The Roving Richards

A family on the move

Butterfly Farm 2002

Sunday, June 28, 2002

We arise bright and early, ’cause it gets light at 5:00 in Costa Rica in June (no daylight savings time).  We have breakfast in the dining room, which has a nice view of the Central Valley.  The only problem with Xandari Plantation, however, is they have the world’s slowest food service.  I don’t know what they’re doing back there in the kitchen, growing the pineapples maybe, but it seems to me that a fruit plate and a bowl of cereal should not take a half-hour to prepare.  But that is the worst I can say about the place, it’s just hard to deal with long meals when you have an impatient toddler.

Mark uses his uncanny sense of direction to get us immediately on the right road to the Butterfly Farm, a truly impressive feat considering it looks like an airport access road.  You go Mark!  (None of the roads in Costa Rica havenames and nothing has an address, which kinda makes it hard to get around.  Fortunately, there really aren’t that many roads in the first place.) Once we were on the road there were butterfly signs regularly spaced so there was little chance of getting lost.

We arrive at the farm and are told that the next tour begins in an hour.  Great! Enough time to get lunch.  Whoops.  No place nearby to speak of except a little Abastecedor thing where we are able to by Bimbo white bread, bologna and american cheese.  Yum, gourmet food.  Genevieve eats all of the cheese and I actually eat the white bread and bologna sandwich.  I’ve gotten tremendously less picky as I get older.

After our scrumptious lunch our tour begins with a video about butterflies.  I didn’t really need to know about the four segments of a butterfly’s body, but oh well.  Then our guide shows us the export room.  They export butterflies to exhibits all over the Western world, including to Marine World in Vallejo.  They actually don’t raise most of the butterflies at the farm, rather surrounding villagers raise them in their butterfly enclosures and bring the pupae to the farm weekly.  Genevieve is enjoys seeing the pupae for a while then gets bored and tosses her sippy cup, coming so close to smashing over a hundred dollars-worth of butterflies that even the guide is shocked (we’re sort of used to “la destructa’s” abilities).

Next we go to the enclosure where there are so manybeautiful butterflies it’s incredible.  The guide points them out to us, shows us some caterpillars, and then we go to the caterpillar room. He wants to let Genevieve touch the caterpillars but I know better and decline on her behalf.  The tour concludes in the gift shop (naturally) and we are invited to stay as long as we like looking at the butterflies.  I bought Genevieve a t-shirt and some toy butterflies, but it was bit hard to shop because she was busy rearranging the store’s coffee display.  Fortunately, the woman tending the store has a two-year-old son and thusly is very understanding.

After the farm we returned to Xandari for some swimming and relaxing.

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