Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Poas Volcano

For 12-27-11, Poas National Park

Not, for Costa Rica, a bad road—hillsides thick with ferns that look like a curtain that might hide whole hidden worlds, lost valleys; nurseries with gray mesh covers (some on foot-high hoops, some tent-like 5 foot high) that Erick said were to protect export plants and fruits from volcanic residue; and farmhouses with bright green fields and fat Holstein cattle on rolling hills. In places, it could almost be parts of the Ozarks, but then the trees twist in odd shapes, filled with bromeliads and mosses, and a thorny bush with bright yellow flowers that Todd said looked like Scotch broom from Washington state, but with more aggressive thorns. And the countryside filled with trees that here and there look like they should fill postcards--iconic, striking, framed against rich green.  And there, a crumbling wall of a once tiny house, bright pink outside, as if human places need to set themselves off from the ubiquitous green.

At the national park itself, much like the U.S.—a huge, scarce moving line of cars waiting to get in. Eventually parked, there was a gentle half-mile hike up the hillside. On the way, Erick pointed out the plant that lore says was once used as an umbrella in the rainforest:
I noticed a shiny tree that looked to me like a magnolia, but Erick said is more closely related to rubber plant. And lots of mountain flowers:
And there, the volcano itself:

The vapors roil out of three crevices beside the acidic lake, changing the area for miles:

And, oh...Beth on the trail:
And me in my new CR hat:
later, bob
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