By the book & public transportation
02/06/2015 20 °C
Day 4 Feb 6, 2015
Gail’s brother and sister-in-law gave her a book a few years back called “A Thousand Gardens to See Before You Die.” A wee challenge but Gail’s working on it, Fred in tow. Before we left she consulted the book and found that 24 Km. from San Jose was the Jardín Botánico Lankester (Lankester Botanical Garden).
We decided to try public transportation rather than pay the $124 for the tour, atho the tour also took their group to a volcano plus lunch as part of the deal. This entailed us taking the bus 24kms up over the valley ridge and down the road to Cartago and then a cab to the garden. Fortunately the locals were very helpful with info and we made our way to the garden for $8.
Lankester Garden is a center for research for the University of Costa Rica. On it`s 27 acres it has over 3000 species of plants including orchids and epiphytes and is an important botanical centre in the Americas. It is not a display garden but more like a walk in the jungle punctuated with exotic flowers and plants. There had been a heavy mist all morning and the plants looked especially shiny and lush.
After our stroll through the garden we headed back to Cartago where we visited the Basillica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles with a soaring wooden interior and beautiful stained glass windows. There was a steady stream of followers moving on their knees on the long path to the alter. We also visited Las Ruinas, a cathedral that had been toppled many times by earthquakes until the final time in 1910. The interior has now been made into a garden.
We took the bus for a “scenic” trip back to San Jose as we wound our way through a variety of neighborhoods. Definitely need ear protection if you spend much time on the bus. The driver kept his working change in an unusual way. Back walking to our hotel we watched a group of construction guys on long ropes repelling down from a very tall wall as they worked on it, very impressive.