I awoke to thunder this morning…or was it something else? This area is not far, as the bat flies, to Volcan Poas. My friends who live higher up in the hills than I say they can hear it rumble often. I’ve learned about the significance of the full moon on our volcan friends here, and I thought perhaps I was what hearing our towering neighbor. I took our little Costa Rican “Frens Poll,” as they are often referred to in ads for puppies, and we went out and sat in the big leather rocker on the porch. Mind you, it’s 3:30 in the morning, so the lightening was illuminating the entire sky, with the clouds to magnify it. The bats were swooping all around, and the morning birds wouldn’t start their chatter until about 4:30, so the conditions were perfect! Suddenly the clouds moved away and the stars were spectacular. It’s the rainy season, but we have been experiencing a month-long Veranillo de San Juan, or little summer (the 2 week break in the rain that historically occurs in early July.) We may get a brief drizzle, but we’ve had tons of sun and pool time lately! Our eldest son is visiting from the states, and does not go back to college until the end of September, so the timing, weather-wise for his visit, has been perfect. Alas, I was hearing nearby thunder, and not the volcan, but I wouldn’t have missed this Costa Rican morning, for the the world!
Speaking of weather, because we experienced some atypical winds earlier, some of the coffee plants did not grow during their usual rapid growth surge. This has meant that the woman, we buy our coffee from is currently out of coffee, and the fellow who sells it, and currently has it, at the weekly feria (farmers market) is the most popular vendor there. We get our huge gallon Ziplock bags full of organic, shade grown coffee for $2.50 each, so hopefully this shortage is just temporary!
I went to check out some cabins/hotel for a friend of a friend who is coming down for an extended visit, deciding if Costa Rica is where he’ll retire. We took the road we live on way up into the hills above us, and found the Mango Valley Lodge down a road surrounded by established coffee plants. The road opened out onto a cleared area with brand new cabins built along the hillside. The owners have recently completed these wonderful cabins, transforming an old farm into a beautifully landscaped hideaway. Each cabin has all the amenities, including a kitchens, of varying sizes, beautifully tilled walk-in showers and welcoming beds with attractive linens. at least three of the rooms have separate bedrooms and patios looking out at the verdant green hills and the peak of Volcan Poas. The owners, Julia and her husband have created a unique spot for the visitor that wants to experience the Costa Rican countryside. She speaks English and Spanish, and possibly other languages, as does her husband. The rooms are incredibly affordable, and the location rivals that of the luxurious Peace Lodge in Vera Blanca http://www.waterfallgardens.com/about_peace_lodge.php. This is a spot where you will get a feel of Costa Rica, the way it was years ago. There are no gringos living in big houses nearby, only tico neighbors whose families have lived here forever.
This is why we live in Grecia. It is about a 30-40 minute drive over to the city (San Jose, Escazu, etc.) Many “expats” have chosen to live in areas where other expats live, surrounded by the familiar trappings of urban life, like flashy boutiques and stores, many with familiar names, but that is not why we moved here. We shop in the local small stores for the things we can’t get from neighbors, like coffee, fruits, vegetables, chickens, eggs, etc. We have more tico friends in Costa Rica, than gringos, and have never felt anything other than warmly welcomed.