Thursday, July 26, 2007

Here's Shar buying bags (made with cordage from the same plants used to make Panama hats)& maracacas from an indigenous fellow on the Kekoldi reserve yesterday. They raise Iguanas for eventual release there too. The shot is of Junior (who I'm gonna'play with again tonight at El Loco Natural) & his son--the youngest of his 24 children on the road into Puerto Viejo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A shot of Punta Vargas in the distance at Cahuita National Prk which we walked through yesterday. Then there's a shot from snorkeling here in Puerto Viejo. We are expecting Jonathan (a boyhood friend of mine) & Carolyn to meet up with us here next week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

restaurant reviews

I'm working my way through restaurants, menu items and daily specials in an effort to give good recomendations to Arlee and Shawn while they are here. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. We Got some interesting fruit at the market, both we had already eaten from Puerto Rico. Mangosteens are from Asia and the other smaller perhaps distant relative is from the Amazon. Then also a couple snake fruit, which do look like they are covered with snakeskin and are from a palm. I did write Arlee and recommend she get trensitas, braids, while here. She has the perfect hair and wouldn't need the extentions. I donot have the hair for it!
You can click this for a larger view. These two frogs hang out in the bromeliads growing on one of the palms in the yard at our hotel. The one in the upper left is the female which we don't see often. The one to the lower right is the male which can be seen & heard daily. We only had that one day of rain except for the occasional shower here or there. We've been being lazy: reading, swimming, a little snorkeling, riding our bikes, or walking around. I may play music tomorrow night with Nango and the band (I found out how to spell his name) at the In & In Bar. I'm enjoying eating pejibaye, which are a traditional indigenous food. It's a fruit from a species of palm whcih needs to be boiled for 45 minutes. They are starchy, filling (I hear nutritious)& quite tasty. A guy boils ém up & sells ém on the side of the street here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


It's generally rained while we've slept every night we've been in P.V. This morning the rain did not let up. It's about 10:30 a.m. now & it's still pouring really hard. It is the rainy season after all, & fortunately Cabinas Tropical is a nice place to just relax at.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

(Click these images for larger views.) During this morning's coffee we were visited by this green poison dart frog. It's at least four times the size of the strawberry poison dart frog who's picture is among last year's posts to this blog. (We still see & hear the strawberry dude daily, the green is not as common in the garden here, though we've seen them before.)
Then there's the night action shot of me playing with Junior at El Loco Natural with Ronnie on rythm box (a sort of single string bass) and Carter (hard to see) on congas. Today we road our bikes down to Grape Point (Punta Uva) where there happend to be some sort of triathlon thing going on among the Ticos. Cool.

Steve Lospalluto replied to mylast post about the hummingbird and I informed him: Yeah after I left the Internet place, I realized I should have mentioned the bird chilled out for a few minutes, chirped, and eventually flew away. He/she was hanging out again by the evening among the palms in the yard. I think it was a rufous tailed.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

While drinking coffee in front of our room this morning I looked down and saw this individual laying on the tiles a meter away from me, shaking and apparently stunned. I figured he had flown into the wall or screened window. I called over to the young woman from Venezuela who was laying in the hammock in front of her room. She started snapping pictures. So Shar told me to get our camera. (I should have done it at a much higher resolution, but it gives you an idea. It's either a rufous tailed or steely something or other hummingbird (Rolf has lent us one of his two copies of the huge Birds of Costa Rica) We also checked out an immature common black hawk who has been making a lot of noise while hanging out around us, and a couple of palm tanagers. The usual visitors in the neighborhood, include Passerini's tanagers, black vultures, some unknown doves and many other unidentified species.

Th night before last I got to play with Junior, the old Calypsonian, again. Afterwards he invited Shar & I to visit him at his house up in Home Creek. We may take him up on that. I may go play with The Survivors tonight even though Lenny is no longer with them. I got the banjo back from him to give to Django. I hope things are okay with it all. I saw the rythm box player, Elario, on the street the other day, and asked about the situation with Lenny. He told me the story and said, "Im no speak we no more."

Chile Rojo

The night we arrived in Costa Rica we were disappointed to see a vacant lot and construction at the site of one of our favorite restaurants. However, as we walked back into town to find some dinner, there was Chile Rojo, at a new location. We've eaten there twice since, the owner is British but born in Africa and his partner is Japanese. They put out Japanese, Thai, and middle eastern dishes that are always terrific. Last night we sat across the street from the restaurnt where they have some tables on the beach. The gentle Caribean surf was breaking less than 20 feet from where we sat, a beeze moving along the beach. I think Steve would have no problem eating there every night.
We had a nice trip to Cauhuita yesterday to the National Park there and though it rained during the night and early hours of the morning, it looks beautiful again today. I have appreciated the clouds, they keep the sun from being too intense.
Tomorrow we will hit he farmers market early in the morning. I like to look for interesting fruit, though there is never anything to compare to the selection we had at Dad's in Puerto Rico!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

We had a fantastic time in Puerto Rico. The weather was great up in the hills above Mayaquez, somewhat cooler than down along the coast, with refreshing tropical downpours and some stunning lightning and thunder. We visited several beaches and Forest and Ciandi took a tour of the inner island with Felipe, Forest's grandfather. We especially enjoyed the fiesta with music food and a chance to see some of the folks we had met last year. A real highlight of the party was the baccalao prepared by Elba. This is a traditional dish of salt cod, olives, capers and rice cooked in coconut milk, not the kind that comes out of a can, but the real thing. I'll be looking for coconuts and salt cod back home. I'll also keep an eye out for yucca root, which I now know how to prepare into a tasty patty like hash browns.
We stopped at Dad's neighbor and very good friend's house on our way to San Juan on Sunday. Ferdy roasted some of his coffee beans for us and gave us a tour of his processing plant, very interesting. We then spent the following day in Old San Juan visiting El Morro, a fort begun back in 1521. The small place we stayed in San Juan was right on a very nice swimming beach.
Steve and I got on a plane for Costa Rica a couple hours before Forest and Ciandi boarded theirs. We went from San Juan PR to Puerto Viejo CR in one day and arrived in time to go to dinner. Our plane touched down at 11:15am and we were through immigration and customs and had our bags by 11:30. This has got to be some kind of record.
We are relaxing, reading, swimming and still eating too much. Steve has already run into several different guys he has played with in the past and we will go hear one of them tonight.
Hasta proximo!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Here's a shot of Felipe (Shar's dad), Forest, Shandy, & Shar gathering fruit shortly after arriving at Machabucha. It was a great visit for us all. Shar's dad is doing really well. We left P.R. on Tuesday. We're in Puerto Viejo now. I hooked up with my musician friend Lenny last night. It seems the banjo guitar I left for the band has caused a problem & Lenny's no longer playing with the group. He said that after I left last time Django asked him for "de bahnjo de white mahn leave," and Lenny wouldn't give it to him. He offered the banjo back to me. I told him I didn't want it. I had left it for them. I wanted it to be a good ting and no problem. I hope I can talk to the other guys & patch things up before I leave.