Monday, May 4, 2009

Costa Rica - A Land of Contradictions - Part 1

I have not written anything here for some time, partly because I’ve been busy with other things, including a basement renovation and some travel, but also because I really haven’t felt that I’ve had a great deal to say about things lately that are worth publishing on the blog. In my recent reading of other blogs, I’ve come to realize that some are totally self-indulgent and self-referential, with seemingly very little of value or interest to a readership beyond family and friends. My intention from the outset has been to avoid such mistakes, but who knows whether or not I have succeeded?

What I would like to write about in the next few posts are what my wife and I learned on our two trips to Costa Rica this year, one in January and one in March, our first visits to the country. I had long been interested in the Central American country, having read about its record of environmental stewardship, the diversity of its geography, and the fact that many Canadians and Americans have chosen to retire there. Another compelling reason for my interest is the fact that since I retired, I have developed an even greater aversion to the cold of winter than I had when I was working, resenting the fact that the elements often confine us indoors for lengthy stretches.

During our time there in January, we stayed at a 3-star all inclusive resort (this would be our first time at a resort) in Guanacaste Province, known for its heat and low humidity, and while there, we took three tours, one of a fair-trade organic coffee co-operative, another of a cloud forest, and the third a jungle river cruise. We also took a trip to Liberia, a city about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying. Each excursion, in its own way, confirmed for us the special qualities that make Costa Rica stand out as a country in Central America to visit, and a place where North Americans can learn new perspectives on how to live. That will be the topic of my next post, but for now I am including a few pictures that represent a few of the things we saw.

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