Atenas Coffee Farm Tour

Gabriel (our Juan Valdez) teaches us about the natural way to grow coffee at
El Toledo Coffee Farm, Atenas, Costa Rica
Beans go through roasting machine to become
either light, medium, or dark roasted.
We tasted each and chose our favorite before knowing which roast.
The coffee farm pet Olive-throated Parakeets got my attention of course!
Then a traditional Tico Lunch of beans, rice, veggies, salad, plantains, fish
In Sarchi, Kevin got a taste of the rainforest after photographing
some of the colorful oxcarts made here along with furniture, etc.
A typical Costa Rican Oxcart made in Sarchi
Sarchi Church
Tico family in front of Grecia Church
Made of metal in Belgium in 1800’s
and reassembled in Grecia!

We got a little further away from Atenas today and will go even further tomorrow as we head for Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls.

Rewards of PatienceI

The Clouds are Colorfully Lit Most Nights
But only for a minute or two – for those who patiently wait see it.

Hundreds of parrots fly over each evening.
Maybe patience will give me a good photo some day!
Hoping one will land in a nearby tree!

I’m pretty sure these are Sulphur-winged Parakeets, the size of parrots.


And my patience with Banco Nacional has started to pay off today. The first time I went I was second in line and quickly got to Ricardo who said I must have my real Passport not the photo copy I carry in my wallet. So I walked home to get it and when I got their I found it in my laptop case which I had with me at the bank! Grrrr! Old man forgetfulness? Ricardo told me to come back at 12:30 PM which I did and was again second in his line. (The line for cashiers had 37 people moving from chair to chair towards the front. Funny to watch!) But Ricardo didn’t get back until nearly 1:30! But I now have a local Debit Card in my wallet. The reason I had my laptop was that I was told he would train me in using the online banking. BUT, he said first I needed to go to one of the cashiers and buy a “token” (300 colones or 60¢) which appears to be some kind of electronic fob. I was not getting in the Monday line of 37 people, so will try tomorrow. (Monday & Friday are busiest days at bank.) Then I will take the token to Ricardo and he shows me how to do online banking on his computer. He said to not bring my laptop. Whew! It looks like it may take more than two weeks to have opened a bank account here, but there will be advantages! And tomorrow I get to play musical chairs!  🙂
In my Saturday report of the Tope de Mercedes or Horse Parade, I don’t think I told you that all the advertisements for the Tope said 12 Noon. So I show up before 11 to get a good spot along the road. It was sort of like the Gambian Wedding that started two and half hours late. Nothing was happening except the setting up of beer tents in the futbol field. I asked someone and he told me that it sort of starts at 12 but that the parade would not start until about 1:00. So I went home and returned at 12:30. The parade actually started at 3:30. I sat on a wall across the street from the Mercedes Catholic Church, watching them get ready for a wedding that (you guessed it!) started at 3:30 with people dressed in their finest trying to drive cars around the horses, let family out at church, and park the car who knows where down the road. I told a friend that was a sign of a lack of planning for the wedding. She pointed out that it was bothering me more than the people it really affected! 🙂 And that was not to mention the lack of any traffic control with cars actually driving around horses in the parade and parking along the side of the road making it one lane. Relax Charlie! Tico Time!
Will Costa Rica make me patient? Sometimes I doubt it, but after three years in Gambia I was much more relaxed and used to delays. So maybe a little more time here will mellow the control freak!


Maybe Blue & White Swallow, Bank Swallow, or even a Martin. Not sure.

Hundreds of swallows fly over every day and all around the apartments, very fast! I’ve never been able to catch one in my camera, though this is one of my best efforts. We also have Keel-billed Toucans fly over occasionally, usually in pairs and very fast! No photos! Same with the Montezuma Oropendola! And parrots and parakeet flocks which are often even higher in sky. None of these birds ever land in the trees around us. 

Church and rest today. No adventures! Back to the bank tomorrow and that will be an adventure!