Heredia, Costa Rica January, 2007

We decided to temp fate and head by Poás volcano on our way to San Joaquín de Heredia on the off chance that we could see into the crater. I had been lucky once (out of several attempts) 15 years ago and had a crystal clear view into the cauldron. Not so this time. And Robert's travels were wearing on him a bit (though he had done amazingly well with all the bumpy roads, new friends and changing beds).

This is exactly what to expect at Poás, a foggy crater you can't see more than 50 feet into and unhappy travelers who had hoped to see the bubbling lake at the bottom.

Poas, CR 1/25/2007. Poas, CR 1/25/2007.
Poas, CR 1/25/2007.

Robert cheered himself up a bit playing with the "sombrillo de pobre", poor person's umbrella, leaves.

We got to CPI Heredia in the late afternoon (notice the pattern, we kept arriving an hour or so earlier after each leg of the trip). OK, I'll confess, I took us the long way from Poás because I wanted to see if "El Banco de los Mariscos" was still in Santa Barbara, as I had been assured by Carlos. We didn't see it in on the central square and I missed a turn. So we ended up back at the park Alejuala where a nice taxi driver set us straight.

After we met Romy and Alfredo at the school, we went about three doors down to what was being built as the new school when I left 15 year ago. It's been outgrown and is now their home, complete with two apartments for students. After we unloaded our stuff into one of the apartments, Alfredo drove us back to Santa Barbara and dinner at the new, expanded "El Banco de los Mariscos."

The next morning we puttered a bit at the school and Robert played with Julian's Heredia toys.
And I tried to remember which of these was the school when I was there in 1991. I think it's the one below on the right. (The old school used to have a more open fence.) Clearly CPI has grown enormously.

Heredia, CR 1/26/2007.
Heredia, CR 1/26/2007. Heredia, CR 1/26/2007.
Heredia, CR 1/26/2007.

This was easier to recognize as the house I rented while I was there. It's not changed much at all.

In the afternoon, we took the Café Britt tour. I learned that they send their beans to Germany to have them decaffeinated and that the caffeine is captured and sold to Coca Cola (or similar companies). I'd never stopped to think about where Coke's caffeine comes from. And they have a nice garden to run around in before the tour (which is as much a novella as a tour).

Heredia, CR 1/26/2007. Heredia, CR 1/26/2007.

Carlos's son Diego had a test in Heredia that afternoon, so they joined us, and Romy and Alfredo for a final dinner in Costa Rica at a new place called "Machu Picchu" -- Peruvian style seafood. It was delicious.

The next morning (early, again), CPI's driver, Fernando, took us the the airport to catch our flight back home. We were really sorry to have to leave. I'm sure we'll go back -- and much sooner than 15 years from now.

In short -- a spectacular trip was had by all!

San Jose, CR 1/27/2007 (photo by SZap). Between there and here 1/27/2007.