Crabs in the morning/ Death march in the afternoon

Published: September 17th 2017
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Mike's other name is WadeMike's other name is WadeMike's other name is Wade

Mike offered to carry across those who did not want to mess around with their shoes. Kate enjoyed her ride. Alex regretted not taking him up on his offer.
Geo: 9.88667, -85.5722

The last 24 hours or so seem to have been devoted to reptiles: snakes, iguanas, lizards. This morning when we woke up there were a couple small crabs in the kitchen. Currently they are sitting in plastic cups on the sink while Mike evaluates their utility as bait. It sounds like they may get a pardon since they are small.

I also attended a bird party a little after dawn. I got some nice shots of at least 4 or 5 different birds, including some parrots, and saw a few more. If anyone has IDs for these guys, that would be a big help. In a few minutes we are going to walk down to Samara. We think it's about 5K and includes a river crossing. Mike will probably ferry Alex over, but everyone else should be able to walk it.

Josh just finished reading Armageddon's Children, a prequel to the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. He enjoyed it enough to move along to the next one. His only complaint was how Brooks rather abruptly introduced elves, out of the blue, in chapter 14. Suddenly: elves! Josh started joking about the Elves of Citronella vs the Elves of Salmonella. One group
Flower tree outside of schoolFlower tree outside of schoolFlower tree outside of school

This tree in front of a Samara school is made from some empty branches and the painted tops of plastic soda pop bottles fashioned into flowers.
has the power of mosquitoes. The other can make their foes sick by forcing them to eat undercooked poultry. The kids got Kindles for Christmas so we are able to pick up new books on the fly. It is a great travel item.

Back from Samara. According to the map, the walk is very doable. And the river crossing proved to be no problem. Unfortunately, Mike did not bring his GPS and we made the mistake of following signs. At a crucial Y in the road, we went left instead of right. This took us away from the beach and several miles out of our way. At first we ambled down country roads, waving to farmers and appreciating the long-eared beauty of the local bovine population. After we realized that we had been headed in the wrong direction and that instead of being almost done with a 3-mile hike, we were about halfway into an 8-mile hike that was starting to get steeply hilly, it became the Great Costa Rican Death March. I would like to report that my children accepted the situation with stoicism and good humor. They did not. They did, however, keep marching on. Around mile 5 we
Handsome parrotHandsome parrotHandsome parrot

Not a Norwegian Blue, but he does have beautiful plumage.
found a nearly deserted cantina (locally known as a soda) and were able to recharge with fruit drinks, a few minutes of shade and a distracting dog. When we finally made it up and down the last few hills and into town all were rewarded with ice cream (helado) and sips from a liter bottle of cold water.

The town of Samara is much smaller than I thought it would be. It's really only a few streets and a beach. After all were refreshed we walked the additional 3 blocks to the beach with no complaint. The beach was still hot, but a nice, cool breeze blew in from off the water. The beach was not crowded, but certainly had more action than our nearly deserted beach of the day before. We made arrangements for Kate to take surfing lessons tomorrow morning from a guy named Choco. The boys and Mike will rent boogie boards and mess around in the waves. Mom will take pictures from the shade and evaluate the abs of the local surfing pros. That's the plan.

After taking care of that piece of business, we stopped at a large hut/restaurant called Sheriff Rustic. Mike got a club
Alex strikes a pose with his new hatAlex strikes a pose with his new hatAlex strikes a pose with his new hat

This had cost Alex (actually, Alex's parents) $10 on the street in Samara. He wears it well
sandwich, Kate had fried chicken, Alex and Josh ordered small steaks and Mom had a ceviche salad (for $2!) and ordered french fries for the table. Four of us ordered limonada to drink. At most restaurants this gets you a freshly squeezed lemonade which is blended with ice and served in an old-fashioned soda fountain glass. It is the bomb. The ceviche, if you have never had it, is small chunks of fresh fish marinated in lime juice and tossed with cilantro, onion and diced pepper. This particular ceviche was the best I've ever had. The amazing thing to me is that it doesn't taste at all like fish. It reminds me of salsa, without those pesky tomatoes, tossed with lime tortilla chips without the crunch. Succulent.

Disappointingly, the only sign we saw of the local holiday was that some shops had signs up indicating that it was their reason to be closed.

We provisioned at the grocery, picked up a new hat for Alex and replacement sunglasses for Mom on the street and went in search of a taxi. There weren't any that were really large enough for the 5 of us, so one of the drivers agreed to drive us
Panorama from porchPanorama from porchPanorama from porch

Mike just downloaded a panorama ap for his iPhone. This was his first effort. We were pleased.
5 minutes to another car. I basically think we all piled into this Corolla taxi and then drove across town to his buddy's house where he borrowed this guy's van. We swapped cars, negotiated a price and off we went. The remains of the day will include swimming, reading, bird watching and generally hanging out and resisting Alex's entreaties to play Monopoly.

Odd housekeeping item of the day: we can't find regular dish soap here. There is this stuff that comes in a cake that is a little like polish and doesn't bubble much. I don't care for it, but it gets the dishes clean. The brand we have is lavaplatos (wash dishes). There is a reason why Colgate/Palmolive has done so well. I miss liquid dish soap, never mind the dish washer.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


You know you want to goYou know you want to go
You know you want to go

Super Green Iguana!
A brief respiteA brief respite
A brief respite

I think this shaded seat is probably a bus stop.
Surf school bilboardSurf school bilboard
Surf school bilboard

We went with another surf school, but I thought that this was fun signage.
The beach at SamaraThe beach at Samara
The beach at Samara

I'm curious to know whether that boat is a ongoing concern or some kind of wreck for diving. I fear the former.
Ceviche and limonadaCeviche and limonada
Ceviche and limonada

Cool and refreshing!
A tico lemonA tico lemon
A tico lemon

Yes, the rind is green and the flesh is orange, but it tastes like a lemon.
Mystery birdMystery bird
Mystery bird

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.
Mystery bird 3Mystery bird 3
Mystery bird 3

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.
Mystery bird 4Mystery bird 4
Mystery bird 4

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.
Mystery bird 5Mystery bird 5
Mystery bird 5

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.
Mystery bird 6Mystery bird 6
Mystery bird 6

If you recognize this bird, please let me know so I can name him/her.

25th July 2011

Might be some kind of woodpecker. Has beak inside hole in the tree.

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