It’s been a fairly quiet week here at Angel Valley Farm Bed & Breakfast. Well, not perfectly quiet. This past week has seen to brought many cows, calves and bulls in our yard! One more, we were awakened early by the bloodly loud sounds of Osita and Reina yelping at the top of their lungs. From my window, I couldn’t tell what they were barking at, but later on, we discovered a bull had gotten loose and came right into our side yard, most likely to feed on the various vegetation growing there.
Later in the week, in full view of our guests sitting outside on the patio, we had a whole parade of cows, calves and bulls streaming up our driveway—they apparently got loose from their pen down the road. This happened several times this week. While we like the farmer who owns the cows, his fences must be like Swiss cheese as these cows just don’t stay in! Well, it was a fun experience for our guests. They got a real taste of farm life for sure!
Earlier in the week I found myself at my favorite hangout, “Las Poetas,” a fun bar on
a hill about San Ramon, which I wrote about in an earlier blog (http://www.travelblog.org/Central-America-Caribbean/Costa-Rica/San-Ramon/blog-32750.html). I was with my drinking buddy and we were there minding our own business, having a few drinks and chatting with the locals. Next to us was a gringo speaking mostly English with two Ticas. I’d guess the gringo was in his 50s. Well, as time went on he got louder and more drunk. At one moment, my friend—always the gentleman—invited one of the Ticas the gringo was sitting with, to dance as the music became amenable to such activity and she made motions as if she wanted to dance. So, my friend indulged here. It was a very innocent gesture on my friend’s part but the gringo did not like it and started to cuss at him and me (geez, I was just sitting there minding my own business!). Luckily for us, we had a number of friends there—all Ticos, all younger, all strong—so they protected us. The gringo wanted to get up and take a swing at my friend, but frankly, he was too blitzed to do much of anything except incessantly cuss and call his “girlfriends” all manner of names I cannot write
here except in code: %$@%#^%((((($%^#$@%@%&*$^&^. You get the idea!
Eventually, he was annoying most everyone in the bar and locals took it upon themselves to somewhat forcibly remove him from the bar while telling him the place was closing early. Actually, it wasn’t closing as we stayed for a good while after he left—he walked home as it turns out as his girlfriends wanted nothing further to do with him. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying our new friends and telling them that this obnoxious drunk doesn’t represent all gringos. I think they believed us luckily and invited us back again soon!
I am starting to cook breakfast a bit more often now that my confidence in cooking is starting to building. I can actually multi-task: make toast, scramble, eggs, and make coffee all at the same time! Yes, to Beth, it’s no big deal, but for me to make breakfast for others, and actually learn that they liked it, is a huge for me! God, two years ago, I could make one dish and boil water! The other day I made breakfast burritos which our guests devoured quickly. They either really like
them or were very hungry. Well, at least I’m not a total embarrassment to cooking now! I still like it better when Beth cooks (plus, I’m just not a morning person) though.
Summertime (for the most part)….
As most of you know, it is summer now in Costa Rica and most days are sunny and warm with light breezes. Everything is fresh and still green as we do get some rain occasionally but nothing like the rainy season. Last weekend though, was really nasty and quite unusual. Apparently, a nasty cold front swept into the southern U.S., particularly Florida, dropping temperatures even there into the low 30s for a few days. Well, that same front affected our weather last Saturday and boy did we feel it. It was so cold on Saturday that I had on two sweaters most of the day and barely left my bed. And, the wind! Being up at 3800 feet in the mountains, the winds wail over the mountains from the Caribbean coast (actually from both coasts sometimes) at times and Saturday was an exceptionally windy day, even for us. Our house is pretty well protected from the winds, unlike some of our
neighbors who feel the brunt of the winds but we even felt them. I don’t know what the wind speed was but I’m sure at times we had wind gusts of 40-45 MPH or more. The winds, combined with some rain, made it day for doing nothing but staying in bed and reading. As I said, it is rare to have wind and rain together with such ferocity this time of year, but at least it was only one day.
Festival in Palmares….
Palmares, a quaint small town not far from us, is having its annual festival this week. As an aside, there are at least three towns in Costa Rica named after Greece: Grecia, Atenas and Palmares. In fact, at the entrance to Grecia off the autopista (highway), there are four large Greek columns.
The festival is one of the largest in the country and visitors come from all over. It’s such a big festival in fact that in addition to festival goers, 400 police officers also attend, trying to keep the relatively rowdy crowd in check. Apparently, the festival is also prime territory for pickpockets. That aside, there’s a large horse parade, many booths with
food and goods for sale; grandstands with music and entertainers, and much more. Virtually ever town in Costa Rica has a festival at some point during the year. San Ramon had its party just before Christmas; our hamlet of Los Angeles Sur had its festival in August (which I unfortunately missed). People show great pride in their communities here!
In the days leading up to New Year’s we had two tremors and thankfully no deaths or injuries were reported. One, on December 28 had a 5.1 magnitude and woke me out of bed (okay, it was 9:30am but I was up late the night before!). The bed shook like crazy; I rolled over, and make the proverbial “whoa!” Well, I had to get up anyway. According to the officials at the “Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica,” the quake was felt the most in the Central Valley (where we live), particularly just south of San Jose. A few days later, a larger earthquake, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale hit the southern part of the country near the city of David, near Panama. That one I didn’t feel.
Andrew Andrew4cr@gmail.com www.AngelValleyFarmBandB.com
I moved to Costa Rica in June of 2005, giving up my corporate life in the U.S. So, this blog is all about Costa Rica, my experiences here, relocation tour company, and real estate development company, I am running full time! I will post regularly so check back often!
Retirement tour: http://www.BoomersInCostaRica.com <--coming back soon!
Real Estate: http://www.crcommunities.com
Andrew4CR@gmail.com... full info
Costa Rica is a Central American success story: since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. Although still a largely agricultural country, it has expanded its economy to include strong techn...more history