Edgar and Ileana

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We left the river and walked this trail to the farm we were to visit. There were all kinds of fruit trees, flowers and even cattle on this beautiful farm. Here is the main house:

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We received a VERY warm greeting from the ladies of the house. William and Edgar brought out a pineapple and star fruit and began carving:

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William gave us quite the tutorial on how to correctly carve a pineapple. Here is the finished result:

DSCF4917About the time he finished carving, the woman who had greeted us brought out a fresh pot of Costa Rican coffee. What a great snack!

One of the children of the farm is an excellent horse rider and has won events all over the country. Here are some samples:

DSCF4923We could not have felt more welcome than we were here (or so we thought), and when you leave you wish you could come back later just to see how everyone’s doin’!

BUT, we could not stay. Lots of things still to do. Soon Edgar had in his van and we were off the the La Fortuna Falls.

On our way William warned us that to get to the base of the falls we would go 500 steps down and 500 steps back. Well, that didn’t seem as bad as, say the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument. So, we didn’t give it another thought.

When you get to the falls there is a visitor center and the a path that leads to the trailhead that will take you to the bottom. Along that path there is a steel bridge that overlooks a small stream. We were about half way across that bridge when William stopped us. He pointed to a nearby tree. This is what was resting on a branch of that tree:

DSCF4938This pretty guy is called an Eyelash Viper because it has extra scales around its eyes that make it look like he has eyelashes. There is only one other snake in Costa Rica, as these things are ranked, which is deadlier than this one. We did not pet him.

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We began our descent. The top of the trail was nicely finished in concrete. About two-thirds of the way down, though, was the remains of the old trail. The waffled surface became narrower and more uneven. Challenging to say the least. But, eventually we found what we were looking for!

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The other couple with us decided to go in for a swim. We declined. The water, they said, was cold and quite invigorating. We went for the photo op:

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Then it was time for the hard part:

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We left ahead of the others since we knew it would only be a matter of time till they caught up. We made it over half way before they did. We didn’t want to hold up the other people so they went on. William was kind enough to stay with us. And, as usual, all the rest of the way up he pointed out numerous plants and their medicinal qualities. He should have gone into pharmaceuticals.

After we got to the top and caught our respective breaths, we were back on the road again. Instead of going back into La Fortuna, we passed through the village of Los Angeles. Very nice.

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Soon we were in Edgar’s neighborhood. It was time for lunch!

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As soon as we arrived, Edgar got to work opening coconuts for a refreshing drink!

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Yummy!

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Then it was time to visit the outdoor kitchen and dining room!

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There we met Edgar’s wife Ileana. We had pre-ordered lunch. We were able to choose from beef, chicken, or fish. One ordered beef, the rest of us ordered fish. Ileana got right to work. The wood stove was already hot.

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Ileana’s English was also very good. She made us feel right at home.

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Before long, things were cookin’!

Then it was time for coffee. With this coffee maker you measure the coffee in to the netting at the top, pour the hot water into it, and collect the finished product into the pot below. Costa Rican coffee deserves the high praise it gets from everyone who visits.

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Lunch was prepared under the watchful eye of a frequent guest:

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Soon lunch was served!

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What a feast in paradise!

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The fish, tilapia, was served over rice, with black beans, plantains, and a vegetable we cannot remember, but which is delicious, served in a tortilla. We all became members of the clean plate club.

After this excellent lunch, it was time for a tour of the grounds.

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William found a visitor in the coconut tree!

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A sloth had decided to rest among the coconuts!  Then there was this parakeet, who also had free run of the place:

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Want hot chocolate? Here’s a cocoa tree:

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Sweet tooth? How about some mimons?

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And if you can’t reach them, well, No problemo! Edgar was happy to bring in the crops:

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Just give them the hook! Soon there were treats for everyone!

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What a nice desert!

While we continued the tour with William, Edgar went back to the house.

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What a beautiful setting!

Then Edgar returned with a special surprise: Their first grandchild!.

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Edgar and Ileana’s daughter, Yuliana, works for Anywhere Costa Rica. In fact, she had been my first contact with them. Then, she to turn me over to someone else because her doctor told her to rest. Good advice, as it turned out! What a surprise to actually meet Yuliana and her new baby! Understandably, she chose to stay in the house.

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We continued our tour and William pointed out all the other things Edgar grows out here, including avocados, numerous fruits and berries, and on, and on. Soon it was time to go, although all of us would have gladly stayed longer.

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We couldn’t leave without a photo of some of the nicest people we have met anywhere in the world. And that is our lasting and best impression of Costa Rica. We met so many people who were not just doing their jobs, but who were genuinely glad to meet us and to welcome us into their country and, sometimes, their home.

And, even though we had already been on a float trip, stopped at a farm, hiked down to and back up from a waterfall, AND had a fabulous lunch with some great people, well, there was still time to hike up the volcano!

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