Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Well, lookyhere. A spot for wifey to partake in her favourite pastime.
Casa Alta is a great house not far from the sights and beaches of Manuel Antonio. However as we were to find out it was slap bang in a dubious neighbourhood of mixed houses that required, of all things, an armed guard sitting outside our locked driveway gate.
Just for precaution, we are told.
Comforting? In a way.
The main thing we wanted, however was for the guard to drug the neighbourhood dogs to sleep. Here, they bark from sunset to sunrise. Non. Stop. Only the sheer fatigue of two nights without sleep, combined with earplugs and the fans turned on high, gets us to sleep on the third night.
(sent wirelessly from my phone)
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wait til I post a picture of the security hut.
The whole place looks like they suffered a brutal tsunami, looked over the damage, shrugged their shoulders saying "ehhh, whatever" and reopened for business.
But, nonetheless, quiet, peaceful, and locals-only due to the steep and shaggy climb down through monkey-infested rainforest.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
From our deck looking south over the pacific and Playa Espadilla. Many exotic birds abound, but mostly Black and King Vultures. Handy since shortly we will have small children staying with us, and thebirds are apparently attracted to the cries of such succulent little creatures. Bueno.
"What are we to do, mayn?" asks one roadside retailer rhetorically. "While we is proud to have the Son of God open up his outlet for cheap Nicaraguan-made beach towels, floaties and foamie cervesa-coolers right here on our strip, how is we to compete?" Juan-Carlos shrugs his narrow shoulders in defeat. "I pray to Him and His mother every steenkin' night and the **** comes in with refrescos on offer for cheaper than I can buy from my own supplier in San Jose!"
Insider reports indicate that Christ intends to open a Christos' Club right beside the latest WalMart megaplex, which opened last year in Tamarindo.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Monday January 21st
Land in San Jose after two long flight legs from Vancouver, via Toronto, to Costa Rica's capital. Extreme temperature swing from -12C in Toronto to a sweltering +40C in San Jose. The jetway broils us as we exit the flight at 1:30 in the afternoon. 26 hours without sleep and every minute worth it.
Even the worst plane food we have had the misfortune to chokedown could not dampen our mood as the wave of palm-scented air blasted across our faces.
The international terminal is bright, modern and friendly enough. The domestic terminal next door is as sorry-assed a ghetto shack as it gets. A three hour wait for a 30 minute flight that ended up leaving 45 minutes late, in a shed basically slapped together out of plywood and corrugated steel.
We boarded a tiny 12 seater single-prop job that allowed us to watch over the pilot's shoulder as he first flew us up into the sunshine and gusts of wind, that had us rollercoastering through the air (GregR would not have enjoyed this part), then over the white and fluffy clouds that shrouded a mountain range, and then (alarmingly) directly INTO the tall white and fluffy clouds. At this point the men in charge abandoned the view out of the water-streaked windscreen and focussed on paper-calculations in their lap, while my mind echoed my father's eloquent description of "controlled flight into terrain". And I idly wished that wifey and I were not about to become a tourist-tragedy feature on the 6pm news at home.
Then suddenly we were out of the clouds (or rather, below the rain clouds) and soaring smoothly over thousands of acres of palm plantations ("I don't know," said our semi-local-looking-fellow-passenger gal in answer to my question. "I guess they use them for something, or something." Thankfully the only other passenger on the plan knew the palms' fruit was harvested for palm oil.)
Out of the green and lush mists, wifey spotted a tiny airstrip passing below, and thought "glad we're not landing there", since the forlorn strip of tarmac had been crudely carved out of the jungle like a drugrunner's secret rendez-vous.
Then to her surprise the plane banked sharply and made a heart-in-the-mouth dive for the tiny strip. Within minutes, and with no runway to spare, we were down.
The airport in Quepos is an open shack with some plastic chairs and a cafe counter.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
It's never quite as fun to leave for a tropical vacation in the middle of winter when the sky is actually blue and the sun is staging a spectacular plunge into the horizon. While it is quite cold, and a walk across the bridge warrants gloves and a tocque, it's not the driving sleet and general widespread meteorological misery that one wishes to smugly leave behind as one heads for palm trees and 90F temperatures.
But off we go. The sun sets, the moon chases it across the sky, and the city glitters reflections of the deep blue of it all.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Lost in the moment.
Agony meets ecstasy.
Well, if not Ecstasy then vodka tonics and a bottle of Turley.
Perhaps the band's entreaty to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" led to the vixens being showered in cheap Champagne while they destroyed their sparkly dancing shoes on a carpet of broken glass.
But either way, the girls about to rock salute you.
(sent wirelessly from my phone)