In which we encounter rainbow trout, streams and hummingbirds in the forest of a Costa Rican national park.
A few kilometers past where we saw the Quetzal we visited Los Lagos (the
lakes) which were actually a series of landscaped trout ponds amid in curious blend of hotel/resort/ weekly and monthly rental buildings and a restaurant. We met the owner who had did much of the work on the property over the past 55 years. He must have had some help. There were at least a dozen buildings – a restaurant whose only decor is tall glass wall facing nature and one of the ponds and gardens – and a number of small landscaped houses spaced out across two hills.
This time of year, the dry season, everything depends on water. There is a constant supply at Los Lagos, it being fed by three year round streams that twist and dance through the many levels.
There is a restaurant that serves simple but tasty dishes – a few breakfast items like eggs, black beans and rice and lunch – mostly fresh trout – which you can catch yourself and have prepared on the spot or eat some other persons catch.
The trout grow to a full foot or longer from the nearby hatchery. You can use rod and reel to catch them but that’s overkill. I saw some being hooked with a simple bamboo pole, line and bait. These are tame fish raised in pristine, clear waters.
Other activities at Los Lagos include horseback riding through the road that is part of the park.
At Los Lagos there are avocado trees and very large cactus-like plants.
The size of some plants can be amazing. This brings up the reasons for the name Costa Rica (Rich Coast) It was named originall because the Spanish were hoping to find gold here – which fortunately they did not. But Costa Rica has other riches. More than half the crops of Costa Rica are produced by rich volcanic soil and long periods of tropical sunlight. Not finding gold and faced with a mountainous terrain, the Spanish generally left Costa Rica alone. Therefore the country has a long history of independent small farmers vs. the hacienda type system. This independence has raised a beautiful crop of happy people who do fine without an army and whose motto is Pura Vida. A pure life.
Costa Rica rates high on many happiest indexes, including this one from the BBC.