THE 17KM WALK
I have given an insight on my 5 hours walk to the Basilica in Cartago with two Costa Rica friends. At first we were strangers to each other, but as we walked together we were able to motivate and keep each other moving.
On August 2, two Costa Rica friends and I decided to walk 5 hours to the Basilica in Cartago, the old capital of Costa Rica. The previous day, hundreds of Costa Rica people came from all directions, South, West, East and North. It was also a holiday and a time of celebration and many people travel here to do the pilgrimage walk or visit the Basilica on these two dates. The road we took was after San Marcos to Cartago. We did not come across many walkers but a few. On our way we met three young boys in their bright soccer team shirts and shoes. They also had to stop to massage their legs, one boy barely could walk without restriction. During this 17 km walk we saw many abandoned umbrellas and we walked the path that once was called the mountain of death. Its called this because the paved road never existed and people easily slipped and fell to their death. Once we got to the Basilica de Los Angeles, there were many people. On one side there were food stands and the other the line up to the church. You have the option of walking into it or be on your knees. The day was complete with a view of a soccer game in front of a school that once was a government building. The 17 km walk could not have happened if it were not for the two companion I had with me to do it together. We made sure we had something to eat, if anyone needed a break, and taken turns carrying bags. We were behind one another, with one person leading in front to keep our pace going. Would you consider a 17km walk with complete strangers? How would you keep each other motivated?
By Sherry Ing, currently interning in Costa Rica
FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LLANO BONITO
This is my compiled list of five things to do in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica. As well as, it can be a guide for making the best out of your rural living-condition experience.
- On your sole, get set, GO! In Llano Bonito, there are routes and passages that you can discover by foot with a hiking companion of course. I personally wouldn’t go alone, two minds are better than one. I like to hear someone with a different view set as me and can point out things that I might otherwise have not seen with my own eyes. Along the unmarked path, sometimes there are no sidewalks, along the hills, you can get a taste of the edible berries and fruits from trees and bushes. Not sure what they are, but it’s good to have a local person guide you on what fruits that can be eaten. An unfamiliar fruit I had tasted was a “Manzana de agua” (translated as water apple in Spanish) every day the weather is different and you can always guarantee that the same place looks different. Sometimes you can be walking through the mist and fog, or have lightning and thunder in the background.
- Goal! There is a solo outdoor fótbol (soccer in Spanish) field in Llano Bonito. It is bigger than the indoor soccer field located within the elementary school of Llano Bonito. Every Friday evening, the female and male soccer players would have a game there. My homestay brothers play a family soccer game every Sunday with their cousins after church in the outdoor field. Sometimes there is a serious soccer game played on a Sunday there. People of all ages would gather to watch it behind the fence or sit on top of their cars.
- Play dress up and find the needle in a haystack. There are little shops that you can find and buy used clothing. It is sometimes called “tiende de ropa Americana” ¢200-¢300. You can find interesting patterns and fabrics from the mountain pile of clothing. It really is a workout and like finding a needle in a haystack as I mostly watch the girls pull clothing out of the pile and help with the pulling and stacking as well.
- Its good to get out of the district once in a while. Take the bus to the nearest canton, such as San Pablo or San Marcos. The cost of a bus ticket is approximately ¢900 Colonies.
- Attention all Coffee Lover out there, visit a coffee plantation and learn how it’s processed and how they do it here in Llano Bonito. It’s a 24-hour non-stop coffee assembly from November to February and sometimes March. Local families and workers that come from the nearest country such as Nicaragua during this time to help out with the coffee picking and production. It is also the summer season and time of harvest for the coffee plants.
By: Sherry Ing, Centennial College Massage Therapy student currently in Costa Rica.