly.
|The veranda at sunset.|