Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Picture time...walking into town...

Walking into town...three kilometres vertical...I first pass the neighbour's pasture with its steep drop to the river...so far a fairly flat road...

Then cross the river by a bridge whose supports have been made precarious by last winter's torrential rains...you can see two streams converging here...one, brown in colour, on the right; which comes from springs on the other side of town,picking up silt as it goes and the other, bright and sparkling, coming straight from the source on the mountain above.
After the bridge it's a steep climb on the slippery gravel and it's good to be able to catch my breath at Martha's house where you can chat over a home made iced drink, order milk from her cow or be captivated by the little dogs she breeds.
Up to the main road, puffing well.....I've climbed from eight hundred metres above sea level to one thousand one hundred.... and past the furniture factory where these traditional style chairs and benches are made...more comfortable than they look! I've flopped down on them more than once!
Finally in the home straight....where the toucan wishes you welcome to town!

I owe these photographs to our Belgian friend Anne-Mie Swinnen....who has kindly sent us some of the best she took while on her visit here.

Anne-Mie Swinnen


  1. Beautiful... love the greenery.

  2. Another Day of Crazy, it's not tourist Costa Rica for sure...but I like this better.

  3. Anything out of reach or tourists normally is better. Beautiful colorful insight into your new world.

  4. What is most startling is the wonderful textures... the horse field looks amazing.

  5. Valerie, it's super...no zip lines, no KFC, nothing trying to con you that it's 'green and eco'...

    Steve, that field is super...Anne-Mie took a great photograph.
    Those corderoy lines are a reminder that this is marginal land for coffee...in the seventies when coffee prices were high a lot of this area was cleared for coffee, although climatically it is not ideal as it ripens at the end of the rainy season.
    As competition grew....obviously from Brazil, but now from places like Vietnam....prices fell and over the last few years the coffee had been grubbed up, leaving just the traces of its presence in those narrow terraces in the fields.

  6. 3km vertical, eh? That'll keep you on your toes!

    Lovely pics!

  7. Zuleme, fun isn't it?
    I'll look round for some photographs of the ox carts too...also painted to the limits!

    Bombshellicoous, Anne-Mie takes a mean photograph...

    Sarah, by the time i get up there it's more like bringing me to my knees!

  8. These are great. I've been dying to see pics of where you live. Love the furniture!

  9. I love those colorful chairs.


  10. Ayak, I'm hopeless with a camera, but Anne-Mie's pics are super.
    I'll put up some more of hers of the town and the capital.

    Fickle Cattle, great, aren't they!

  11. Oh, I want to come - it looks fabulous!xx

  12. Roz, it is!
    Mark you, sunshine always helps...some expats get depressed during the rainy season, when it comes sluicing down every afternoon, but that isn't something that bothers me...I get out, do the shopping, the washing, etc in the morning and settle down to read while the rain is on...

  13. Great photos - wild furniture!

    Love that green

  14. Lulu LaBonne...you were looking for chairs recently, I believe...

  15. What a place. Reminds me of the book Wide Sargasso Sea, which I know is not based there, but somehow it's similar to what I imagine the book's landscape to be.

  16. Mark, I've never been to Jamaica so an't offer an opinion.
    I'm starting to discover Costa Rican literature some of which deals with the racism of the treatment of the workers on the banana plantations on the Caribbean side of the country.

    What struck me most on my first visits was the garish colouring of the buildings....but familiarity is reducing its impact!

  17. It looks gorgeous - kind of homely exotic, somewhere you could be comfortable.
    You'll be pleased to hear that Jimmy's back: http://glasgowjimmy.blogspot.com/

  18. Pueblo girl, you've hit the nail on the head...that's just it...homely exotic!
    Thanks for the tip re Jimmy, too.

  19. Love the informative pics Fly, although I'm still trying to figure out the first image of the horse on the slope. It looks like the camera is pointing down hill, yet the horse appears to be standing almost horizontal. Is that a trick of the lens, or have I completely missed the bleeding obvious and got it terribly wrong?

    Only you could write such an interesting and breath taking tale of a 'walk to the shop'!. I was glad to see the Tucan as well in the end. Panting and wheezing for England here, I was.

  20. Phil, the camera is pointing downhill and the horse is horizontal...he is standing on one of the narrow coffee terraces.

    As to 'a walk to the shops'...we were well trained in those days of the 11 Plus...we could turn out ' a day in the life of a penny' or 'how to light a fire' without turning a hair...

    The toucan has just been repainted and yes, panting and wheezing for England just about sums it up!

  21. If I was lucky enough to live there, I'd walk to town every day. How heavenly.

  22. nodamnblog, luckily there's so much to see...views, a new tree flowering, orchids and bromeliads...that I can almost pretend to myself that my frequent pauses to catch my breath are actually to appreciate the scenery!

    There's another road...but even steeper, and in the dry season it's O.K. to walk up, but absolute suicide to walk down...the gravel and stones just slither from under you....but the views across the valley are ...dare one say...to die for?