Friday, March 31, 2006

Day Whatever - The Roses are Home!

free Spanish lessons

I know, I already wrote this but...I deleted it by mistake so here I go again!!
Little Matt and Erin I read your comments but please write again, Don missed it!!
We arrived at home about 7:30 p.m. thanks to a ride from Pam and Chris who were waiting for us at the airport!! We were thrilled to see them and to be heading home and chatted excitedly all the way home!!! Upon arriving Chris & Pam had dinner and a bottle of wine waiting for us in our refrigerator! Thank you so much, Chris & Pam!! We loved the dinner, the wine and the CHOCOLATE!!!

Jim and May came across the street just as we were driving in the driveway and stayed to visit for awhile. They too had left goodies in our refrigerater so we were not only covered for dinner but also for breakfast!! We are so lucky to have such wondeful friends!! Thank you May and Jimmy we missed you all!!

Also, we want to say "thank you" to Pat who lives across the street and took such good care of our plants and our garage door openers that we left in our unlocked cars!!! What were we thinking!!! Or not!!!

Anyway, MEME, our cat, has come home and seems to be adjusting without a treat every time she meows!!! It is amazing how adaptable she seems to be and, although she loves to go to Pam and Chris's and be spoiled, she forgives us for leaving her behind amd seems glad to be back with us. Pam & Chris's cat, Hannah, is thrilled to have her territory back and MEME gone!!

We loved Costa Rica but it sure is good to be home!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day 36 - More Pacific Coast!

While showing us property on the Pacific, Randy & Rodrigo took us to their favorite little eatry for some Cerviche! Cerviche is fish or shirimp cured in lemon juice with onions and peppers and is one of the favorite things we had to eatwhile in Costa Rica.
This was the view from the little Soda (that's what the call Cafes) and the ocean is a beautiful teal blue and the beaches are black from the Volcanoes. They are also very hot!!!

This is a house we looked at that was selling for $80,000. It had the house in the picture as well as a guest house and was a short walk to the beach. Actually, with the maritime setbacks, it was as close as you can build!! It's about 4 years old and also has a pool, and lots of furit trees. The grove of palm trees shades the walk to the beach!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day 36 - The Pacific Coast!

Can you believe the size of this tree. That road is wide enough for two cars and the tree is really larger than it appears in the picture!
Here we have a cowboy who is rustling his cattle down the road and I promise it wasn't staged!!! We stopped to let them by and Randy told Don to quit taking pictures and get in the car before he gets gored!! Note Randy's worried face in the rear view mirror!! Check out those horns and those aren't the "big" ones Randy was worried about!!

This property is for sale for $50,000 and Randy and Rodrigo are breaking in to get a better look!!!
So...what do you think?? We also have pictures of the inside but decided to save them for private viewing, if you are interested!!! This house is a walk, about 2 blocks, from the beach!!

Day 35 - The Walk to Walter's Piscina Natural, Cahuita!

Shortly after checking out the town we headed for the Piscina Natural which had been recommended to us by David & Gabrielle who we had met earlier on the bus. We also ran into while walking on the beach here but they had decided to stay somewhere else. The walk was beautiful and followed the ocean. It took us about 20 minutes to reach our destination. On the way we passed a soccer field full of players and spectators. Considering how remote we felt we were, it was a bit of a surprise!! Finally we arrived and felt like we were in paradise. The natural beaches with the coral reefs, palm trees and small fishing boats were breath taking. It soon became our favorite place in Costa Rica!!

That evening we were celebrating our 15th Anniversary and took off on foot to find an "appropriate" restaurant to celebrate and we hit the jackpot!! The Restaurant we at at was the best place we have eaten since arriving and we sat outside about 10' from the ocean with the most wonderful view! Even more exciting, they actually had wine!!! We splurged on a delicious bottle of wine and the wonderful meal consisted, of Filet and Snapper (fish for me, steak for Don) with salad, vegetables and rice--couldn't have been better! And...the owner, Ron, bought us desert!!! It was a wonderful evening!!
The picture isn't great of the restaurant but we forgot to get one when we walked by the next morning!!

Day 35 - We Love Cahuita!

Our next stop on our Carribean tour is Cahuita and it was our favorite little town and also the place we spent our Anniversary!! It's not as "commercial" as Puerto Viejo but the beaches are to die for!!

These are some of the views from the bus stop!

Day 35 - The Beach at Puerto Viejo

On the return trip we both decided to depart the bus and check out Puerto Viejo. As we missed breakfast at Pepe's we grabbed some here. The food was good and we were able to sit and watch the beautiful ocean view while we ate.

There were many restaurants, shops and businesses here. Many of the people were young people with large packs! We talked to a number of them and ended up staying at the place a young couple suggested to us. They were from Ashville, NC, and named David and Gabrielle. How could we go wrong??
The beaches here were also beautiful and not very crowded.

A young man borrowing sunscreen (he was very fair skinned and white!) took this picture of Don & Sharon. We really are here together!!

Day 34 - Beach at Manzanillo

Manzanillo is without a doubt and literally the "end of the road." Once the bus arrives at about 5:00 p.m. it backs into a corner of the "main street" and the driver heads for dinner and bed!!
There is little there except for the beautiful beaches and a few businesses. One restaurant we ate at we hated, one we loved!!

There are many boats moured along the beach that the locals use for fishing! They are quite large and simple. Some have motors but many do not!

We met these Ticos cleaning their fish on the beach the evening we arrived. They were very friendly but shy and one would not let us take his picture.
On the way back to our motel (and I use the term loosely) we stopped at this little Soda (Cafe) that was owned by Pepe and his wife. He spoke English quite well and learned because he was picked on by the guys he fished with. His wife was very sweet and shy. We hoped to stop and have breakfast in the morning but we only had time for coffee as the number of busses leaving Manzanillo a day are few and we didn't want to get stuck there with lots more to see and time running out!

Day 34 - Stop in Puerto Viejo

One quick stop in Puerto Viejo and Don jumps out and takes pictures!!! Except for Limone, Puerto Viego was one of the larger "towns" that we went through on our way to the end of the road!!

People everywhere from everywhere!!

Day 34 - Trip to Mar Carib

The bus ride from Ciudad Colon to Manzanillo took about 6 hours and although some of the road was fairly smooth, much of it was gravel and very pot holed!! The trip, though long, was anything but boring!! We saw Cloud Forests, Rain Forests and Jungle with many rivers, shaky bridges and banana plantations along the way. There must be hundreds of different types of trees and it seems half or more bear fruit of which I cannot remember hardly any names except bananas and coconuts!!

These pictures were taken from the bus. For some reason thebus driver wasn't willing to stop for our "Kodak Moments"!! The rivers and streams were all different sizes and the bridges across them were only about 4" wider than the busses wheels! We are truly amazed at the talent behind the wheel of these wonderful busses.!! We also saw many Tico homes along the way of which this is typical. Notice they also build theirs up on stilts!!!

Day 31 - Rodrigo's property!

After our trip to the Berlin property, Rodrigo took us to were he and his wife, Charlotte, are planning to build a house. Rodrigo, Charlotte, son, Dolan, and the man doing the escavating of his property have a chat about where the dirt needs to go. They have a beautiful view of Grecia and have plans for a beautiful home with a swimming pool. Charlotte's parents are the ones who we met on the Internet that help Americans find property and relocate. Posted by Picasa

Day 31 - Back To Berlin!

Today went to look once again at the property in Berlin with the view of the ocean and all the coffee plants. Before getting to the property we stopped at the owners house where we met he, Donilo, and his wife, Henia. After Donilo went to the property with us and listened to Don make remark about how great the coffee wood was for cooking chicken, a common practice in Costa Rica, Donilo called his wife and asked her to make fried chicken with coffee wood for us for lunch. Lunch was wonderful and Maria was very gracious considering she had to make chicken for the crazy Gringos! /Thank you very much Henia!!
At the property we posed for a picture, Sharon, Donilo and Rodrigo. This is the road at the bottom of the 9 acres. What a group!! Lunch with all the fixings, coffee wood fried chicken, orange soda and cheese on tortillas. We feasted and truly enjoyed meeting the owners of the property including two of their three sons!! One last view before we go. Unfortunately, it's a bit hazy and the ocean is hidden. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Days 30 & 31 - The Hospital & Rain!

I know, just some boring words!! But...yesterday we spent all day at the hospital having our tests done for our "Complete Physical!" I've never been so poked, prodded or shuffled around but we were very impressed with the whole system. The Doctors and their staff were all very friendly and physically took us from one place to another if we were unsure where to go. The equipment was very up to date and most of the results were due that day. We opted to have them sent to our Doctor as we don't read Spanish and wouldn't know what they said!! Also, not nearly as much waiting as at the Dentist!!! We decided not to press our luck and left the camera at home!! Oh, and Happy Birthday, Don!! What a way to celebrate!!

Today I've been working on the Blog and Don is painting. Some of you may have picked up the "paint supplies story" reading the Blog. For those of you that are behind, Dan & Phyllis took the gifted paints with them as they had less luggage to carry than we do!! Unfortunately, they were halted by their airline and were told the paints were not going with them!! Because of help from a lot of people sending messages and making connectons, Jere was able to graciously picked up Don's paints at the airport while we were being tested. We came home to them sitting inside our front door. Thank you Jere!!!

One more short story!! Last night Don was awakened by the sound of hoves outside our bedroom window. Upon investigation he noticed a man trying to round up some cows (Jere later said they were horses). When Jere heard about the visitors he told us that the farmers in the area let their horses and cows run free at the end of the rainy season because they have eaten all the grass in the pasture!! Jere also says they then come to his house to eat all his plants and flowers!! Fortunately, he has a gate which will be closed at night until the rains start. Speaking of which, it rained today while I was working on the Blog but now seems to have stopped. Looks like I may not get wet walking home after all!!! Thanks for listening!! We miss you!!

Day 29 - More Flowers!!

Posted by Picasa

Day 29 - Along the Way!

In order to see all these sites you walk along beautifully, although sometimes steep, walkways with scenery out of a guide book everywhere you look!Impatients grow wild everywhere and even hang on the side of this cliff overlooking the La Paz Waterfall.
We've crossed many bridges on our travels around Costa Rica and this is what I many times imagine!!! The old bridge has fallen into the river and a new one was built in its place. If you look really hard you can see parts of a pickup truck which fell with the bridge!!!
As we are up in the rain forest we thought we should show you at least one picture of how lush and overgrown it all looks. Everything grows very large and very green!!
Posted by Picasa