20 Sep 2009

Ciudad Quesada weirdness

Posted by walterheck

Our next destination was a big old villa close to Ciudad Quesada. There, we would stay with a 63 year old man who Kelly got in contact with. The guy was head of research and development of Tico Fruits, one of the large citrus companies in CR. He had a big beautiful house just outside Ciudad Quesada where he lived by himself. Since he was a botanist, the garden around it was absolutely beautiful, although he called it a work in progress. We were invited for a few days. When we got to Ciudad Quesada, we phoned him and he told us he would come and pick us up. We got settled in a local bar and had a drink. He showed up after a good half an hour or so, with a tica girl. We got in the car and soon enough, weirdness started again. Within minutes, it became pretty clear that he was in a relationship with the girl who was roughly half his age. Over the next few days, it would become painfully obvious that he was going through great lengths to get in her pants, and she went through great lengths to please him but avoid just that. Classic story of poor local girl and rich old bored foreigner. All of that wouldn’t have to be a problem if it wasn’t so painfully clear to everyone that he was not about to get any. On top of that, he would go to her brother’s football match just to hope to please her into bed. Oh, and not to forget: he had a wife in Florida, but wasn’t secretive about it. He had his house full of pictures, but also had his girlfriend over in that same house. I hope you get the idea here.

In the days that we spent at his house though, he was extremely nice to us. We had some wonderful dinners and he let us use everything in the house. One day, Kelly went on a tour of his facility at work with some students. She came back with loads of new connections (did I mention this girl is a born networker?)

All the while, I stayed at the house during the day to work and to give my foot as much rest as possible.

One of the days we were there, two of Kelly’s couchsurfing friends from San Jose came over and all of us took a trip to an organic farm nearby. That was an amazing day! The finca is adjacent to a national park right next to the Arenal vulcano. That is a very active volcano that has constant lava flowing out of it and down the mountain. It is hard to see during the day, but apparently it totally lights up during the night.

The finca itself is also very impressive: 200 acres of farm, very well organised and almost completely self-sustainable: no wires or pipes are leading into or out of the property. That means generating their own power, drinking water, most of their own food, etc. Students from all over the america’s come to this place to teach and learn. Very inspiring and impressive! Kelly and the others got a quick tour of the property, but I had to stay put because I couldn’t walk that far.

The day after that trip, we returned to San Jose with a ride we got from Kelly’s friends.

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