The moments within the mountain.
Cartago is a small town in the mountains up the hill from San Jose.
San Jose is now the capital.
The capital used to be Cartago.
It’s said that one needs a different passport to adventure here.
I’m not sure I agree with.
The moments within the mountain were split into two different days of exploration.
The first being a day starting at the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles,
lunch in a fancy restaurant with a spectacular view,
Lankester Botanical Gardens,
ended by a beautiful viewpoint overlooking a valley
separated by a large stream of water.
was a day of driving up to Volcano Irazu,
walking around a massive, inactive, smoking piece of land,
dinner overlooking Cartago
and sunset drinks in a little place that reminded me far too much of the Restaurant Chili’s back home in the States.
both days were beautiful,
both exploring various parts of this land
that used to house all that the city I currently live in houses.
Let’s start with the first.
Abby and I caught the bus early one Sunday morning.
Set with a traditional Tico breakfast of bread and natilla,
a sour cream like substance that is quirted right out of the bag onto the bagged piece of bread.
We situated ourselves promptly raised in the backseats of the bus.
chugging up the hill,
slowly passing small town after small town,
taking silly photos,
and discussing topics of who really knows what.
When it comes to Abby and I,
some things are better left questioned,
or even shared for that matter.
I thought I was crazy,
until I met her.
They say, crazy attracts crazy.
Eventually we landed at the top of a beautiful mountain.
Finding ourselves in the middle the mountain city of Cartago.
Off the bus,
into a pet store
to play with local animals,
to use their not so public restroom
that needed to become public at that very moment.
walking into the center of town
towards the Basilica.
but not so special structure on the outside,
but walking in,
was that a completely different story.
and quite frankly,
mass was actually in session
so the stands were crowded
and noise filled the space.
I walked around.
I was mesmerized.
this very space
had been blessed by a Pope some years back.
And those within were surely giving their blessings
to their higher power,
to that of their beliefs,
whatever they may be.
the afternoon took on a sires of events.
Meeting friends outside the Basilica,
and adventuring to the local botanical gardens.
We entered these gardens
not as tourists.
What an exciting feeling that was,
Paying the Tico price,
I’ll take it.
Wondered into gardens of all sorts;
Who knows the names,
those really don’t matter,
what matters in the feelings,
the ability to breathe in such fresh air.
do I appreciate that.
As most botanical gardens,
I could have stayed for hours
but it was definitely time to go as we had more to see,
more to do.
it continued from there.
We went to a look out point.
Where exactly we were,
I cannot tell you,
somewhere within these mountains.
This very spot, was a hillside.
Over looking an entire community.
An entire city just below my eyes.
There was a river running through the middle
with clusters of rust colored houses on both sides.
well the rest was filled with greenery.
So much greenery.
Something Costa Rica is epically known for.
The lush greenery all throughout.
We stayed on a golden colored dirt hill.
Soaking in our present environment.
I became so intrigued by the sun hitting the yellowish grass.
Once its rays hit the surface,
that surface began to glow.
Resembling that of gold.
Shining so bright.
Taunting the eyes of those looking on.
It was time to venture home.
Back onto the bus and down the hill
Into the chaos of San José.
this brings us to the moment of the second.
The second adventure up the hill to a town that is quite,
yet subtly beautiful and alive.
Bus up the hill,
into the middle of the town,
directly to Manuel’s car.
And spiraling through layers and layers of hillside.
We were on a paved road
but all around was just massive, massive open fields of land
with very few houses
and an abundance nature doing its dance.
Once we made it to the top,
the line of cars to get into the volcano park expanded 50 deep.
Inching their way,
very slowly but oh so surely.
What did I do?
I took full advantage off being surrounded by so much wonder.
I hopped my happy little self out of the car.
Bought some strawberries from the street vendor.
And skipped up the hill.
Camera strapped to me.
probably made up song in my head.
Singing and dancing.
Shoving my face with strawberries.
I looked to see a solo cow peacefully mowing away at the grass,
not giving notice or bother to the humans skipping around him.
I went and made friends.
Trying to feed him out of curiosity,
but I think more so I could get close enough to take a picture
of the details making up his face
and sweet little,
okay big horns
popping out of his head.
The friendship with the cow ended.
The skipping commenced.
And we were driving through the park entrance.
Keeping quite in the back seat,
hard for me to do,
but Tico price,
This silence surely allowed me Tico price.
Into the park and there it was.
In front of me
whole in earths surface
with steam drifting from a space these eyes couldn’t necessarily see.
We ventured around this fascinating,
yet simple structure of earth.
We got sand in our shoes.
And continued along our way.
At this point Abby said I went from Ashley to hangry.
I have to admit,
she was correct.
We stopped for dinner at a little diner overlooking the layers of hills we had ventured up just hours before.
The service was quite entertaining
and not one of my favorites
but it made for a great laugh
and stories to share with these new friends,
my new friends
beyond the moments.
it was more exploration of these hills,
desert cocktails at a bar with a lit up view of the city behind.
And as life has a way of doing so
The day came to an end.
Where our bus back down the hill awaited to carry us into our crazy little city of Costa Rica.
are my moments
within this little Costa Rican mountain town.
thank you so much for sharing my journey with me!
Sending lots of love and positive thoughts!
Wings of a Flower
Internationally Published Photographer, Engaging in Photographic Connections and Time Capsule Creation
for Destination & Local Weddings, Couples and Intimate Families in Southern & Northern California, The United States and Internationally