“Cuando salgas de paseo: No mates mas que el tiempo, no tomes mas que fotos y no dejes mas que huellas” ~ unknown.
When you go out for a walk: do not kill more than time, do not take more than photos and leave no more than footprints. This past week I have been fortunate enough to see a wide range of the true Costa Rica and let me tell you, it’s gorgeous. With my school being located almost directly in the middle of the capital, it’s always a treat to take a trip out of town and up into the surrounding mountains. On Saturday we headed out bright and early to visit Volcan Irazu, one of the six active volcanoes in Costa Rica. Sadly though we saw no volcano as the rainy weather obscured the whole area in fog. It was still quite the adventure though as the weather was drastically different from down in the city. The volcano was cold, so very windy and extremely wet but pictures from there look like you’re on a different planet with the black sand/ash being all you could see. After that we headed to lunch in the middle of a coffee plantation where they of course served us fresh coffee and the meal came with an outstanding view. It was still raining a bit but the sun was also peeking through so everything had a shimmery effect and it was tranquil and full of color with all the trees and plants. My new favorite tree is known locally as the Poro tree and it has an orange flower petal as it’s leaves. Where they are make the forests seem to be in an unchanging fall season and it’s perfect. The small pueblo of Paraiso was our last stop Saturday and to get there you have to cross a long yellow suspended bridge with a river rushing about 30 feet below you. The views from that were my favorite part of the day and I wish photos could better capture just how beautiful all the scenery is here. Buena vistas everywhere. There was a small, old church there that was having a wedding so everything was decorated in flowers and they were all singing as we walked around. Saturday night my friends and I went downtown to a bar known for its board games and live music, which is a great combination. Sunday was another adventure as my host parents took me with them to Heredia, which is another province about an hour and a half away to bird watch and see the waterfalls up in the mountains. Waterfalls are such unique sights, especially when surrounded by nothing but green forest. I honestly think Costa Rica has it’s own green palette as I just can’t compare any other sights to the shades I see here. We took the long way home and drove past pineapple fields and through a national park, untouched aside from the highway going through it. Overall, 10/10 weekend and great week also. I love the dance class the school hosts every Monday and Wednesday- so far we’re learning how to Salsa and Merengue and even though we’re bad it’s still so much fun. My Spanish class is getting progressively harder with verb conjugations and the realization that many words have multiple meanings that differ slightly depending on how you pronounce them- so pronounce them correctly or you’ll look quite foolish! I’m much better at hearing and understanding things being said in Spanish, but not quite yet at the point of being able to respond. “Como se dice..” has become my most commonly used phrase. On Friday we went exploring downtown and had dinner for my friends birthday at a restaurant called El Patio which was full of plants so definitely my kinda place. There’s so many shops downtown and sooo many people which isn’t really my scene, but it was still nice to see what all there is and the hundreds of pigeons that inhabit the area. It’s been great to observe the country beyond the little neighborhood my school and home are in, and I’m excited to continue exploring new places everyday!