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Published: October 16th 2005
Amazing looking isn't it!?
This week was exciting if for only one reason: the workers and I saw a huge Toucan on a branch in a tree in our front valley! There is a picture of a toucan. No, the picture is not of the toucan I saw because by the time I was able to run into the house and get my camera, s/he was long gone. However, this picture is almost exactly what it looked like. Pretty amazing! I am told it is fairly rare to see toucans in this part of Costa Rica, but I am hoping we see more of them particularly when guests are here. That would be a treat.
I often fail to mention that one of the great things about living where we do, besides the great views of the valleys and hills and the great temperatures, is that birds of all sorts swoop in an out of the area, in front of the house in the valley, behind it, on the sides of the house and even sometimes right in our garage! We had a couple here recently that spent almost all of their time with us looking for birds on our property.
This week I discovered two nice eateries in downtown San Ramon. One, a Mexican stand called “Los Nopales,” serves great burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and even vegetarian items. Right on the main road leading out of town to the highway—remember there really aren’t street names here, just landmarks—this place is a virtual hole-in-the-wall with a five stools, a few tables and a long bar area where food is prepared and served. The owner is very friendly and in addition to terrific inexpensive food, services great fruit shakes. And the thing about, as I’ve said in other blog entries, is that even though it is on the main strip in town, I can usually park less than a block away from it. They gave me a menu to take home with me as they deliver!
The other restaurant, right off the town square/park is a hot dog stand! Yes, I love a good hot dog with a variety of toppings. I don’t recall the full name but it is “Perro…”something. They have regular-sized or foot long hot dogs but what I like best about them is that they put them on sub roll buns with sesame seeds. The hot dog
Osita & Reina
They are not camera shy!
stand is right up the street from another favorite restaurant of mine, “Los Minas” (I think, need to check the name though). One night Beth and I went there and I fell completely for their pasta. I think they serve a wide variety of other dishes, not necessarily specializing in Italian food, but they certainly got the pasta right!
I am keeping a list of restaurants I’d recommend to guests and friends and so far I am up to 10 in the San Ramon area. Not too bad for a small town area!
More thoughts on San Ramon
I am really getting to love San Ramon—easy to park, plenty of shopping, friendly people and always bustling with activity, yet I am away from it all too, but only 4km away if I need to be there. For a small city with perhaps 12 or so streets going North to South and another 10 or so going East and West (I may be off a bit but you get the idea), with 30,000 people in the “metro San Ramon area” (LOL!), it is quite vibrant having a few museums, a great park, several supermarkets and hardware stores, quite a few video stores, a branch of the University of Costa Rica, numerous other schools, movie theatres, a mall, and plenty to do at night.
One night, I was in town having dinner with friends and I was surprised to see the number of young people on the streets going in and out of the bars and clubs downtown. I did not realize there were so many of them. I guess I need to do a “pub crawl” one night and check out the scene more closely; looks like fun!
Like many Central American towns, it is not a beacon of architecture nor is it all that clean (though cleaner than many other towns I’ve been in), and yes, if there were funds available, a general “face lift” would be in order, though it is a very pleasant town that is easy to walk in, easy to park in, and easy to find one’s way around, after a few fits and false starts.
The people seem to be a mix of types, mostly modern age Costa Rican who have European influences and are Caucasian in appearance, and some indigenous-looking people (I mean before the Spaniards came here). I say “indigenous-looking” because I am not really sure. I could write a whole blog on the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica who apparently shared a plight similar to American Indians and today, are among the poorest and most isolated in the country (particularly by geography), but I’ll save that for another rainy day.
I will write again at the end of next week when I return from my adventures in San Jose. It should be fun with much to say, and I will have plenty of pictures too.
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