On Saturday, April 24, 2010, I had a delightful mini-adventure in Costa Rica. It started with a leisurely stroll to the weekly farmer's market with my friends Mike and Maribel. We picked up their neighbor and friend Joe, a native New Yorker, on the way. This was as much of a social event dedicated to mingling with friends and neighbors, as an opportunity to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week. An hour after returning to Mike and Maribel's house, we headed out for a short road trip. Joe prides himself on being a champion tour guide … and when a man from the U.S. is able to show a Costa Rican a few beautiful destinations for the first time in her life … he has the goods.
About 15 minutes after piling into Joe's SUV, we drove through nearby Cartago, which is the first capital of Costa Rica. We then headed to the charming little town of Paraiso and stopped at the ICT Park, where we took in a beautiful panoramic view of the Orosi Valley. Next, was a drive into the Orosi Valley through picturesque coffee plantations. We stopped at the oldest church in the country, where community residents were dressing Jesus and preparing for a small festival. A few minutes after climbing back into the car, we were observing people walking across the nearby hanging hammock pedestrian bridge situated over the Orosi river, before heading to another coffee plantation. We then cruised down a lovely road before reaching La Casona del Cafeta for a cup of Costa Rican coffee and decadent fruit crepes. Next on our agenda was the rustic cabin where a man named Miguel works. Since coffee plants are replaced every few years, Miguel discovered an artistic way to recycle them. He carves a myriad of faces and statues out of the roots and sells them to intrigued tourists.
Once we were close to the intimate Tres Rios community where my tour guides reside, we stopped at one of the most glorious churches I've seen! We then had a lovely meal before ending the evening with an American television program. Ah … such is life in a third-world country. I will be meeting new business associates this week and am anticipating a glorious visit to Mike and Maribel's Finca (land) in Golfito next weekend.