Skirting Turrialba Volcano

Because it is actively erupting now you cannot go in the park near the craters, but my driver took me and Stijn the high road from Irazú to near the top of Turrialba and then around through the farms to the bottom and back to Guayabo Lodge. The big thing to me was how many vegetable gardens or fields of vegetables were growing on the side of the volcano with the rich volcanic ash. I noticed especially a lot of onions, carrots, squash and leafy green vegetables – and I’m sure there’s many others.

Turrialba Volcano seen from the farms that surround it.
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“Country Lane” – The Road

“Country Lane” is in quotes because it’s my personal name for the extension of 8th Avenue Atenas through what has been farm land but getting more houses. It ends as a gravel road at Radial 27 Highway across from the Farmer’s Market. I’ve shared photos of many things along this road but maybe not just the road itself, so here are my shots of the actual road in different locations. For more photos of one of my walking places, see the gallery titled: “Country Lane” – Avenida 8. Walking is sweet! 🙂

“Country Lane” – 8th Avenue, Atenas

And a slide show of the road from Saturday’s walk . . .

Continue reading ““Country Lane” – The Road”

“My Radial Circle Walk”

One of my walking places I’ve shared a lot is Avenida 8 that turns into a dirt road that I sometimes call a “Country Lane” or “Country Road.” And if I go to the end of that dirt road down a hill I’m at a connector highway called “Radial 27” that runs only from central Atenas to our nearby toll road to the capital or the beach, Ruta 27. In town it is also Avenida 0 that runs in front of the central church, central park, central mercado and ends at Central Cementerio. 🙂

If I keep walking, like I did Monday, I enter the highway at the Farmers’ Market Pavilion and then, to get more exercise, I walk up the highway hill into Central Atenas where I turn left on Calle 4 and go four blocks to Avenida 8 and left down it 6 more blocks to my house in Roca Verde. I call that “My Radial Circle Walk” with more hills and more exercise! And though I don’t do it often, I need it now to get in shape for hiking at Arenal next week! 🙂

The Feature Photo of Radial 27 above is where I stopped and pulled out my cell phone to photograph the sign that lets visitors know they are entering Atenas – sponsored by Claro, one of the cable TV companies here. Just as I pointed my phone camera at the sign the moto (a motorcycle is called here) entered my frame and he must have known it because if you zoom in on him you see he is giving me the Peace Sign (V) just as I snapped. And “no,” it wasn’t the ugly finger sign or I would not have told you! 🙂 Most people are not ugly here! But they all like the peace sign! 🙂

“I love walking because it clears your mind, enriches the soul, takes away stress and opens up your eyes to a whole new world .”

– Claudette Dudley 

My ATENAS Photo Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Pothole = Free Flowerpot?

Everywhere in the world governments are slow to fix potholes in roads. This Tico found an interesting way to reprimand our government here in Costa Rica. Just use the potholes for flowerpots! 🙂 I love it! In your face government people, “these potholes’ are in front of my house!” They are on the gravel extension of Avenida 8 in Atenas where I walk sometimes and find things to photograph. This is one of the more interesting photos to me. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!


Also seen on that walk yesterday:

These 2 photos are a part of my collection called “Country Lane” – Avenida 8 Photo Gallery.

Washington Post Article: Pace of climate change shown in new report has humanity on ‘suicidal’ path, U.N. leader warns

¡Pura Vida!

Don’t Do This!

Don’t do this while Driving!
But don’t worry. I wasn’t driving. Stopped for construction, motor off!
But this photo did not really show the backed up traffic I was in.

And Don’t Be in a Hurry while in Costa Rica!
After getting around the construction I was anxious to get around
the slow moving cars and big trucks and started passing them . . .

But do you see that double yellow line on that straight stretch of road. I guess it means the authorities don’t want anyone to pass on the mostly two-lane highways like this. So . . . I was one of 6 cars stopped in not a “speed trap” but a “passing trap” by el policia with a very serious lecture in Spanglish about the dangers of passing when there is a yellow line (There’s almost always one) and that if he writes the ticket and it goes to court it will cost me the equivalent of USD $600! But if I promise to drive more safely he will settle for $100 cash. Well, I learned in West Africa to never mention bribery or tangle with a policeman and so folks, I chose $100 over $600 even if what he said may not have been true, I do know that going to court would be a nightmare! 

I took my time the rest of the way, taking 4.5 hours to go 117 km, with one bathroom/snack break and of course the construction break! 🙂  That highway in the photos above is Costa Rica Highway 1, The Pan American Highway, linking all the countries in the three American Continents! 4 lanes would cost too much! And they do keep the pot holes filled with constant construction work AND they are building a partially controlled-acessed 4-lane segment with overpasses through the area’s big city and provincial capital of Guanacaste, Liberia, north of where I turned off for Monteverde. 
Then off Highway 1 to Monteverde was uphill all the way and about half a narrow gravel road with one lane bridges over the streams. Reminds me of Arkansas in the 1940’s and 50’s! “The Good Ol’ Days!” Remember? So I learn another lesson the hard way! Slow Down!
Now I thought Atenas was a country town and it is! But Monteverde is, well, more country! Most of the city streets are dirt or gravel (there’s a difference folks!). But the main drag through town is paved which helps reduce some of the dust. But I like my first night’s lodging, a cabin in a little 8 acre forest with lots of birds and nature. And the butterfly garden and dinner place was good, which I will tell about in a separate post. Tomorrow I move to another set of cabins with the birding club where they did not have room for me tonight. 

“We are changing the road map of Costa Rica.”

‘Men At Work”
From dirt ditch to a new spillway from road down to our River Cajon,
a new waterfall for us during rainy season.

Moving on past the apartments

“We are changing the road map of Costa Rica” is what one of the construction work signs says on the road in front of our apartments. Or actually “Estamos cambiando el mapa vial de Costa Rica.”

They have been repaving the road, improving the drainage ditches and other infrastructure for weeks now between us and downtown. So my sandals and shoes have sticky tar and my face wrinkles from all the smiles as I walk past the stopped cars waiting their turn through the one lane of traffic. I smile and say “Buenas!” which is the new shortened version of “Buenas Dias!”

Well, today it begin to pass our place and will soon be up the hill toward Mercedes and we will be less aware of the “changing road map!” But I really like the improvements and especially the big concreted drainage channel by the bridge to the river along side our apartments! In rainy season, a fifth waterfall for us!

There are too many cars for such a small town – the price of progress I guess – and that makes me even more glad I am walking!
Live simple and enjoy life! – My new mantra!

All photos by my cellphone. Click on the image to enlarge.