Final Leg 1995

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January 1995 

On our short journey back to San Jose, we were taken to a painted ox cart factory at Sarchi. Operated by a cooperative, this factory outlet represents the finest in wood craftsmanship. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about these famous ox carts - I mean what the hell is a tourist supposed to DO with an ox cart? As it turns out, these are miniatures of the real thing, and they are generally used as a liquor cabinet, and perhaps as a rolling serving table.  My interest was piqued once I spotted the beautiful wooden dining room tables and chairs. They also make some very comfortable rockers, complete with leather seats. Yes, it's a tourist trap, but there is some good stuff to look at too. They will ship back to the U.S. or Canada, if you are interested.

We saw a full sized ox cart, complete with oxen at the Butterfly Farm, our last stop on our way to San Jose. Butterflies are notoriously difficult to photograph, even when they are concentrated under the netting enclosure at the Butterfly Farm. Costa Rica's Butterfly Farm is the source for most butterfly pupae shipped to more northern butterfly farms, such as the one located just a few kilometres from where I live. The Blue Morpho is without a doubt the king of the more spectacular butterflies to be found in Costa Rica.

Ox Carts (63811 bytes) Ox cart - a real one! (61977 bytes) (c) 2001 Ellie Hogeveen -
City lights - San Jose (51416 bytes) Folkloric dancers (60332 bytes)  

Our last night in Costa Rica saw us experience the traditional hospitality of the Ticos atop Pico Blanco - a mountain overlooking the city. Folkloric dancers, traditional Costa Rican food, and warm and friendly Ticos all contributed to a wonderful final memory of Costa Rica. The city lights of San Jose made a fitting ending to a wonderful two weeks in Costa Rica.

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H5 colones note  (108016 bytes)ere is another short story about our tour guide Cecilio Barnes. Cecilio wanted to bring home some of the history of Costa Rica - it's industry and it's people - so he went to the central bank on his own time and purchased some very colourful 5 colones notes. Although they are only worth a nickel each, every member of the tour got one of these notes, and we were told the story of the design of the note, and how it represented the historical primary industries of Costa Rica. Cecilio didn't have to do this, but he made the extra special effort on our behalf - giving us a souvenir to take home with us. A nice, friendly touch, don't you think?



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