Except for our rain forest tour, we will have no opportunity to get out and explore Costa Rica at all, so I have to content myself with what I can see from the bus window.
Luckily, it isn’t all road signs.
So, what do I learn about this part of Costa Rica by looking out the window?
It is a richly green place with cloud shrouded mountains.
It is a warm place, with buildings that perfectly match my expectation of “tropical” structures.
It is a well-watered place, where wide stream beds show signs of frequent expansion.
It is a place where things grow quickly and living fence posts (to keep the termites and decay at bay?) are trimmed regularly.
It is a place where agricultural is labor intensive, with acres upon acres of pineapple (a harrowing crop to harvest) and banana (with each bunch of bananas neatly tucked into a blue bag to protect the fruit from hungry insects).
It is a place of enough wealth and stability that the main gas line through the country travels – apparently unmolested – along the earth’s surface. (This is to avoid earthquake damage.) It is carried through the air above small streams and buried only where needed to allow a road or driveway to pass through.
It isn’t very wealthy, though, and while there are many lovely vistas, there are too many billboards of all vintages and condition.
It is a democratic place, where campaign posters are plastered everywhere and where our guide expects that a strong, gorgeous woman (Laura Chinchilla) will win the presidency.
This might be a country I where I would like to spend more time, but, at least for now, these things are all I know.