Hike to The Top of Our Finca in Costa Rica to See The El Santo Statue

Melted San Isidro de El General El Santo statue
The San Isidro de El General statue is no more as of June 2, 2015 after taking a direct lightning strike

The blog post below is from 2011 when we took a hike up the back of our property to gaze at the famous San Isidro de El General statue known locally as "El Santo." It was not, as many gringos believe, a statue of Jesus, though one could easily make that association when first seeing it. 

Yesterday, we had an averagely intense lightning storm and unfortunately, El Santo took a direct hit. Obviously, the frame was made of steel, which made the perfect lightning rod for that strike. Given how high and exposed the statue base is, it is something of a wonder that this never happened before in the 36 years it was standing. The outer shell was fiberglass, so naturally that disintegrated instantly.

Tal luego El Santo! We will miss you and we hope this emminent landmark will soon be replaced. If they get around to it within the next 10 years, that would be "soon" in Costa Rica time.

I'm a Type A, to-do list kind of guy. I endlessly make lists, often on some tiny scrap of paper. They get tucked away in the wallet or left on a counter. I'm lucky if I get to half the stuff on any particular list. Then, there are all the background mental lists of things to do "someday" that are talked about in a wistful tone of voice, but usually don't make the quasi-realism stage of pen on paper.  

One of those  latter items was to trek up through the forest above our property to the ridge crest to see what I could see. That short trek, however always took a back seat to the farm chores, writing and other projects. 

Top of our local world. The El Santo statue to stage left.
I was pretty sure what I'd find. We once slogged up to a nearby ridge on a neighbor’s property for the view. Also, we'd been to the top of Las Piedras (The Rocks) during our 2009 New Year's hike up the crack between the big rocks on our northern side. Still, I wanted to know if the imagined trail up to the ridge really was a shortcut or not. And could we see Pérez Zeledón's famous El Santo statue from there.

As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago our neighbor on the other side of the big rocks, Kim, cut a crude path with the help of a couple of workers exactly on that line I'd wanted to pass over to the ridge top. Their property has a corner that touches ours up there, and she was checking some existing survey markers and adding a couple new ones.

 A couple of weeks after that, we took full advantage of their efforts to finally make that hike up the steep slope. Machete in hand, I led the way, widening the path as we went.

Our reward was a fantastic view of the other protrusions of the local batholith, including the one on which the El Santo statue is perched overlooking the Valle de El General.

El Santo, often mistakenly called the "Jesus Statue"

San Isidro de El General

A short stroll to the south gave us a spreading view of the valley and the city of San Isidro below.
Top of the batholith that appears in our home's view

To the north we gazed up at the top of the tallest outcropping in the collection, which you've seen in pictures from our balcony. 

I hope to keep the path open so we can hike up there whenever there's a break in the to-do list or whenever we have some hardy visitors who crave a long view.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you; nice story about a nice place you have in Costa Rica. It is nice to read a positive story like this. all the best,


Thanks so much for your comment! - Casey