Sunday, July 6, 2008

IRAZU - Part 1

Volcanoes are a major part of life here in Costa Rica. They have created the rich soil that makes this little country an agricultural paradise. They are also a MAJOR tourist attraction, and Costa Rica’s economy is largely based on its ability to attract tourists.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, IrazĂș is definitely my favorite of Costa Rica’s five active volcanoes. From my living room window, it is one of the first thing I see every morning. IrazĂș’s slopes are gently rounded and covered with villages and farms. As you drive upward along the switchbacks toward the summit, the land falls away to your right in deep gorges with rushing streams and valleys with rivers below simmering like ribbons of silver in the sunlight. To your left the land slopes steeply upward and much of it is cultivated. The fields of cabbage are winding rows of green with an occasional row of purple cabbage. There are also field of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and potatoes. In some fields, tractors move slowly as laborers stack sacks or boxes of produce into the wagon. In other fields, yokes of oxen plod along pulling carts into which the produce is stacked. As you climb higher, you often pass through veils of clouds. It is cool and hushed, the trees draped in Spanish moss and orchids. Nearing the summit, the fields of crops give way to pasture for dairy cattle. It is not uncommon to round a curve and find several very contented cows calmly standing in the middle of the road. From the summit, on a clear day, you can see the peak of another volcano, Arenal, in a range of mountains running northwest toward Nicaragua. And if you are very fortunate, and the day is very clear, you can see both oceans, the Caribbean to the east and the Pacific to the west.


Linda said...

What a beautiful picture.
It is nice to meet you Kathie. My father-in-law lives in San Jose, Costa Rica for at least half of the year. I would love to visit there someday, it's so beautiful.

Margaret Daley said...

Kathie, I think I've been to this volcano when we were in Costa Rica. It was shrouded in mist.


Lydia said...

Hi Kathie,
You described Irazu so beautifully that the gorgeous picture was only frosting on the cake. To be this close to such an awesome piece of creation is a marvelous opportunity. I loved learning about this spectacular volcano.


Wow! That is an awesome picture and your word description was as beautiful as the photo. I could almost imagine it in my mind. God Bless you....and thanks for sharing this volcano with those of us who are not there with you.