Quetzal 2

Here we are in May and at last the needed rain has arrived on a regular basis to help everyone get started with their plantings, replenish the springs and the rivers and remind us not to go out without an umbrella! I’ve known rain in Canada and England – the dreary, all-day-long and perhaps all-week-long variety that greys the skies and doesn’t ever seem to let up. Here rain is a different commodity entirely. Every morning, without fail, it is blissfully sunny. The green of the foliage on the surrounding forest trees glistens and birds call from their nests or as they forage for the emerging fruit. Sometime around 1 or 2 pm the skies darken and the heavens literally open and spew forward torrential downpours that have everyone scurrying indoors and drowns out the sounds of the river and everything else. But 2 hours later the rain is over and gone, the sun returns and everything is refreshed. For visitors the rain is not to be avoided – it’s to be embraced for the abundance of flowering plants and new animal life it produces. And it’s as though you live on different planets – the morning sunny one and the afternoon rainy one – and each one is beautiful in its own way.

And during these times is when we can see the quetzals! Or rather the Resplendent Quetzal. They are coming back to San Gerardo in numbers – foraging for their unique fruit diet in the trees of Cloudbridge Reserve and the lower slopes of Mt. Chirripo (from km 3 – 6) and indeed nesting too. If you want to see them bring binoculars and a camera and LOTS of patience! They are shy and won’t appear if there is any disturbance; but for the real bird-lover this is a great find. Enjoy them and please donate to Cloudbridge Reserve for all they are doing to build up habitat for the quetzal and countless other species.

Organic Chocolate 50g bar wkshp01 tempering

We’ve recently published a new page for Samaritan Xocolata, the local chocolatier that will have you swooning! Take a peek at the page but enough to say they use only locally produced organic chocolate and other ingredients and they are doing a wonderful job of providing lots of work to the women in the community who prepare the chocolate. Of course they offer a delicious workshop where participants learn about the chocolate process and make and eat their own. Drop in to see what they have on offer and if you don’t remember the film ‘Chocolat’ this will bring it all back!

Lastly a story that might make you laugh, fume at the ears – or both! Last Thursday Coca Cola drove its enormous truck up the narrow, bumpy and incredibly steep road to Herradura to drop off its delivery at the one and only store there. Well, the road being what it is the wheels buckled and the truck was stuck in the middle of the road so that nothing could pass. I drove up on Friday afternoon to give English classes at the school and it was still there. Cars had managed to scrape past risking an easy topple into the river alongside and so I did the same, with bated breath! Still no Coca Cola mechanic or tow truck! All weekend the same except that we have 2 huge rainfalls so the narrow path on the river side is now dangerous and no-one should attempt it. And so far no news of relief. And now I’m fuming! What if Red Cross needs to get up there for an emergency? What about the elderly people who need rides to town or anyone who has to get to the hospital – or to work for goodness sakes! Isn’t Coca Cola one of the world’s richest companies and this billionaire outfit can’t afford to send up a mechanic so the people of Herradura are not trapped up the mountain?

Happy ending to this last story – the truck was fixed and moved on Monday. We probably could not have expected more except to say that many of Costa Rica’s roads are not suitable for such large and heavy vehicles – especially when we, the residents, have to maintain them!