Monday, March 21, 2011

Los fin de Semanas

I don’t even know where to start. Each weekend has been incredibly fun, interesting, physically enduring and very rewarding. We did things ranging from visiting farms to going to hot springs! Our first weekend we went hiking in Las Juntas, the hottest place in the world or at least it felt like it was. We went hiking along what was “tres Hermanos” x-golg mine. Of all the observations I’ve been making I think working on a gold mine might have been my least favorite job, second to Banana Picking. I think I would have been a coffee picker. After 2 hours of hiking with my sandals I made it back safe. What better way to celebrate but with hot springs and fruit cocktails!
Hiking with style.. that's how we do!
Defeating gravity

Jaquelin and I enjoying our fruit cocktails :)

The other weekend we went to San Gerardo. We were going to be staying at a Biological Station in the heart of the Bosque Del Eterno Ninos. It was quite a steep hike down… super regretting my decisions of not wearing my rain boots we made it after 2 hours of walking. Our Guide was Mike Wright. And what a perfect guide he was… he made everything super interesting. We also had a night which tour which was super cool, we saw snakes and frogs…and other cool things that glow in the dark… (I tend to use super a lot... cause it’s actually a thing here ;)
Beautiful epiphytes
Wonders off the night tour

The Bio-Sation

El Bosque del Eterno Ninos

Following day we hiked back the steep path to make it to the Puntarenas Carnival; we heard that a famous Salsa singer Oscar was going to be there. We got to the capital of province of Puntarenas. The city was right along the beach. It was so crazy I didn’t expect that many people there… there were bars ever 20 meters playing different genres of music ranging from Latin music to regaton. It was quite a shock in comparison to our little Monteverde with its two little bars. I kind of felt like Monteverde was a little bubble in the whole of Costa Rica. I had the heavenly churos for the first time, they are like caramel filled fried bread sticks covered with sugar… I can’t remember how much I had but they were so delicious lol.

 Now let’s not forget the farms. A lot of the field’s trips for out sustainable development class involved visiting different farms. Oh my goodness all the farmers we visited despite their age were super in shape, que hermoso. We visited dairy farms with wind breaks, Coffee plantations, the cheese factory followed by a pig farm, windfarms and hydro electric plants.. We learnt a lot about sustainable agriculture and the advantages of it for the local community and the environment. I think I have done a pretty good job summarizing this month. Anyway … we are off to Nicaragua this week so ill update this blog soon ciao….y hasta pronto!

Coffee picking... my speciality


Quetzal (pic is from google)
In 1950 eleven families from Alabama wanted to escape U. S militarism and avoid getting drafted for WWII. They were first about to move to Canada but then decided that it would be too cold for them. Costa Rica had just then abolished its army so they thought it would be a good choice. So they came down to a part of Costa Rica that had been owned the Guacimal mining company. They purchased the land and called it Monteverde. Quakerism has existed for over 50 years here in Monteverde. The Quakers and the high concentration of scientist here played an important role in preserving the unique Cloud Forest and making Monteverde the model touristic destination it is today.

Monteverde is home to key stone species such as the beautiful Quetzal and the Bell bird. Nowadays I feel like Monterverde is transforming from an eco-touristic destination to a more adventuristic tourism as zip-lines, bungee jumping and canopy tours are on the increase. Other than that there are a lots of coffee, dairy and terrepiche tours (this is how they squeeze/crush the juice out sugarcanes and boil it and then pour them into molds, and cool them down and preserve them as tapa dulces).

The Bellbird (pic from google)