Dave Looks for Plants

Journal of a plant explorer

Rancho Mastatal – Part 1

Here Karen describes the facilities at Rancho Mastatal.

By Karen:

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Robin and Volunteers make all meals in this tiny kitchen — for 25 people the last two days of our stay.  Robin says the maximum she can handle is about 40.

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Kitchen – continuation

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Costa Rica has very few cats.  Cooroo, helping guard the kitchen here, was brought via six intermediate steps, from the U.S.

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Turn 180 degrees to the dining hall, music hall, library, and entrance to the three bedrooms in the main house….Plus! a bathroom with a flush toilet and hot water shower! Note the bamboo strips used for ceiling material.

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Fresh chicken eggs bought from a Tico hen-keeper.  Eggs for 25, anyone? Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticans.

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The Rancho does have some extra refrigeration – only two years old and rusting already in the humidity.


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Tyler is using the local laundromat. By the way, the water source is from pipes coming down from Cerro Cangreja (the adjacent mountain).  And it tastes wonderful, no chemicals!


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This earthen oven bakes wonderful bread, and also helps dry clothes — it is very very difficult to get clothes to dry in the high humidity of the rain forest.

a15-ComputerRoom.JPG (72205 bytes)The back veranda.  The Rancho does have a computer, but not internet access.  No phone.  No television. But music playing all day and night on the small boom-box in the dining area.
Our room faced out on the back veranda, no screens but few mosquitoes, and it was nice to sleep under a blanket at night.  The temperatures are typically cooler than Tallahassee because of the elevation. I tended to wear some sort of footwear on the veranda — the floor is earthen sealed with cow manure. This technique is well over a millennia old, maybe more.

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