Back in San Jose where the elevation is about 3500 feet, give or take, and the air is dry. Gone the humidity that is so kind to my skin and hair! Easing back into the desert. I noticed the climate change shortly after we left Puerto Viejo and began the steep climbing and falling through the Orosi Valley.
Speaking of driving this country with its steepness and curves, I recall my trepidation at first. Particularly in Arenal, the first place I dealt with that – and in the driving rain. After my first day I went to bed and dreamt of driving those roads and felt the movement in my body. After a few days in Arenal and driving to and from La Fortuna and other areas along that same road, my confidence was bouyed. I never had much of an issue with anywhere I drove, though I maintained a healthy respect for the terrain. Ed was a great co-pilot, too, as far as navigating, reading the map, giving directions. Since when we are together in a car, he is usually the driver, it was a challenge for him not to give a running commentary: “40 kph” “let this car pass” “let this guy through” “not that lane!” “speed up” slow down” “open the window” No. I’m just going overboard. Given that I was driving a car that is probably three times the size of my little Kia Spectra, I mostly appreciated the warnings and directives. Mostly. Sometimes, he would catch himself, say something and then tell himself to shut up.
Driving in rush hour traffic on this Monday morning taxed us both. I had to fight my way into lanes sometimes to make the necessary turn. Some Ticos were not happy. What happened to Pura Vida?!What a relief to drop off the car with nary a ding. Just a lot of dust!
We are staying in an old hacienda, on the grounds of what was at one time a coffee finca. One of the presidents of Costa Rica lived here. Location: Barrio Escalante. We are off the street and the neighborhood is quiet, although there are several brew pubs and restaurants close by. It has been converted into a hostel with several dorms and a few private rooms. We have a little bungalow. Ed swears it was once the tool shed. The bathroom floor is wood slats with spaces that open to the ground below. I’m wondering how well the shower will drain. Waiting until tomorrow to take one, just in case.
I really appreciate the diversity of eco-zones in Costa Rica. The highlands and rain forests, the coasts, the valleys. All are beautiful. There’s so much more to explore. Water from the sky on a fairly regular basis quenches my soul as well as my physical being. Have I mentioned that the green here seems to be greener than elsewhere? Must be a combo of the water and the light. Plants seem to be illuminated from within.