|Creek area, used daily by cattle. Total length of valley is about 8-9 kms. Rolling hills, some lush, some barren. Other parts of the valley have some water flowing.|
|On the hillside, the ridges made by cattle are evident. Lower left shows the ravine-like erosion. This is an example of the worst part of the valley. |
|A closeup of the erosion from the previous picture. |
|A typical scene in one of the undulating parts of the valley. |
|Vegetation still seems to thrive near steep ravines randomly throughout the valley. |
|A mango orchard stuck in the middle of the valley. Meanwhile, the dry conditions cause deciduous trees on the hillside to lose their leaves. |
|Here is a commerce town with anything you would need, within reason. Probably no industrial strength hair dryers. The town is 5kms away from the valley.|
|Here is an example of the typical road and a relatively "healthy" part of the valley|
I did not realize I would have so many people awaiting these pictures. If I would have known I would need to present these pictures to my PDC class in a few weeks, I would have treated this day a little differently.
For those who read my blog, these pictures basically represent a typical valley in the drier part of Costa Rica. This area probably sees 6 months of rain and 6 months of arid conditions. The valley has been used as pastureland for maybe 30 years and the deforestation has further added to its' arid appearance. It is tough to drive on these roads without a 4wl drive, so this part of the country looks like you could be in the 1950's. This was the surreal aspect to this valley. If I would have had my partner in crime with me, I probably could have had a more thorough photo diary of everything I saw. Regardless, families were bathing in the creeks, people were washing their trucks and scooters in the creek, and locals who were stripping down, what looked like a pig, and drying its' meat on logs in the sun. Costa Rica has much to offer. It is sad, however, to see Costa Ricans try to imitate the way North Americans treat land.
After spending time in the rainforest, this arid part of the country seems to be on the precipice of further decline. I tend to be an optimist. I think valleys like this represent the beginning of the new forests with which micro-climates can be reborn. It is a valley like this which could restore natural health to a whole region.