Monday, February 27, 2006

Day 7 - Barrio Amon, San Jose, CR

Today we were off to San Jose once again this time getting our teeth cleaned and exploring a new part of San Jose. Some of the architecture of this area is beautiful with a Spanish and European influence. We don't know what this particular building is but we liked the way it looked. Ths is the Government Courts building and we wondered why there were so many police in the area. We later discovered that the new Presidente, Oscar Arias Sanchez, was inside. Sanches had just won the election by a slim margin that took almost a month to decide. And that's enough politics!
Here we are at the old Liquor Factory which has been renovated into offices and a cultural center for dance and theatre. In the foreground is part of the old distillery used to make the booze which the government has a monopoly on.
The parks in this Barrio are beautiful and clean and there are people everywhere. As you can see it was quite windy again as Don took my picture on the little bridge.
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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Day Six - Climbing the Mountain.

We are finally back to the outskirts of town after 5 hours of walking. And we spotted our first Iguana. While Don was on the side of the street taking his picture a car came whizzing by and almost knocked him over! Note the car at the bottom of the picture--the Iguana is at the top!
There are so many different flowers here and they are all beautiful!
Posted by Picasa While walking into town we came upon a cantina and decided to slide up to the bar and have some lunch and a Cerveza. As you all know Sharon does not drink beer and is at a big disadvantage here because wine is mucho expensive so... I decided to pick a drink off the menu. When the drink arrived in a shot glass with a tall glass, limes, a bottle of club soda and salt I was very confused. The kind amigo sitting near us at the bar proceeded to advise me on the proper way to prepare my drink for consumption. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad! We yacked and talked with him for awhile and met the owner, Liz from New Zealand. Liz was new to the restaurant business and after we talked to her she is getting out of the business! Good Night, We Love You All!!

Day Six - Climb the Mountain.

Look at all those manderin oranges!! And...we ate every single one!! After we got over the crest of the mountain, we followed a ridge down and along the way we found some of the most outrageous views of Santa Ana and San Jose in the distance.
I am one happy camper full of manderin oranges, starting down the hill and sitting in a mess of multi-colored Impations that grow wild all along the side of the road.
These trees are huge and shade a city block. Can you believe those roots? They even hold me! And...more Ipatients!
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Day 6 - Climb the Mountain.

More of our lady friends. Climbing straight up this road we had to stop and take a break and enjoy the view. Doesn't Don look peaceful without all that awful news to read everyday??
Next we came across the most outrageous mandarin oranges just growing on a tree waiting for us to knock them down and feast!!

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Day Six - Climb the Mountain.

Today we decided to hike up the road from our house, across the rim and back down to Ciudad Colon. We started at 10 a.m. and finished at 4 p.m. with a stop for a quick lunch in town. Our first encounter was this Brahama and her friends, some of which were fenced in and some that were sharing the road with us. As you can see from the picture, there is quite a steep climb and it got worse. We figured we had a 35 to 40 degree slope at times. Posted by Picasa

Day Six - Neltje.

This is Neltje in front of her art. She is an acrylic painter out of Banner, Wyoming. Early this morning Don & Jere went to the Artists' Colony to meet with Neltje and bring back a whole car load of art supplies and paper. Thank you Neltje!!! Don wants to paint a picture for Julie and Jere and there is lots of subject matter to choose from. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Day 5 - Artists' Retreat

This is the group that sang for us at the Artists' Colony. The sad news is that the conductor in the light shirt and blue pants had his rear end smashed while enjoying the festivities. Oh, that was the rear end of his car! This is the unveiling, by Francisco, of the founder of the Artists' Colony, Dr. William White. The surprised look on Francisco's face is because #1 the bust isn't finished and #2 it doesn't look like Dr. White. All things considered, we thought the work was very good and the slight difference in his looks is the artist's interpretation! Later we visited with the artists for such a long time we ended locked in and Francisco had to let us out and kindly gave us a ride back down the gravel road to town.
It's only Day 5 and Sharon has already found another man!! This one is Franco from France! What more can we say??
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Day 5 - Orange Blossom Festival

Your looking at one macho muchacho!! And boy could he ride!! He had about 40 or 50 cowboys and cowladies with him to strut their stuff at the Orange Blossom Festival.
Next we want you to meet Hector the Clown who was so entertaining with his balloons everyone was entranced including us. Just as much fun was watching all the little children! The festival also had live music, crafts for sale, fruits and vegetables, and, of course Don's favorite attraction, the food booths!!

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Day 5 - Ciudad Colon's Internet Cafe

This is the place we go to get hooked up to the world when our "dial up" at the house is driving us nutz!!! The young kids that run the Cafe are very nice and even speak some English. What a trip!! You have to deal with your e-mail on a site that is in Spanish and so is the key board!!! Posted by Picasa

Day 5 - Artists' Colony

These are Don's two new babes and the one in the upstairs window is trying to buy his favors with art equipment and supplies. Don is picking them up tomorrow at 8 a.m. The Artists' Colony is a 17 acre retreat equiped with everything from studios to gardens to swimming pool and full sized houses. We met a number of very interesting artists and enjoyed chatting with them. Most were from the states. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dia Quatro - Green Eggs & Ham

Hi Everyone:

We just thought we'd take a moment to thank all of you for your comments. Each one is a joy and makes us feel close to each of you.

Our "home" is very comfy and quite roomy and our favorite spot is on the balcony overlooking the valleys and mountains. The yard is kept beautiful by a gardner and the cleaning lady brings us fresh eggs if we want them. They are brown, green and white!

As we have not rented a car we travel where we want to go by bus or by the grace of our wonderful rentors. The trip to the bus stop consists of about a 10 or 15 minute walk down to the bus stop and up to come home. The road is very steep, pot holed gravel and we share it with Ticos, dogs, chickens, roosters and one lot full of broken down cars. We love the exercise and don't even mind carrying our groceries up the hill from Ciudad Colon where shopping and the bus stop are located. We've met Enreique who owns the fruit and vegetable stand in Ciudad Colon and he has wonderful produce.

Once we are back home and we continue climbing up the hill, it gets steeper and ruttier but from the top it is an unbelievable view of the Central Valley.

It's getting late and since we've been up since before 3 a.m. we are going to end this for tonight. Love to all, you are in our hearts and thougths!! Don & Sharon

Dia Quatro - Tomamos un viaje el Tamarindo en Peninsula De Nicoya.

This is our new friend Jere and Sharon at the "Friendship" bridge. His delightful wife, Julie, couldn't go with us on this adventure but you will get to meet her soon. Thanks for the great trip, Jere, and the wonderful ice cream! Posted by Picasa

Dia Quatros - Tomamos un viaje el Tamarindo en Peninsula De Nicoya.

Today we were up before 3 a.m. and on the road by 4 with our renter Jere. He was making a trip to Tamarindo to see a friend and check another friend's property and invited us along. It was dark all of the way there but we still could tell the road was very windy and full of horrific pot holes. The pot holes are so bad our friend Jere told us that the police tend to stop the drivers who drive straight for drunk driving as anyone sober tries to avoid the holes. We went up, down and around and watched the sun rise to beautiful sites. Fortunately, the ride home was in daylight and the views were breathtaking and heart stopping all at the same time. The narrow road is very curvy and simply drops off into the valleys in the distance on the sides!!
While checking out some property, we took a road that really didn't exist down to a stream which we drove up, back and forth until we found the road out to the property that was very hot and dry. We decided we didn't want to live there!
The three pictures that follow are of the spectacular views on the horrific roads but really do not do the sites justice!

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Dia Quatro - Tomamos un viaje el Tamarindo en Peninsula De Nicoya.

Not only did we experience some very unusual roads, the most unusual and frightening for Sharon, was the wooden swinging bridge (the locals call it the hammock bridge) that crosses the Rio Virilla River. Never a dull moment in Costa Rica! The wood slats that you drive on are partially missing and some were beat up and broken. Fortunately, our wheels didn't fall through and we made a safe passage!! On arriving home we were grateful for Don's cheap--$1.25--bottle of Vino de Mora Fiesta Raspberry Wine, made in Costa Rica, and we wish you all could have been here to share. Posted by Picasa

Dia Quatro - Tomamos un viaje el Tamarindo en Peninsula De Nicoya.

Yet another bridge this time crossing the upper Golfo De Nicoya! This bridge is called The Tiawan Friendship Bridge because it was built by the Tiawanese as a wonderful gifto the Costa Ricans. Jere tells us the true reason they gave the bridge to the Costa Ricans was because they wanted to fish their off shore waters for shark. Unfortunately, they only wanted to cut off the fins and throw the sharks back into the sea. The Costa Ricans said "no way, thanks for the bridge!" Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dia Tres - Tomamos un Autobus San Jose, CR

This is the main Bus Station in San Jose and is referred to as Coca Cola by everyone. Years ago there was a Coca Cola bottling plant there and the name just stuck.
The lady standing next to Sharon became a good friend as we conversed back and forth. She does not speak English and we do not speak Spanish, yet, but we somehow seemed to understand each other. When she got off the bus she smiled at us and waved enthusiastically. She lives in the small town of Piedades about 4 miles north of Colon. Posted by Picasa

Dia Tres - Tomamos un Autobus San Jose, CR

Seeing some of the less fortunate people of the city makes you reflect and feel grateful! Posted by Picasa

Dia Tres - Tomamos un Autobus San Jose, CR

Sharon buying Don another gift at the indoor marketplace downtown San Jose. Everything from live chickens to SD camera storage chips!! Posted by Picasa