Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The lights go down on a truly inspiring vacation

Animals come out to visit at the national park

The most amazing experiences with animals happen right in our neighborhood spontaneously like when a howler monkey decides to use the telephone lines near the swimming pool for a tightrope to land on our cabana rooftop and causes quite a stir with the dogs and bird population. He gets a 10 for strategizing, creativity and use of his voice.  

Another afternoon I just came out of the pool when a young condo resident informs me in a serious tone of voice that I am being "watched" by two giant green iguanas high in the trees overlooking us. They are swaying in the breeze nibbling leaves, and I seriously doubt that they give a hoot we are below. 

A tourist from Britain cautioned me to watch my step early one morning and pointed to a Costa Rican water snake about a foot in length with deep yellow diamond markings resting in the surf. He thought the snake was dehydrated and earlier had tried to prod him with a long pole back into the water. On my return trip the snake was still in the same spot, and I carefully gave it a wide berth.

A vacation isn't a vacation without local food

Right across the street is Boka, a tapas and wine bar. 

I returned for a second evening just for the seared ahi tuna taco at Green Papaya.

Homemade Italian pasta at our favorite neighborhood restuarant, Walter's Fish and Cheeses, is fabulous. We are welcome every visit with open arms. Their wine choices become ours.

 At the farm market Larry is getting a lesson in cutting a papaya correctly. Delicious.
Love the mango smoothies at the beach restaurants, as well. You know they are fresh, and good for you, too.
Yes, we eat beans and rice, the national meal of Costa Rica during our stay.

Calling all early risers

Yes, I found it necessary to be walking to the beach a couple short blocks away as the sun is coming up around 6 am, and once there, it is off with the flip flops and dipping into the surf. The water temp is not bad in case you are wondering.  I walk about a mile to Tamarindo where the winds are in good position for the surfers to be out. I'm not alone either. Beachfront restaurants are opening, the fishermen are heading out and life is getting underway for another day in paradise. 
I never count the miles round trip to the condo, although I will estimate it near 3 give or take with a detour or two.  

First, the elegant condo

Pictures don't do La Esquina #3 justice. It is a spacious condo in a safe residential neighborhood at Langosta Beach about a mile from Tamarindo, a lively spot for the younger crowd. From the condo you are within a short walking distance of a gorgeous beach, quaint restaurants and a grocery store. The locals are friendly and helpful, along with the howler monkeys and iguanas. 

I will own up to the fact that the pool was my late afternoon spot just as the temps started cooling down from the high 90s. When I discovered that there were two major winter storms ocurring at home, I swam with a bigger smile on my face. 

One of the favorite times of the day is viewing the sunset sitting on the deck sipping wine and nibbling on local cheese.  Pure contentment. The only worthwhile consideration is where to go for dinner. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A little light background

Looking through an old travel journal, I realized that it has been ten years since I visited Costa Rica. What a trip it was in such an environmentally proactive country with its natural beauty and friendly people. I did it all - the walking over rope bridges, riding a horse, the hikes in the tropical rain forest and the views of Arenal the active volcano. And, the colorful birds...I will never forget.

Somehow, I knew I would return for a more in-depth experience where I could get a better feel for the country's people and at a slower pace where I could observe more carefully.  

This trip will be focusing on the Pacific side of the country with Tamarindo as home base. 

Costa Rica literally means "Rich Coast", officially the Republic of Costa Rica,  and is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east and Ecuador to the south.  It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San Jose.