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Friday, March 26, 2021
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Monday, March 08, 2021
It is our last full day in Costa Rica. Lulu wanted one more last try and "finding nature." The Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve was less than a mile from our cottage. we woke up this morning hoping our covid test results would be in our email - they were not. So we decided to walk in the jungle -up to the top of the mountain to the continental divide. You probably learned and forgot in grade school what the great divide is. It is an imaginary line on the ground from Alaska to Chile. On one side of the line - the water runs into the Atlantic. On the other side of the line - the Pacific gets the water. One could literally walk that line and pee - and you could determine which ocean it will end up in :-)
In Costa Rica - it almost runs eats and west - with the Atlantic to the north and the Pacific to the south. The winds blow up over the mountains from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This makes The Atlantic side lush and green as the rain falls going up the mountain. the Pacific side of the mountain is drier and more brownish from dried plants.
25%. of Costa Rican land is locked up in natural preserves. I guess there is some tax incentive to say your land is a preserve. I am guessing you promise to keep it natural - and you avoid taxes - but still own it.
In Costa Rica - major roads are pretty good - paved well - but they meander very much. It is hard to average over 30 miles per hour. It took us 3 hours to get from Monteverde to San Jose. For a spell - we were on Costa Rica Highway 1 - this is part of the famous Pan American Highway. One can drive from Alaska to Argentina.
Along the way - we got emails that said our covid tests were negative - we could go home tomorrow.
We pulled into our Hampton Inn by the airport. We went shopping in a local mall and had supper. WE filled the rental car with gasoline and took it back to the airport. We drove a total of 507 miles. Avis took us back to our hotel and here we are.
Tomorrow - Tuesday - we fly from San Jose to Dallas to Tallahassee. After I get home tomorrow - I will give a final report.
Sunday, March 07, 2021
Our chalet high in the mountains at Monte Verde.
We took this cable car ride in very windy conditions.
It was just 100 miles and 4 hours of driving from our luxury resort along the Pacific Coast to our Eco-Tourism Chalet at 4300 feet above sea level near the Great Divide of Costa Rica. We left 93 degree tropical sunbaked lounging to a night of sleeping in a cabin with no heat and no air conditioning - just an open wood fireplace. Instead of having fancy poolside meals - we stopped for groceries and Lulu cooked our meals in a tiny kitchen with a propane hot plate.
It has been bright sunny up here - but we did experience 57 degrees outside during the night. I woke up at 6 AM to build a fire for breakfast.
A big concern of the trip for me is the covid test. Although we have both had our covid shots for over a month - we still have to be tested before we came back to the USA. Lulu was able to arrange the covid test with a doctor here in town - we fly Tuesday and must have our test results before the flight. Two things can happen - both bad. First the test could not come back on time - and we would miss the flight. Second - one of us could test positive - and we would be quarantined here in Costa Rica for a week. Supposedly - we will find out Monday morning - then fly home Tuesday. We have no symptoms - but supposedly you can carry covid - after the shots and show no signs. I worry.
Our chalet is in the woods - heavily surrounded by tree canopy. We have seen a few ground animals and birds - but nothing like we expected. I was a science teacher - but my interests are more in Earth and Space Science and less in Biology. Still we expected a virtual zoo.
We did take at ride on the Sky Tram - a cable car of sorts - high above where we are living. It was only 60 degrees and winds gusted to 50 mph. It was not fun in open cable cars. We did do some hiking on the premises of our cabin - and that was really nice. We did some mountain climbing and came back very tired.
Although the chalet is lined with shiny wood - there is no insulation in the walls or roof. The windows are just single thickness glass. Our hot water is simple a shiny stainless tank on the roof.
The water gets piping hot - but if you waste too much doing dishes at night - the morning showers are just warm. You live and learn with a place like this. Lulu is right at home with the kitchen - a propane hot place - refrigerator - coffee maker - tea boiler - microwave.
Lulu says she would like to have a chalet like this on Saylor's Lake. It does remind me of our old home in Tamaqua. The living room is glass on three sides.
Monte Verde has a special history. It was developed by a group of Quakers from Alabama in 1950. They did not want to fight in the Korean War - so they came here. We just visited their schools - the meeting house - and library. It is a Sunday - the school was empty - but the library operates on the honor system. You can take out library books by signing the card with your name and phone number. All the cataloging of books was done by hand.
When the Quakers got to the area - annual visitors stood at about 100. Now 250,000 visitors come every year. Of course - with covid it is sparse now. The roads are horrible by USA standards - but the people seem to be happy driving SUV's and pickups. No worry about snow or ice. Mud??
We have good internet here - not real fast - around 7 mbps. It is good enough for us to stream Hulu - Netflix - and our Xfinity from home - and of course our Slingbox. The TV's down here do not have an HDMI port - so we cannot hook our iPhone to the TV here. We did it at the other hotels.
We have T-Mobile service so we can make phone calls from here - also free data and text.
Monday - we drive to San Jose Airport - Tuesday we fly to Tallahassee.
Most people decide to go on a vacation to the shore or the mountains. Here we were able to do both.