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Archive for April 6th, 2010

Well, I’ve finally managed to give Ruby enough attention so that she has forgiven me for being gone for ten days.   I compounded my sins by coming home reeking of Other Dogs, so it has taken a while to achieve Adored One status again.  I’ve finally got a handle on the garden chores, and I’ve finally had a chance to go through the photos I grabbed while on vacation.  My clients are happy I am home, and so I have been fairly busy delivering massage this week too, so the blog has suffered a little modicum of neglect.

But now is the hour.   My vacation in Asheville NC and Costa Rica was a much needed break from my ordinary course of events.   I will leave my experiences on the first day of travel veiled under the caption “How to Torture Yourself.”  You must supply the relevant entries in your own imagination.   Use subheadings labelled:  Sciatic Pain and Airport Seating, Why You Should Avoid Connections in Chicago at All Cost, How to Find Your Rental Car When You Are Unaware of The Name of Said Company.

The wedding was beautiful, as was the bride, the groom, the cake, the flowers, the company.

Bowser (an interesting name for a cat, I think) was there.

All I have to say about the above portion of my vacation was the time in Asheville was NOT LONG ENOUGH.   But I received instruction in the Sun Salutation while there, and that has made a big difference in my back and sciatic health.  Thank you Kathryn.

On to Costa Rica.   The second flight was not so painful, largely due to rest and the Sun Salutation.   There were amusing moments at the airport watching people who were traveling for a week-long vacation attempting to divide luggage that weighed a total of 234 pounds into four suitcases such that none of them weighed over the 50 pound maximum.  (Do the math. . .it was taking the guy a Very Long Time trying to achieve the impossible.)  Good thing they don’t allow firearms inside the airport, or I do believe that the airline check-in agent might have killed a few potential customers.

I arrived safe and sound at my friends’ place above San Pedro de Poas, to be greeted the first evening by a beautiful rainbow as the setting sun illuminated the storm that was watering Volcán Poas.

The trees in the foreground are part of the citrus grove that my friends live in the middle of.   Every other morning I would walk about collecting windfalls from beneath the oranges, mandarine, lemon and grapefruit trees.   Then I would tote them inside and make juice from them.   There is nothing like fresh squeezed citrus juice from tree ripened fruit.  Absolute heaven.   And when I got tired of that heaven, I would enter the paradise of fresh ripe mango, papaya, and melon that was next to the juice in the refrigerator.

Oh my.   The orange and lemon trees were in flower at the same time they were dropping fresh ripe fruit.   The air was scented with them.  Oh my, again.

The little compound was well furnished with flowers, and the butterflies were not unaware of this.  One of the neighbors (Max) had a very nice garden, which provided me with some great photo opportunities.   The passionflower vine was blooming.

So was a very interesting variety of iris.   What I was not able to capture effectively was the fact that the flower stalk that carries the flower leans over, and where the flower head is roots and becomes a new plant.

Max also was very proud of his orchids.  Unfortunately the wind was blowing and I was not able to get a good picture of them.   However, he had an interesting sedum growing called “Mala Madre” (Bad Mother).   All those little plantlets on the leaves eventually detach and fall to the ground to become new plants.

There were lots of hibiscus of various colors and size about the place.

Lantana sprouted around the finca like a weed, and the local butterflies were flocking to it.

There is something about the tropics.   As a general rule I am never out of my bed before 7 a.m., but almost every single morning I was up to enjoy the dawn chorus of birds.  We would sit out on the porch and watch the sun come up.   The finca dogs would come by to see if there was anything available for breakfast, and to bring us oranges for us to throw so they could retrieve them.  Meanwhile, something like ten thousand birds would serenade us from the citrus grove and the banana/agave fence.

There was a huge and gnarled avocado tree situated about ten feet to the left of where I was standing to take this photo.  This was the Bird Station.   Of the dozens of varieties of birds that came and perched on that tree, this wood pecker was one of the only ones I managed to get an image of.

Mostly, I sat around and read, relaxed, enjoyed the view.   In the evenings we’d watch a movie after dinner.  Every other day we’d go down to San Pedro and do a little shopping (buy mangos. . .).  One day we got real motivated and went on an adventure.   We bethought ourselves to travel on the local transit system up to view the caldera of Volcán Poas.

However, during the ride up the mountain we saw a billboard for La Paz Waterfall Gardens.  “NOW OPEN,” “ABEIERTO” it proclaimed bilingually and proudly, having been closed for the past two years due to earthquake damage to the resort and access roads.  Jeri recalled that someone she knows and respects had indicated that this spot was well worth the trip and money required to visit, and so we changed our plans and decided to make the effort to see it.

It was an effort.   And an adventure.  However, this post has gone on plenty long, so you’ll just have to come back tomorrow to hear that tale.

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