As I reflect on my day while lounging poolside in the early evening cool air of the Costa Rican evening, I perch my eyes to the sky to see the light grey clouds slowly rolling into a charcoal above me. It will rain soon enough. Just earlier I walked around the largest urban park Costa Rica has to offer: La Sabana. The trees are peeled into a colorful scheme of greens, reds, yellows, and burnt oranges. The lakeside is staggered with fisherman and the bathrooms are covered in graffiti. This park flourishes in physical activity and shared company.
Over the vast winding paths and dirt roads and spotty green grasslands there are soccer fields that lie across from the impressive soccer stadium called the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica. A runner’s track runs the outline of an outdoor roller rink which engulfs a roller hockey field. Various species of birds migrate around the lake and throughout the trees and grassy lands that are just barely blooming and the bearing fruit is bright green. Families play together, friends casually enjoy the atmosphere, and although the police department is located at the lake, no one roams about.
There are joggers, soccer players, dirt bikes, sport bikes, and young lovers on dates enjoying one another’s company in the spacious park surrounded by street traffic and local shops and restaurants. Earlier that day we experienced a local indoor/outdoor restaurant and engulfed into a delicious steak sandwich that oozed with gouda and sautéed onions with tomatoes and delicious green sauce. Just down the road from the restaurant a street performer takes advantage of the stop lights to perform some b-boy moves to a large boom box that looked as though it was from the 90s. Breakdance sessions in the middle of a small highway producing small amounts of scattered litter. The park, however, is up kept and groomed. This “little” accent to the city of San Jose may just be one of their most active and relaxing highlights. The distant views of the low clouds softly rimming the hazy mountains remind me that I will soon be among those mountains the morning after next.
Peering back up to the clouds that deepen with gray and orange tones, bats start to skim the pool waters, birds continue to wipe their beaks on the wet ledges where pool water had splashed earlier, and the wind is soft enough to just feel slight pressure among your face. My excitement continues to build while I wait to venture on.