Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Orosi Valley

Continuing down the volcano, we spent some time in the Orosi valley. The first stop was to see the most important church in Costa Rica, Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. As the story goes, before the church was built, on its site, a young girl found a small figure of the Virgin Mary holding an infant Jesus. She took it home only to find the figure was back at the site the next morning. No matter where they took the figure it somehow returned over and over to the same site. The towns people decided it was a sign to build the church at that exact site.

Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica

In August there is a massive 1.5 million person visitation of this church ( in a town that only has 4000 residents). The truly faithful traverse "the path", a 22 kilometer stretch, on their knees. Yeah, they crawl. They bring silver figures of body parts that need to be cured.

Leg Figures @ Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica

I saw a couple of ladies crawling up the aisle of the church, both had small silver figures of a head in their hands, which they placed at an altar. I really wanted to take a picture of the whole progression but it felt wrong.

Later we had lunch. The patio overlooked some beautiful scenery and the food was excellent. Every meal in Costa Rica, including breakfast, comes with black beans and rice. Sometimes separately, sometimes mixed together into what is known as Gallo Pinto. This lunch was no different. We also had a delicious Dorado and carmelized plantains with lime and butter.

La Casona del Cafetal, Orosi, Costa Rica

After lunch we completed our descent off the volcano. We stopped briefly to see the oldest church in Costa Rica. It was small and unassuming but still amazing, since it was the only structure to survive the many earthquakes in the region since it was built in the early 1700's.

Iglesia de San Jose Orosi, Orosi, Costa Rica

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