Hi,

 

One more thing from Monday’s excursions was we were traveling up a mountain coming out of the Orosi Valley we saw a sign on the side of mountain in very large white letters Mirador de Orosi.  The miradors are a series of locations with views that the Costa Rican Tourism Office operates and many date back fifty years or so.  They are pretty much like our public works projects that were completed by President Roosevelt in the 1930’s.  Here’s a view:

We left San Jose on Tuesday and traveled northwest through the mountains up the American Highway (this road runs through all of Central America and South America).  After cutting through some mountains on our way down to Lake Arenal, we were arriving too early to meet our greeter, so we stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at the Mystica Resort, phone +506-2692-1001  It’s a very colorful yoga resort with a very nice restaurant run by some great people.  The food was great and once again our lunch filled in for lunch and dinner.

So we arrived at Leigh’s wonderful house.  You saw the pictures before I left of the front gate and the large building (which actually is the guest house, the lower, one story house is the actual main house where we stayed.  Here’s a picture of the house from down the yard before the yard falls off towards Lake Arenal:

 

Here’s a picture from the front porch towards Lake Arenal:

Here’s a picture from the front porch towards Leigh’s pool:

And a picture of the pool:

The driveway that you saw with the gate seems to have been an access road for something down at the lake, because there’s a cut pathway that bends down from Leigh’s yard and meanders down the mountain.  Lining Leigh’s driveway and down the pathway are these majestic camouflage trees:

Here’s a close up of their interesting bark:

Not knowing where we were going for sure, we started descending down this trail and after about ten minutes we came across these beautiful orchids growing in front of this palm:

Yeps, that’s them on top of those four foot stalks, they are terrestrial orchids (ground based instead of air based in a tree).

The trail bends around another bend the trail when through someone’s yard.  Hesitant to enter someone’s yard, we stood there for a moment while the dog barked at us.  The owner, Mike an American Ex-Pat came out and we introduced ourselves as friends of Leigh.  He was very nice and did all the right things, but when he offered to take a group picture of us and “send it to Leigh”, I got a little suspicious that he was suspicious of us.  J  Don’t blame him, he had never met us and we had set the burglar alarm off earlier.  He gave us directions down to the lake and we then pass this gorgeous Traveler Palm:

Further along the trail we came across this clearing:

There are two volcanoes in the general area (one active since 1968 and the other in-active).  When they actually explode, they shoot rocks for miles and I believe that is what this depression is from.  You see volcanic rocks and depressions like this all over the place.  I don’t know if the active volcano has actually exploded since becoming active or not.

Leigh has a lot of interesting plants growing around here property.  As you start down her driveway, you pass this plant that I believe is a Prodteus.  Here’s a picture of the flower opening:

Here’s a picture of it fully open:

And here’s a picture of it having gone to seed:

Dave & Claire say a variety of it is the national flower of South Africa (they lived in Angola for a number of years and traveled to South Africa a good bit) and they have seen these flowers as big as a trash can lid.

Eventually, we left the compound for a friend of Leigh’s restaurant/gift shop, but unfortunately Monica had to leave and wasn’t around.  So we went to the little town of Nuevo Arenal.  It is actually a cute little town with a nice variety of shops.  Several decent restaurants, two grocery stores, two hardware stores, a pet store and vet are all located here.  There’s also the “famous” German Bakery, a bakery, restaurant and gift shop that was closing when we arrive.  But speaking of the hardware stores, after eating dinner at Moya’s (nice waiter, good food) we stopped at the first one to get some light bulbs to replace ones burnt out at Leigh’s.  The first one didn’t have anything that would match, so we stopped at the second one.  They didn’t have either bulbs, but the guy we were talking to took pictures of what we wanted and sent the pictures to another of their stores who had one of the bulbs and our Arenal store would have it by noon the next day!  Third world country and the hardware clerk takes pictures of electronics and has it delivered the next day?  Here’s a picture of downtown Arenal:

I think that’s about it for today, have a great one,

ed

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