Known in English as “The Dreamer’s Cottage”…
It’s a landmark location in the Orosi Valley in Costa Rica. It was started by a man who used to disappear off to this cottage and he would sit there (sometimes for days), whittling and carving coffee wood (including some wonderful carvings on the cottage itself). People started to come by to look at the cottage, and the carvings, and expressed interest in buying those carvings. He died in what my Mom thinks was 1995, and his sons took it over as a business (and continue to carve).
When I came down here for Christmas 2002, I didn’t get to go (Mom & Dad took the younger two over after they’d dropped me off at the airport for my flight home), so it was definitely one of the sites I wanted to visit on this trip. So, since the only thing we had planned today was my second appointment with the acupuncturist this morning (which so far does seem to be helping!), we headed out today.
Stopped off for lunch at the Orosi Lodge, a small European-style guest lodge owned and run by a couple who are good friends of Mom & Dad. Lunch there was delicious, and Mom & Dad got a chance to chat to their friends for a while.
Then we drove off to the other side of the lake, stopped by a newly opened small Artisan Market, and then arrived at the Dreamer’s Cottage.
There are some really lovely carvings there. Most of them are of people, men smoking pipes and/or carrying bags of coffee beans (Orosi Valley is full of coffee plants), and women (mostly praying). They had some lovely canes/walking staffs, but the only one high enough for me was too long to fit in my suitcase, so I couldn’t get it. Then I saw one of an owl (in exquisite detail, including chest feathers) perched on a branch, and fell in love with it. Dad was wonderful enough to buy it for me as a gift!
Most to all of the carvings in there were 3,000 colones, which translates to about $9 Canadian, or about $6.50 U.S. (based on Costa Rican exchange rates, not Canadian/U.S.). Considering the artistry of these pieces, that is remarkably cheap. And there’s no pressure to buy; the cottage is open to the public and you’re welcome to just come in and look around if you want. To me, that says that they’re definitely more interested in the carving for the carving’s sake, rather than for what they can get for them, and want people who do choose to buy a carving to really want it for itself.
Definitely a place worth visiting, and I’m very happy I decided I wanted to go…
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