Well I have been busy creating Elaine’s new Web Site. It has turned out pretty good, and has some very cool features. Check it out at Elaine The Realtor. I had to do something since I have been retired for the last 3 months, but back to work in a couple of weeks.
I will be creating a new website for Captain Kana. It will be looking quite a bit different and have a lot of Web 2.0 features. IWEB served the purpose of getting me up and going. I have been brushing up on my HTML, CSS, etc. skills and it should help make an interesting new site. Stay tuned for the changes.
Costa Rica was simply a blast. The parts of the country we saw are beautiful. The people are very friendly, and very helpful.
We had only one reservations for any hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica. There are plenty of places to stay in all areas. The only place we could not stay at was Arenal Observatory which is about as close as you can get to the volcano.
If you are looking to do a trip, email me and I will give you some ideas. With the Web as it is now, research is quite easy and up to date. If you are traveling around Costa Rica, the single best guide is this Costa Rica Map. It has everything in it to plan a trip. Their web site is very thorough and the map has hotels, restaurants, activities, parks, and detail inserts of key areas. You could easily use only this map. I also used Trip Advisor which was great for itinerary planning , general information, and great local advisors monitoring the site. I also used 4 other books, which I will list in order of usefulness:
• Sleeping with the Toucans
• Fodor’s Costa Rica 2010
• Rough Guide to Costa Rica
• The New Key to Costa Rica
We will be returning soon to explore some new areas, and revisiting favorite spots.
Thanks are in order for Gary, Jenny, Scot, D’ava, Matt, Crickett, and Elaine for helping make this trip a great adventure.
Our last big excursion was to Manuel Antonio National Park. Named after a conquistador buried on site.
We left early in the morning to get there before the crowds. The park service limits the number of visitors to 600 a day during the week. The minute we got there a guide approached us to solicit a tour. We had read it was better to get a guide, and ended up hiring him. He was excellent. Make sure you use a guide who has a uniform. This shows he is authorized by the park to work there. Our’s went out of his way to show us all the flora and fauna with his spotting scope. All the guides work together to make sure all the groups see where the particular animals are at that time in the park.
The Ant Eater we saw, was unusual. They had not seen one in two months in the park. We had seen one driving from Puerto Viejo to San Jose the week before.
Our trek through the trails in the park was fairly strenuous because of the heat. It just kept notching up as we walked. I was looking forward to the end of it, so Scot and I could do some snorkeling in the Pacific even though the ocean was warm here.
From the pictures you can tell the beaches here are gorgeous. They filled up with people by noon. We heard some screaming for help on our tour, but it ended up some people left there lunch where the raccoons could take it which is common for the animals to do here.
There are quite a few places to stay, eat, and shop outside the park and in Puerto Quepos.
Alright, I know I haven’t kept this up to date, but I lost internet access at the house, we were piggy backing on someone else’s wifi which we lost the signal.
We ended up exploring a few beaches around Dominical, and ended up spending time at Playa Dominicalito. A very large beach, with very few people, mostly surfers and some local families. Trees lined the beach, providing shade from the tropical sun. The surf was good and we all spent alot of time in the water because it was hot.
Matt and Scot rented Boogie Boards in town. 3 for about $17 for the day. I had already fried my forehead in Puerto Viejo, but could not pass up the waves. I went out with a bandana on my head which I promptly lost in diving under the white water break.
Everyone, but Scot and I, went to lunch around 1 pm. We stayed to get more water time. The waves kept getting bigger, so we had a blast surfing them. It was pretty hard fun, when you caught a wave in, you had to battle to get back out, diving under the rollers at least 6 to 8 times before you were back in the action.
When we drove back into the town of Dominical to return the boards, all our fellow travelers were walking on the dirt roads throughout town. They had eaten and had been shopping. D’ava and Elaine were ambling along talking, Matt was striding purposefully a hundred feet behind, and Cricket and Jenny were bringing up the rear. They were looking for Gary in the crimson Bego. Of course, he was found at a bar.
We picked up our girls, who had visions of walking back to the house, and drove back. Pizza was on for the nights festivities. Gary had gone the day before and gotten all his ingredients. Everything was home made. Great Job Gary! Everybody needs to take a Great Chef on your trips.
If you want to make great pizza, check out American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza by Peter Reinhart. The first half is his search, and the second are great dough and topping recipes.
Anybody who heads down to Dominical or the surrounding area should do this trip. No horse riding experience is needed. The horses were great and the guide was very good. The animals at the house are fun to interact with and observe. The food is good. No beer, so bring your own. The waterfalls are fantastic. We are here during the dry season, imagine what they would look like during the rainy season.
Monday was a busy day with another zip line appointment. Hanging out at the house is great, but activities keep most of this group in top form. Dominical is a dusty little town with a couple of streets. At this time of year the non paved roads kick up a mess. Every place in town has a dust layer on everything. Some proprietors keep it down by spraying the dirt road, others keep the doors closed if they have AC, and still others let the dust in.
Down at the beach in Dominical, it is like going back to the 60’s. There is a line of trees providing shade. It is full of vendor’s hawking their goods and trying to get you to buy something.
I highly recommend the area. It has mountains that come right down to the edge of the beach. The house we rented overlooks the coast on the side of a hill full of monkeys, birds, and other wildlife. The view of the ocean is accentuated with the crashing waves on the beach with the occasional surfer getting a ride. Every afternoon people go by, and over the house hang gliding on the up drafts used by the pelicans cruising down the shore.
Not to be outdone by zip lining, we have booked a horse back riding trip to Naucaya Waterfalls with Don Lulo.
After watching a fantastic sunset, we cooked dinner which we ate outside poolside. Back inside, we had a 6 inch visitor. They sure do make them big around here.
Sunday we hung around the pool. On Monday, we set up a Flight of the Toucan Tour, zip lining, to be posted tomorrow.
We had a great day on the beach Thursday. We had a sunny spot with palms around to shade us. We had a picnic and everyone spent time in the ocean.
De Papito had a special dinner that night with Calypso music. Matt and Jenny stayed up the latest after we had a heated political conversation. Whew, we made it through that one.
We are now in Jaco on the Pacific side. We left Friday at 8am, and it took all day to get here. Hal, the gps, tried to take us on a short cut straight over the mountains out of San Jose. When we finally turned around, it was at a strange looking barn with guys standing around with machetes. After 2 hours of very rough roads, and 3 rickety bridges we stopped in a little town and asked for directions. It seems we were paralleling the highway.
We were able to make it to Canciones del Mar on the beach 15 minutes before sunset. Therefore, Cricket could take pictures. We found a great Argentinian Steak House for dinner. Back at the hotel, we went for the live music on the 4th floor open deck. Since the band was set up right above our room on the 3rd floor, we hung out until they quit.
Right now everyone else is walking down the beach, and then they are going to walk through town for a little shopping. Today we arrive at the house in Dominical.
We had a fun dinner for Elaine’s birthday. The plates served were good to great. Fish, Lobster, Shrimp, and Filet Mignon were some of what was ordered.
There were over 30 people at the restaurant and they all sang Happy Birthday to Elaine. The band started soft and slow during dinner and kicked it up as the evening progressed. It got pretty wild as people finished dinner and the action moved to the bar. A little pool was played, and even some bike riding was done. Elaine had a grand time.
We spent today wondering through town. We started out on a walk, with me on a bike. It was hot. So I rode back and got the truck which we combined with walking and riding. Gary and Crickett both went to the bank and pick up colones. 1 Costa Rican colon = 0.001792 U.S. dollars or you should get 558 colones for a dollar. After the bank, a little shopping was done.
On the walk/drive back we stopped for lunch at a little place on the beach. We had homemade ravioli’s, pizza, fish tacos, and of course Sangria. After that, some of us had naps and all of us did some exploring to the South of town. We are off soon to try a different place for dinner, and some reconnoitering.
Our drive out of San Jose was fairly uneventful. Hal, the gps, was cooperating. Hal took us through the side streets of Northern San Jose at a good clip. Alot of the downtown streets in Costa Rica are one way, Hal doesn’t seem to know this, and has to be helped to get around.
We go on to 32 and drove for hours. When we got to Limon, Matt took the point and took us to visit the cruise ships, and back and forth on a few streets. His navigator was busy working on mechanical problems, and was not too helpful.
The bungalows are funky and fun. The bedrooms are huge, ours has 3 beds, the bathrooms are great, and the front decks are big enough for all 6 of us to hang out on one.
Today is Elaine’s birthday, and we are staying here at Papito’s for dinner. There is a band playing tonight, and the action will probably get hot.