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Archive for February, 2010

What to Do?

Walk.

It started Saturday with the up and down walk to Santa Elena for the usual sorts of Saturday chores: getting breakfast out, visiting a gallery or two, going to the Post Office, finding a bookstore, a miney machine, and the biggie, the farmer’s market. We’ve decided to buy at least one fruit and one vegetable each time we shop that we don’t know, and maybe can’t even find the name of. This time we came home with a chayote (pretty good raw or cooked with other veggies) and a guanabana. So far we’ve been dancing around this fruta, because it’s got prickly spines and, I read, its seeds are toxic. OK, it’s good as fruit juice, a theory I even tested in a restaurant.But I digress: we returned to the apartment loaded down with groceries for this week’s cooking. Then we turned around and went down the road the other way toward the village of Monteverde proper.

        The main destination was The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, a place with a most interesting story, about which later. Mainly, we wanted to check it out, and found a little nature center there and a charming sort of classroom with green/rain-forest themed murals all set for groups of kids. Then we walked further, taking some of the well-marked trails through undisturbed forest with dappled light. Very peaceful and beautiful, and despite being in the part of the reserve called Bajo del Tigre (jaguar), there was not an animal in sight. The amount of forest in the preserve is impressive, though: 54,000 acres, the largest private preserve in Costa Rica.

     After leaving the reserve and getting back to the main road again, we decided to keep going to the famed (around here anyway) cheese factory. along the way taking note of some interesting places: some sort of coop where kids were playing soccer vociferously, a sign to the “grooviest cafe” in Monteverde which boasted Internet, movies on Friday night, and live music during Happy Hours.  But we pushed on to the Cheese Factory, opting for some of its advertised ice cream.  Just as we arrived, so did a huge tourist bus full of Tico tourists. It was a long wait for an ice cream, but worth it.

      Then went a few meters more to cross a bridge over a roaring stream that Doug was eyeing to figure out how to fish. At that point, we decided to declare victory and trudge uphill back home. Only after looking at the map later did I realize we’d stopped just short of the “famed” Quaker Friend’s School. Again another story.

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