Part 1... A journey to yesteryear in Costa Rica... A railroad depot and freight house... Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas... Culture and history...


The blue locomotive at the train depot, Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas with a dual cab.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
This morning's view of the veranda at 5:30 am.
Tom and I frequently accommodate each another's interests when we decide on where we'll go sightseeing.  Sometimes, it's botanical gardens which I particularly love and at other times, it's a military museum.

Tom walking toward the depot and museum.
Undoubtedly we are stereotypical for our genders with many of our interests besides our mutual passion for wildlife; for me, the flowers and quaint shops; for him, military tanks and railroad history and memorabilia.

Signage at the depot.
Over these past years of world travel, we've found we can easily cross over to each other's interests with little hesitation.  I no longer roll my eyes when he stops to read every word on historical signs posted at various locations.  He'll freely pause to show me an unusual flower.

Juan Ramon's home located across the tracks. 
We share endless interests in wildlife and nature which has proven to be in abundance in many countries.  Here in Costa Rica, based on our transportation limitations and mountainous location, birds have proven to be of our greatest interest as we spend hours each day watching and listening for varied species. 
Dog at the train depot, Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas.
As shown in our many bird photos, Costa Rica doesn't disappoint in its colorful and varied wildlife and vegetation which both of us are thoroughly enjoying each day including the bird sounds and songs, including the nearly constant crowing of roosters.
Locomotive drive wheels on display at the depot.
As for sightseeing, we continue to get out several times every other week when we have the five-day car rental which is upcoming again on Monday.  In the interim, we'll continue to share photos and stories from our recent sightseeing expeditions and outings when we last had the car.
Control stand inside the locomotive cab.
We'd read about Puente Ferrocarri Rio Grande Atenas at the TripAdvisor site with many rave reviews.  Those less interested in railroad history wrote some wishy-washy reviews while others reveled in the fascinating history and museum leaving us smiling hours after exploring the several areas of this interesting spot.

Engine compartment.
We parked the car and walked the short distance to the depot.  There were only a few visitors on site who may have been from some type of news agency when we noted they had sophisticated camera equipment set up and were taking photos.  Shortly after we arrived, they left. 
Opposite side of the engine compartment.
Moments later, Juan Ramon came out of a single story house located on the property to greet us, warmly shaking our hands.  He spoke no English but somehow we were able was able to understand he'd been managing the property for the past 10 years since the trains stopped running and he moved his family into the little house.
Inside the cab of the locomotive.
A warm and friendly man, Juan Ramon couldn't have been more thrilled to share the treasures of the location including allowing us to tour the blue locomotive (Tom gave me a shove to get me up the metal ladder while I hung on tightly on the grab-irons), the roadbed/right-of-way to the railroad bridge and considerable time in the museum.

In railroad jargon, an overly zealous train enthusiast is often referred to as a "foamer" implying they "foam at the mouth" when around anything railroad, whether its modern-day train and railroad equipment or memorabilia. 
Opposite side of the locomotive cab.
Tom's no foamer.  He's more interested in the local history and culture of the railroad in the country we're visiting at any given time than in railroad equipment itself.  Based on the extent of photos ops at train stations and depots, I've learned to find it all rather interesting as well.

Tomorrow, we'll share photos from the long hike to the railroad bridge, a hike we'd hesitated to embark upon when some reviewers mentioned how far it was from the depot and the rigor of the walk along the tracks, now over gown with vegetation (as shown in the photo below) when unused over the past 10 years. 

Tom and Juan Ramon waiting for me to catch up on the long hike.
But, our wonderful and thoughtful host, Juan Ramon, who lives at the depot and oversees its operation and visitors, insisted on walking the long distance to the bridge with us. Although there's no fee to visit the facility, we left Juan Ramon a generous tip for the time he spent with us, especially when the facility wasn't opened to the public that day. 

Please check back for more with many photos from the adjoining museum, there again, presented to us by our generous host, Juan Ramon.
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Photo from one year ago today, September 15, 2016:
This duck seemed perfectly content in our pool in Bali until realizing it could be tough getting out so she swam to the steps as shown and walked out.  Animals are amazing!  For more photos, please click here.

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