Day One in Costa Rica: Peruvian Panpipes Playing Beatles Song in Alajuela

It was 3 hours to Houston on a rickety long-in-the-tooth Continental jet, packed to the gills; then a 3 hour wait, then another 3 hour flight from Houston to Costa Rica, this time in a brand new B-757, with individual TV screens for each seat — better! Still, discomfort and indignities abound in 21st century air travel, like the officious jerk who removed every single one of about 40 objects in my backpack.

I got a room in a little hotel in a small town close to the airport because I was picking up my friend Chilón, who’s coming in from Mexico City tomorrow morning. I hit the streets, groggy from no sleep, but excited by how different everything was. Comfortably warm.

A lot of people in the central park, big very green trees and a deafening din of birds. Two serapé-wrapped Peruvian guys had recorded songs on a loudspeaker and were playing along with pan pipes. A lot of young lovers snuggling and nuzzling on the benches. Hey, it’s the tropics! People are relaxed.

Young punkish dude had a pet iguana and in a surly manner said OK to take pics, and that he’d had the iguana), which was a beautiful specimen) for 5 years. I walked over to the corner ice cream store, got an espresso milkshake, and went back in the park, and listened to Peruvian pan pipes playing a Beatles song.

I walked around for a couple of hours, reveling in the different landscape, and shot photos. As I was walking back to the hotel, two motorcycle cops came down the road on nimble and lightweight bikes, doing wheelies. Skateboarders doing incredibly graceful things on 4 little wheels…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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