This Week in Costa Rica

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This Week in Costa Rica is a weekly, online radio program and podcast by US expat, Dan Stevens


My first volcano was Barva.  Resting high atop a range that I now gaze upon out my studio window on the other side of the Central Valley, there sit two lagoons that were once ancient craters.  To think they sculpted the landscape and foothills of Heredia so long ago still are part of my meditations in the mountains (another blog post).  This first venture was a combination of events that etched themselves well into my psyche and began forming the new neural pathways that I consider habit now.  For example, the rise before dawn to take the cold-seated bus ride, the line at the bakery while deciphering which mysteries await inside their warm pastries, the knowing that today’s shivering in shorts will soon turn to sweating and panting.  We took our second bus to the foothills of the volcano where I learned we had 6 kilometers of hiking uphill ahead to reach the lagoon and national park.  We set about the hike where I experienced my first hitch in the back of a pickup truck with wooden box, rusty cab, and rough-and-tumble Ticos at the wheel.  This open air lift up the mountain was what would be the first of many thumbs-out rides to be taken here in Pura Vida.  

Hitting the midway point and jumping out of the cab, I was simply struck by what I could only describe as the “shire”.  I was surrounded by lush, dense vegetation, vines up and down every tree, rolling green hills that surely contained magical beings – it was another world.  As with many trips in Costa Rica the lagoons were not nearly as significant to me as the journey itself.  There grew in me over the coming months a great comfort knowing that the wild jungle is only a bumpy bus ride away, any time I want.  It’s a trip I would take often.


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