Inland Costa Rica

Published: January 21st 2009
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Monkey man PatrickMonkey man PatrickMonkey man Patrick

Interesting fellow, kind man to do this daily.
Hello Friends and Family

The time has come for me to sit and write a little bit about our inland trips in southern Costa Rica, and put many photos on the blogsite. We've been here over 4 weeks now, 3 weeks in Golfito (taking side trips here and there), and one week up the bay to a place called Rincon.

After a couple days here upon arrival we were taken to see the "feeding of the monkeys". There is a man who does this every day at 5:30am each day. His name is Patrick. Don't know much of his story, but it was pretty interesting to see the monkeys come out of the hillside and clamber all over this guy. The mornings are the best time here. At about 5:30 to 8:00am, the day is cool, the skies are fantastic, with some great sunrises. The sunsets are still the most spectacular of the two. We brought some plantains (a cousin of the banama) to feed, but our buddy Patrick had a whole crate full of plantains. It was fun. We did it once, don't expect us to walk down there and do it again at 5:30am in the morning.
Monkeys on the GateMonkeys on the GateMonkeys on the Gate

Amazing how they know the time and the place for food. There are three different family groups that come each day at 5:30 am.

There are some photos off the deck of TierraMar (LandSea) Marina. Some gorgeous sunsets from this position. Tim and Katy, the owners of this business, are very friendly and knowledgeable. They have been living in Costa Rica for about 15 years or so. Katy deals with Land (real estate and property management now) and Tim deals with the cruisers and boats. It's a good relationship. They used to run a resturant there (have a good sized kitchen), but it was too hectic, so they stopped. Upstairs at this marina is a cruiser's lounge, with a shower, internet access and a TV with CNN and movies in English. When we first arrived we were the lonely people here, besides our friends, Jan & George (who are very good friends of Katy and Tim).

Because of this, we joined them for a prime rib XMAS meal up at Katy's house (across the road from the marina). It was very nice, good food and good company. The next day we played a game of Croquet. We will call it Chigger Croquet.

Katy's house has a little mini side yard, so we walked down the road to a friend of hers
Feeding the little buggersFeeding the little buggersFeeding the little buggers

They are soo cute, but not household pets..
(Jim), who has this huge back yard. Some of the yard has these rolling hills, so Robin and I grinned at each other...oh, yeah, challenge croquet!! So we started to set up the course, as Tim, Katy, Jan & George hadn't played in quite a few years. So, we start to play, and who is in the lead...MEEE! It was really hard to hit a ball up a little hill to go through the wicket, but I did it! Everyone else was back at the first wicket. We were sweating bullets, but it was going well, fun, so to speak. I kept rubbing my legs, as I was feeling little bugs, but was only thinking sand fleas, or mosquitos. Anyhow, we were in the process of cooking a meal back at the marina (it was closed for XMAS), so we had to stop the game and go back, as I was in the lead!!! That night, Jan, Katy, Tim and I had a great chiggerific experience. We got bit up royally. The chiggers were in the tall grasses by the hills we were playing around, and those of us wearing underwear, a nice cozy warm place by the elastic, were
The Fence sittersThe Fence sittersThe Fence sitters

The late family group, quite shy, stayed by the fence for food.
itching like maniacs that night. We itched mercilessly for a week or more, big red welts!! Finally they started to subside. I used clear calamine exclusively, but it still itched off and on. It has been over 3 weeks, and I still have bumps that occasionally itch. It was a wicked "chigger" experience. One, I hope never to replicate. Anyhow, a few days later, we played to game again on a different turf (chigger free), and I lost, boo hoo!

Another thing we have been doing here is taking a good hike up the hill behind the coastal strip of land. There is a nice road that curves through the mountains side and you end up high on the hill overlooking the bay. It's a good 1 hr. uphill walk. We sweat profusely, but what a good workout. We leave early in the morning. It's about a 2 hour trip, up and back. Robin and I decided to do it every other day for exercise. The other days I try to do some kyaking, otherwise you just sit around, read, do the internet, drink, chit chat, and are not to active as it is so hot and humid here.
Tico fishing vesselTico fishing vesselTico fishing vessel

See these guys coming and going each day..lots of good fish eating here, Dorado and Tunas

We did take a trip to a town called Baruca. It was about 10 of us in a taxi-van. It took us an hour to get there. It was over the New Years holiday. This town has a celebration where they use masks to protray their fight with the Spaniards 300 or so years ago. They lost, but finally the Spanish left Costa Rica. It's a native tribe of people. They would carve these masks, then after the 4 day celebration, they would sell the masks. The masks are gorgeous. They have really gotten into the decoration, painting of the masks, not only the carving. When we got there, I had my handy-dandy camera ready to shoot till my hearts content, but lo and behold, they have you pay to take photos. You need to pay $12 (not colones) and wear a necklace with a card on it showing we paid. I was almost tempted to pay the price, but it's quite expensive here in Costa Rica. I was a little miffed by the whole idea, actually. Here I am going to advertise this spot with my photos and talk, but I had to pay for it?? Didn't sit
Hangin out at Tierra MarHangin out at Tierra MarHangin out at Tierra Mar

Typical afternoon cocktail hour group.
too well with me, actually. So we all chipped in to have one person take all the photos. I don't have any of these photos yet, but when I get some, I will put on the blog. Mostly, during the festival, the young men would be dressed up (pretty basic actually) with a scary devil mask, and they would be "pretend fighting" the guy dressed up in the bull outfit (the spanish). In between these little "shows", they would be visiting the bars and guzzling beers, so after a period of time, everyone was pretty drunk. The town itself was really quite pretty, but no main street, no main plaza, just a street circling houses, a few stores and a few resturants and many bars. Rather dusty and hot. There were artisians working on masks by their houses, and we perused these places and bought a couple souvenirs. The masks are rather expensive, I think, but the gringo is paying for them, so they price is pretty well set. On the way out of town , after lunch, the driver took the wrong turn, and we had to take the long ride back to Golfito. It was a long day.
Crazy "Vinnie" dogCrazy "Vinnie" dogCrazy "Vinnie" dog

Katy loves dogs, and she has 5 here, all rescue dogs. Vinnie is soo cute, but needs some discipline at times.

The next little sidetrip was to a surf haven called Pavones. It is supposedly a world renouned "left" when the southern swell comes in. When we were there , there was no swell, just small waves, which was fine as we aren't surfers. We took a bus to a interesting and very rustic little river crossing. We had to exit the bus, get on a type of "Tom Sawyer" ferry contraction, then get onto a school bus for the next part of the trip. The scenery on the way was nice. The bus ride was pretty uncomfortable, very bumpy dirt road, and not relaxing, lean-back seats. The town itself is pretty nondescript. It is really known for the surf, and that's all. We did walk along the beach both east and west, and it was very pretty scenery. It reminded me of places in Hawaii. What I really did like about it was there were places were fresh mountain streams would pool up close to the beach (some went into the ocean), and it would be deep enough to sit and swim a little. Very cooling and refreshing, fresh water. It was hot and humid like everywhere else in
Beautiful sunsetBeautiful sunsetBeautiful sunset

Looking off the deck at TierraMar
Costa Rica, so those fresh water pools were sweet. The room we stayed in was $50 a night. Quite expensive compared to all our other travels inland so far. It did have airconditioning and a refrigerator. The food was reasonable and decent. Robin totally loved the airconditioner and spent quite a bit of time lying on the big bed and enveloping his body in the cool air....I did the same and I didn't want to hang out alone. The beaches were pretty empty. We didn't go swimming, although I tried one morning, but the bottom is rocks and more rocks. I wish we would have known, we could have brought out water socks. We didn't have the shoes to walk in the water in the rocks, so we stuck to the fresh water pools. We only stayed an overnight, and returned the next day. It was a nice get-away, change of scene, so to speak.

The last trip we made was up the bay to a little cove called Rincon (the corner). It was up at the end of the big bay of Bahia Dulce (Sweet bay in English). We were going to go with our friends, George and
Strange photo, I knowStrange photo, I knowStrange photo, I know

What is that dog doing by Robin...Robin doesn't need any canine advise...
Jan, but they had a problem with their engine water pump, and had to stay behind. So we left. Our engine was overheating a little bit on the way up, so we decided to just go to Rincon and then head back to Golfito to take care of this problem. We had changed the thermostat, and when we ran the engine at anchorage, it was fine, the temp. But under way with power, it overheated a little. So now we knew we need to clean out the "heat exchanger" another nautical term for a radiator. (which Robin is doing as I write this). Rincon was a beautiful place. We were the only people there. The water was warm and pretty clear, so we could jump in and swim to our hearts delight, whenever we felt the urge. We cleaned the bottom of the boat of growth and small barnacles. We did some walking, kyaking and playing cribbage. No bugs, and it seemed cooler there. Maybe coz we could cool ourselves off whenever we felt hot, it was a cooler spot, who knows. I really enjoyed our stay there. There was a little store and resturant where we could buy ice,
The croquet boysThe croquet boysThe croquet boys

George, Tim and Robin taking notes from Katy over on the right side.
so that was good. I had bought plenty of food for a week or more, so we ate well. However, our little idylic time was soon over and we headed back to Golfito to take care of the overheating engine. On the way back, we left with the out-going tide, and the boat never heated up!!! go figure!

Then just a couple days ago we had a little excitement. It was the Saturday of the big football playoff games. Robin had watched the first one, and was going to take me out to the boat, then come back to watch the second one. As we got out to the boat, he decided to stay on the boat and not go back...thank god he didn't. About 1 1/2 hr. later a big wind picked up over the water, like a squall was coming. I peeked my head out, and closed up all the hatches expecting rain. When the rain didn't come, I peeked outside again, and say we were awfully close to a couple boats near us. I thought they had moved around, extende out the length of the chain, and the wind was pushing the boats around. Then we
Beautiful XMAS dinnerBeautiful XMAS dinnerBeautiful XMAS dinner

Quite the table set-up. Thank you George, Jan, Katy and Tim for inviting us to your lovely dinner table. We felt so privledged.
were getting really close!! I called Robin to come check it out! He peeked out and after a while, said we were dragging anchor!! We quickly got up and I had to take down all this awning stuff we have to keep the boat shady. It was a big pain in the a##, if you know what I mean. It was dark out, blowing like snot, and we were heading towards a couple boats. I had to gear up the engine and drive forward, while Robin picked up the anchor. It was a stressful minute or two when we were drifting close to these anchored boat, and the windage of our boat with a big sunshade was acting like a sail was really pushing us around. Finally we anchored where we thought we would be OK until morning. In the morning, we were a little close for comfort near a nother boat, so we moved again. So far, so good. A little anxious about Robin taking the heat exchanger off the boat, and hoping we don't re-experience that dragging with an engine...yikes! So far so good. Hopefully Robin can clean out the heat exchanger and put it back together this
Getting ready to munchGetting ready to munchGetting ready to munch

Lots of good food and good cheer.
evening. Time will tell. We are surely getting better at anchoring, I can say that.

Anyhow, saw the inauguration (sp?) and was impressed. Hope all is well with everyone, keep smiling and stay healthy. After the superbowl, will be heading to Panama. Looking forward to it. Take care everyone, lots of love, Robin & Jean

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Across the bay in GolfitoAcross the bay in Golfito
Across the bay in Golfito

Pretty jungle area, a short dingy ride across or kyaking there for some peace and beauty, and lots of bird noises.
Trees in bloomTrees in bloom
Trees in bloom

For a week the trees were covered with yellow flowers, quite impressive...then gone.
Beautiful viewBeautiful view
Beautiful view

Quite a view after a grueling 45 min. hike to the top. well worth it for sure.
Hikers restingHikers resting
Hikers resting

We had a good group that day for the hike. Here we sit cooling off before the sweet downhill hike.
Glorius Flora ArrangementGlorius Flora Arrangement
Glorius Flora Arrangement

Typical flowers growing everywhere, and more profuse in gardens that are tended...
"Tom Sawyer" ferry ride"Tom Sawyer" ferry ride
"Tom Sawyer" ferry ride

Along the river it looked lush, but I bed during the rainy season, there is a lot of flooding here.
Palm Oil FieldsPalm Oil Fields
Palm Oil Fields

When the banana operation fizzled in mid-80's, there was a great depression in Golfito. Now there is a resurgence of Palm Oil, hence the Palm fields everywhere.
Pavones Beach ScenePavones Beach Scene
Pavones Beach Scene

Very tropical area, not many people, no swell, no people, I guess
Another beautiful sceneAnother beautiful scene
Another beautiful scene

Loved the photo ops here

A lot like Golfito except no people, we were the lone boat there. Nice water for swimming, yeah!

Kyaking in the calm waters of Rincon
Sunrise in RinconSunrise in Rincon
Sunrise in Rincon

Very shady time of the morning.

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