Orosi is a small town more or less south east of San Jose, up against the impossibly rugged peaks of the Cordillera Central Range. It is kind of an "end of the line sort of place". It is old and beautiful, the dead fiesta with booming latin salsa in odd contrast to the aged Spanish architecture. Travel south beyond here must be on foot through jungle trails.
The trip from San Jose was one of adrenaline as our psychotic taxi driver tore through the San Jose suburb of San Pedro and then (god forbid) up into the winding mountain roads. I became convinced that he was trying to kill us, or maybe extort more money for a guarantee of living delivery at the town. The normally peaceful Costa Rican becomes a raving lunatic behind a wheel. The taxi drivers are absolutely depraved in their "deathrace antics". San Pedro was not so bad a place, a middle class Costa Rican Suburb with a giant size mall that had a constant stream of trendy teenagers flooding from its doors.
Maggie had wanted to see "the house of the dreamer", Macedonio Quesada a famous Costa Rican artist who had lived near Orosi. Though he had died in 1995 Macedonio's sons still produce carvings of coffee wood to sell to visitors.
The trip to this isolated little town was an experience in itself (I will expound on that at a later date) but suffice it to say, the final destination had an odd, surreal air to it. The houses are clustered together as a colourful pastel mosaic down on the valley floor. The mountains rise all around, high ridges are fringed with palms and jungle vines. A "fiesta" was in full swing when we arrived, grossly unattended, the rides and gaity well out of proportion to the population.
There was an incredibly old and beautiful church next to the merry-go-round with an exquisite tropical garden in its courtyard. The church is supposedly the oldest in Costa Rica, a fact that might be attributed to the town having been spared the constant earthen trembling that rumbles all around. We had visited a ruined cathedral in Cartago along the way, its walls toppled by a thrashing of tremors, fires and volcanic ash. Today it is a thick grey shell known to locals as "Las Ruinas".
The day was overcast and Orosi stood out in marked contrast to the gloomy sky and dark green hills. It felt like we were attending a funeral where the deceased had forbidden sorrow to the mourners. The only rider on the midgit-sized ferris wheel was an old lady in black. She crested the pinnacle of the ride's parabola, her shawl and scarf flapping out behind her. She seemed quite glum and her similarity to a crow was striking. Round and round the empty rides went, the gloomy background rising opressively around the edges of this brightly painted oasis.