Last Wednesday, Costa Rica caught the tail end of Hurricane Nate. Millions of dollars in damage were done to the road system within Costa Rica. The roadways here have always left a little to be desired, but this storm sought out soft spots and made their short comings obvious.
A friend of ours noted 52 slides (large and small) visible between Copey and Santa Maria. A distance of about 8.2 kilometers (5.0 miles).
We have been so impressed with the response from roadway repair and clearing crews, telephone restoration and the power company. The response was rapid, they genuinely cared about getting services restored. The day after the storm, we walked down the road and found crews working on a slide near our friends home in Copey. Not even 24 hours after the storm passed, and at an very remote location in the mountains, there they were- working hard to get passage through.
That being said, a slide down river of Hush Valley knocked power lines into the river. Putting Rio Blanco and Copey out of power. Unfortunately, the parts to repair it were in San Jose, and the road to San Jose had been washed out. The delay meant we were without power for several days while the parts were shipped in via air.
We were surprised to find how well equipped we were to withstand the lack of power. Hot water was still available so showers and dish washing were not a problem. Both the casita and the house have wood burning cook stoves as well.
Once he got the hang of baking in a wood burning oven, Dave was inspired. He made cookies, sour dough bread, quiche, and scones. There is quite an art to keeping the temperature consistent in the oven.
Without power, Quinn and I stayed busy outside. There was a hillside going up to the fish ponds that could get rather slippery. We dug out stairs, but found they, too, were muddy and slippery when it rained. So we came up with an idea.
Just prior to the storm, we had pulled out the cracked concrete bottom out of one of the hatchery tanks, with the intent to re-concrete prior to our next batch of hatchlings.
Quinn and I took the concrete, and made a mosaic like pattern on the steps to help keep the steps stable, and our feet out of the mud. Its not quite done yet, but its close. The sides will have river rock, native plants, and solar lights for each step, as we occasionally need to come check the ponds after dark. Its difficult to see in the picture, but on the third step up, in red, green and yellow river rock (all debris from the storm), there are three letters. HVL. Our little rock hound, Quinn, had this idea and gathered up the rocks.
Hush Valley Lodge fared well in the storm. However, the river grew very large and transformed the waterfall garden, into a rock garden. I guess even Mother Nature likes to redecorate occasionally. Check out these before and after pictures.
There are some amazing looking rocks among all the debris. From above you can see just how many rocks were deposited.
Its exciting to see all of the possibilities of this area. To the left, the brown patch is all soft river sand. This is a rather large area ( though you cant tell in the picture) and would be great for sand volleyball, a picnic area, or a nice river rock campfire circle. The area sits up in elevation from the river several feet, so unless we see another hurricane soon, that area should be nice and dry, and ready for grooming. Any great ideas on how to re-shape the 'rock garden'?
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!