Torch Ginger or El bastón de emperador . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + Nothing Escaped Nate

Torch Ginger or El bastón de emperador
My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

Torch Ginger or El bastón de emperador
As seen from the street in front of my house
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

And don’t you love the Spanish name for this flower? El bastón de emperador translates to “The Emperor’s Staff.” This particular one was a gift from my gardener. The first one I got and paid for died because it was in my busy flower bed and did not get enough sun like this gets in the front yard. Note that I have 3 flowers at different stages, bud, small flower and large flower. It is one of my favorite tropical flowers and I have wanted one since I moved here. They are hard to find with most nurseries (viveros) not having any in stock. But my gardener Cristian knows where to find things!  🙂  Like when I wanted the Maraca plant (Shampoo Ginger) none of the nurseries had one, so his partner Alfredo got mine from his uncle’s yard! Wow! They are more than gardners. They are good friends!

And in spite of the horrible weather we have been having, I still have flowers blooming!  🙂

Schools have been closed since Wednesday and most government offices. Everything was closed yesterday (Thursday) the main day it hit us with medium high winds and very heavy rain, closing many more roads including parts of the two main highways to Atenas because of mudslides. The saddest was a mudslide just on the edge of Atenas that killed a little boy and destroyed many houses. He was the only death in Atenas. For all of Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Honduras I heard this morning that 23 were killed and 27 missing. The major causes of death are drowning and buried by mudslides, though some in auto accidents. Here is a locally produced slideshow video of rescue and cleanup efforts.  Or the usual live video from  And the Tico Times Article in English. 

If this is just a “tropical storm,” think how bad it will be as a hurricane, which is what it is becoming tonight (Friday) when it hits Cancun, Mexico and moves on to the U.S. Gulf Coast, possibly New Orleans by Sunday morning. This could be a “biggie!” 
Costa Rica is directly to the left of the word RAIN
In Atenas everyone stayed home yesterday (Thursday) with strong winds and heavy rain all day and all night. Today we are getting a little sunshine and I walked to town. It is interesting that all hills, cliffs, dirt walls have lots of water coming out at the bottom. A hill near my house has so much water coming out that it is literally a little creek pouring down to the street drainage ditch. Government and schools are still closed, but banks and most businesses open and we had the regular Friday morning Feria or Farmer’s Market. So almost back to normal with a few trees down and spotty electrical outages. But me and my house are good on all counts! I can even make this blog post, meaning internet works! That’s a big deal here!    Here are some more  photos and videos of Nate Hitting Costa Rica from Tico Times.

0 Replies to “Torch Ginger or El bastón de emperador . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + Nothing Escaped Nate”

  1. Hi Charlie, really nice blog to read! We are from The Netherlands and are traveling to Costa Rica on october 25th. We heard/read about storm Nate and are wondering if it's still safe and fun to go there? Do you know what places got hit the hardest and what places are the best to go to? I hope you could give us some information.

    Thank you!

    Greetings Nadieh & Bibi

  2. Nate is gone now and the heavy rain which mostly affected low areas in Central Valley around Cartago and the North Caribbean Coast around Tortuguero and a few spots in Guanacaste. But tourist places are already back to normal and you should have no problem!Your travel agent or tour company should provide you with the info you need unless exploring on your own, then road damage & detours will be part of your adventure! 🙂 Enjoy Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

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