When a concrete culvert goes under a street I don’t think you call it a bridge, but if you add a sidewalk and railing overlooking the stream it kind of looks like a bridge! 🙂
We have a lot of these in Atenas and they just recently widened this one on Calle 3 near that new building I showed the other day. Another rainy season storm drain looks like a scenic mountain stream, almost. 🙂
One of the things that drives perfectionist Americans crazy about Costa Rica is the multitude of one-lane bridges all over the country even in the cities! Look no further than right outside the main gate to Roca Verde Housing Development! Our entrance gate is on Avenida 8, better known by the little bario (neighborhood) there as Calle Boquerón. Just outside our gate going towards central Atenas you cross the little rainy season stream that goes by the cow pasture in front of my house. And of course on a one-lane bridge! Don’t know why or who influenced it, but the city of Atenas is widening that little bridge.
The concrete tubing for water flow has already been extended and fill dirt and rocks added around it and as I photographed Monday they were pouring concrete for maybe a base to something or a wall? These two school kids out of school for Coronavirus will probably soon be joining the city construction team as they sit here and learn how easy it is to build a bridge over a concrete pipe. 🙂
“If Rome had been built in a day we would have used the same contractor.”
Lots of water adds intrigue and adventure to any landscape or outdoor experience and that is an important element at Maquenque Lodge from the moment you cross the river to get to the lodge until your bags are carried across the lagoon to your cabin while scores of birds fly overhead. Click an image to see it larger:
PERSONAL NOTE: Right now I’m writing my posts at least one day in advance and scheduling them for 5 am publication the next morning or future morning. I prepared the above Tuesday the 29th in morning. This afternoon I am scheduled for my second skin cancer surgery at a clinic in Alajuela. It will be “Mohs” surgery where there is a second doctor, a pathologist, running a continuous biopsy until the two of them are sure they got all the cancer. This one is on my face next to my left eye and is a more complicated and difficult surgery than the last one on my arm. But I have confidence in my Dermatologist and will give a report later.
This street I cross almost every day in Atenas ended at one street and across the vacant lots you could see it continued on the other side of that block. I wondered why they didn’t just continue the street or connect the two ends. Then one day more than a year ago they started.
First they graded the land on either side of the creek running down the middle of the block. Then they brought in a bunch of huge concrete culverts, placing two rows of them down the stream. Then covered those with gravel and dirt and more on top of everything until they finally black-topped a street where there was none. I figured they were finished.
No, they then added sidewalks on both sides of the street which is unheard of in Atenas. Still not enough! They built these beautiful stone walls above where the culverts were placed to make it look like a bridge. Finally (I think), they added ornaments, a 150th Anniversary Logo and a Municipal Council sign on the stone walls and someone else painted a mural on the wall protecting a house with a little sign saying “The Monkey Space.” I looked it up and found their Facebook Page as a gathering place for young adults wanting to volunteer in the community. Totally cool and another wonderful little spot in Atenas! What a cool town I live in!
Photos of New Street & Bridge
Click images below to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
First, to get over that stream, install two very large concrete culverts or pipes for the water. to go through. Cover with gravel and dirt. This is a lot less trouble than anchoring a big steel bridge over the water! Atenas, Costa Rica
Well, then you need concrete walls on each side to hold the dirt in! At least another 2 or 3 months time. Atenas, Costa Rica
And well, the wall needs to be high enough to keep pedestrians from falling in the stream. Allowing enough room for a sidewalk on each side of the road! Atenas, Costa Rica
After about 6 months it looks like you might actually extend this street over the stream! I have been walking by this construction for what seems like forever! Atenas, Costa Rica
With the wall nearly done, we need more dirt and gravel. Atenas, Costa Rica
And Suddenly One Day! I come across a paved street, concrete gutter and concrete sidewalk on both sides! Now why was I so impatient? See! It is beautiful and very useful! Our city at work! Atenas, Costa Rica
Yeah, the second most expensive spice in the world comes from an orchid plant pods that grows on vines (up to 30 feet long) right here in Costa Rica and other tropical countries. Read about this unusual spice in this Huffington Press Report. And I learned this week that the original owner of these apartments didn’t get all his cash flow from rent, but more from his vanilla farms in Guanacaste and other areas of North Costa Rica. It only grows between 10 & 20 degrees north or south of the equator.
Hans, the new manager, gifted me with one of these expensive vanilla pods (often called a vanilla bean) from the Von der Bom Farms when I conferenced with him this week. They are picked green and sun dried for 2 to 6 months the article says. I could take a sharp knife and scrape little bits of the nearly black stuff from the dried pod to season a dessert or whatever. I am more likely to keep it as a conversation piece in my living room fruit bowl. Vanilla Extract is made from this pod mixed with water and alcohol to make the more familiar use of vanilla. So a full pod is quite valuable and could season a lot!
Phons von der Bom, the original owner, loved the vanilla vines (his major income) and the ornamental ironwork bridge over our swimming pool features vanilla vines as does the tile work on bottom of his pool and on some doors and other objects around here. This property was his home for many years before he added the apartments (after the price of vanilla beans dropped). 🙂 What an interesting place! I learn something new every day!
Close-up of Vanilla Pod or Vanilla Bean
Vanilla Bean Vines decorate pool bottom and bridge on what was originally Phons’ home and personal pool before the apartments. Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica
And oh yes, the most expensive spice just ahead of vanilla is saffron. In case you were wondering!