To Santa Rosa and its very, very dry forest

After an early breakfast we head north to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste. Just about an hour away from our El Sol Verde.
At the reception is in the “Casona”, this Black Ctenosauro welcomes us (Garobo Negro).

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In the “Casona”, we buy the entrance ticket for 8000 Colones and a map. The options are a short walk around the “Casona” and 12km walk to the Pacific Coast and Playa Naranjo.


Driving on the bumpy “streambed” road to the Pacifc Viewpoint

It is very, very hot at the end of this year’s dry season – something like 36 degrees – and we decide to drive our car to the Pacific viewpoint or mirador. We cannot imagine to walk in the hot sun under trees that have no leaves.

Our car bumps up and down through what Ursula calls “streambeds”. We pick up a German student that has tackled the 12km to Playa Naranjo. He feels hot and is happy about the lift. After six endlessly bumpy kilometers we park our car and follow the sign that points 600m to the viewpoint. The beautiful view of the bay made it worth to walk.
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As we come back, the German boy is also back – he has given up walking in the torrid sun.
On the way back we capture memories of the leaveless trees.

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and of a brave bromelia.

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The forest teaching path explaining typical dry forest trees

Around the Casona, there is a short path of 600m that explains the trees. This is an Indian nude tree.

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And this is the Pochote tree… it has grim thorns.

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This is a Madero Negro. It is also called Madre de Cacao, because it is often planted with cacao plants to provide them with shade.

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I am impressed. The leaveless trees would be rated as being dead in our country. But here, the first rains (soon  expected) will turn them green again. What a miracle.


The brave battle of the Costarricenses against the filibuster William Walker

It was here at this dry and hot place, where the battle of Santa Rosa took place in March 1856. A company of Americans, French and Germans of the filibuster William Walker arrived exhausted in the Casona coming from Nicaragua on the evening of March 20th.  I can understand that they were exhausted – it IS hot here at this time of the year. An army of Josefinos and Costarricenses led by their president surprised them in the early next morning and won the battle within a quarter of an hour, as explained in the Casona.

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The Costarricenses won the decisive battle against Walker later on April 11th 1856 in Rivas. This is the beginning of the nationalism of Costa Rica, celebrated on 11th of April each year.

I like this small balcony with all these warnings. Actually the aggressive bees have been imported from Africa, because they produce more honey, and now they are out of control. Hence the warning.

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The afternoon in Liberia – some nice restored colonial houses

We spent the late afternoon in the small town Liberia. We parked our car near the concrete church, had a pipa in the central park and a fruit juice in the courtyard of the restored hotel Liberia

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We find more beautifully restored colonial houses…

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… which made us feel like living back in 1900, when the brother and sister of my grand-father had emigrated to Costa Rica.


Our last night in the small paradise called El Sol Verde

We spend our last night in the paradise called El Sol Verde, run by Ingrid from the Netherlands. One guest-artist has painted this terrace where we have breakfast and find Internet in the evening.

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A small ten minutes walk to the river nearby in the early morning…

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and the we say good-bye Ingrid and Gecki, the dog who always accompanies the guests for their walks.

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