With local activities returning after two years of none because of Covid, Atenas had only the second Tope (= horse show or horse parade). For years the city had stopped it because the horse people had been trashing the town with what was almost a drunken brawl. Well it started again just before Covid and with the pandemic over, is on again. And theirs is unique in that it is at night which supposedly allows for more participation. Well, my evaluation is not very positive. The first two dozen or more horses were ridden by serious horse people with well disciplined horses just before it became dark. Then as if queued by the darkness, hundreds of horses chaotically rode all over the streets, back and forth, with a large percentage of the cowboy wannabes drinking beer and other liquor handed them by people in the audience from their ice chests. There was no order and no particular beauty. I would personally prefer a tope in the daylight with no beer or other alcohol. But I don’t have to go next year and probably will not. I like the Oxcart Parade better anyway! 🙂
That’s one pix for the email announcement and online is a slide show of my poor quality night photos.
Last night, Friday, was the first annual Christmas Parade in two years thanks to the Covid Pandemic and the people came out for that and the fiesta in Central Park. I got too many photos to share on the blog, so just a sampling here and then please go to my:
I’ve divided the good photos into 4 sub-galleries which you can go directly to from the link on the 4 pix below representing the sub galleries. First a photo of the church just before dark and the beginning of the light parade, then the sample photos . . .
While Alajuela is finishing the reconstruction of the bus terminal for buses from surrounding towns like Atenas, our Atenas bus drops us off downtown and then we catch the return bus between a cemetery and neighborhood city park that I haven’t found a name for yet. For Christmas this year they hung brightly colored stars from all the trees in the park which doesn’t seem that special, but their “Walk-through Stars” on one of the sidewalks is kind of neat to me. Here’s three shots of it from different angles.
This morning 21 artists plus helpers crammed into the”events space” of the hotel and set up for our show that begins at 3 pm today! Below this shot of the whole room is a gallery of 6 shots of mainly my table and wall art rack. Not the best lighting for photos, but it is what it is! 🙂
The closest shopping mall to me is City Mall in Alajuela across the highway from the San Jose Airport, the largest mall in Costa Rica and second largest in Central America (Panama has a bigger one). Like all malls everywhere, everything is more expensive than at little local stores, but it is still popular, especially with the younger generations! I go two or three times a year for things I can’t get anywhere else and to see the new Christmas decorations. I went last week for my annual photo wall calendar by CR Photographer Pucci in the big and wonderful bookstore “La Librería Internacional” and some Avery Labels at Office Depot. 🙂
The carnival people arrived in town yesterday and started setting up for the central Catholic Church’s Patron Saint (San Rafael) Fiesta which, with donated food and entertainment on a stage in church parking lot, plus daily Bingo will all raise a little bit of money for the church. And the cheap carnival rides? Well I can’t see how anyone makes money off those, but evidently they do! 🙂 One set-up shot here followed by a 6-shot gallery of the carnival people setting up things in the street in front of church.
Yesterday I walked to town on a couple of errands, getting another butterfly at 3rd & 8th Ave garden enroute – accomplished my errands – heard some music and then saw the dancers in Central Park, dancing to the music of our town’s “Old Men” Marimba Band. It is almost like Covid is gone (though still giving booster shots) and a somewhat normality in this peaceful little coffee farming town. A few individuals still wear a mask, but generally none.