COSTA RICA, located between latitudes 8º to 12ºN and longitudes 82º to 86ºW, as you no doubt know, is thus situated fairly close to the equator. It constitutes one of the seven countries forming the Central American Isthmus between North and South America. Central America is sometimes considered a subcontinent.
As the crow flies, we’re less than 1500 Km or 900 miles away from the equatorial line, which is roughly the distance from Dallas, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona and less than the distance from Rome to Paris.
Owing to this equatorial proximity, our nights and days are of relatively equal duration year round and we don’t enjoy, or suffer through, as the case may be, the traditional four seasons of the northern hemisphere. The sun may rise as early as 05:16h in May, and the 06:02h sunrise recorded in January was the latest throughout the year. Our sunsets occur between 17:13h in November and 18:02h in July. These are data from 2010, provided by http://www.monteverdeinfo.com
My personal rule-of-thumb says, ‘5:30h full light’ and ’18h pitch dark’. This kind of shift, if you want, in daylight hours does require quite a mental adjustment of a late riser like me, who always hated to get up early. I also love staying up into the wee hours of the night. In Costa Rica, I’m up, actually upright, often even with my eyes open, before seven, often even earlier than that. And at night, I can barely keep awake much past dinner time. When returning home from dining out, negotiating the narrow, steep lanes up and down the hills and valleys of our neighborhood in absolute darkness, it feels like the middle of the night – when it’s actually just a little after seven o’clock in the early evening!
Instead of seasons, we have two ‘periods’, solely defined by rainfall. The wet period, often kindly referred to as the ‘Green Season’ is our winter. It extends roughly from May through November, coinciding with the hurricane season in the Caribbean.
|The peak of the “Green Season’|
The dry period, our summer months, is also the high season for the tourist industry. The following picture doesn’t seem to indicate any touristic charm in that dustbowl landscape, but earlier in the year, Costa Rica explodes with flowers, butterflies, and colors everywhere.
|The end of the dry period|
End of instructions! All I wanted to do, was to complain about the two phone calls, we received this morning, but I had to set the scene first 🙂
The house line rang at 5:30 precisely, followed by an incoming text message a little after six. The phone call was a wrong number. Well, actually, it was a wrong person call. Phone numbers are re-issued to new lines practically before the former party is disconnected, which leads to numerous calls for mystery people. The text was from our immigration lawyer, hoping Barry’s feeling better. She texted between getting her kids ready for school and her first appointment of the day. Everyone is up and running way before six in this country. In fact, even here, I’m a late riser!