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I love being by the water, preferably an ocean, but any water will do. It doesn’t matter if it’s int he United States, Costa Rica or anywhere…

Written By: Gary on April 22, 2011 2 Comments

You couldn’t walk 10 feet with out running into one of these guys tonight.

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This is one of the bright colored crabs crawling around on the beach. You can see him pass a few smaller sand crabs…

Watch on YouTube in HD.

It’s a little out of focus the first few seconds, but then it gets better. The other odd flashes are bugs flying into the light on the camera (which is my iPhone 4).

If you know the correct name for this crab or the little sand crabs, please leave a comment!

Written By: Gary on May 8, 2010 No Comment

This is for Photo Friday and this week’s theme is “The Coast”. This is actually just a series of photos (7 or 8) taken with my iPhone 3gs and stitched together with the AutoStitch Panorama app.

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This photo was taken north of St. Pete Beach, FL. Possibly Medina?. Click it for a 1200 pixel wide version. A few stitching problems due to everyone not standing still but still a nice photo considering I was shooting into the sun during the evening.

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The second photo is the same photo, but just before cropping.

Written By: Gary on April 30, 2010 One Comment

I had just commented the other day on how much I loved this photograph. And then Friday shows up and I’ve got a chance to use it. This is for Photo Friday and this week’s theme is Sexy.

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This photo was taken last summer on Lake Huron on the Canadian side.

PS – Did you notice the conflicting product placement..?

Written By: Gary on December 5, 2008 One Comment

Here’s a quick video of the crowd gathered for the sunset and (of course) the sunset. This was at the north end of Jaco, almost in front of Clarita’s on the beach.

Watch the beach sunset video in HD!

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2008 No Comment

Here’s part two of the video from the waterfall video from last Saturday (Nov. 22, 2008). This is the view from the top of the falls taken a few minutes after the first video. I’ve since learned that the waterfalls are named El Chorro (and the adjacent beach is called Cocolito).


Here’s the direct link to this waterfalls video (sometimes the embed codes don’t work); be sure to notice that under the right-hand side of the video you can “watch in high quality”.

Written By: Gary on November 25, 2008 One Comment

Haven’t been doing much the last few days. I’ve been experiencing the other Montezuma so I’ve been under the weather. Here’s a few recent photos all from the Montezuma, Costa Rica area.

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This was my view from where I sat and had my lunch.

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One of the water outlets to the Pacific Ocean.

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I always like trying to catch photos of birds flying, but I’m never close enough.

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A new canyon that I found :)

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The El Chorro waterfall two hours up the north beach.

You can’t click to enlarge these, larger versions will probably show up in some other album later…

Written By: Gary on November 22, 2008 3 Comments

So here’s a photo of me at the waterfalls North of Montezuma, Costa Rica. The walk to get there is to walk along the beach of the ocean (maybe this is technically the bay?). I’ve since learned that the waterfalls are named El Chorro (and the adjacent beach is called Cocolito).

Img 0558This was a long hike, about 2 hours each way with stops, snacks and quick swims I was gone about 6 hours. I brought seven bottles of water, gatorade and Fresca (the one bottle of Fresca for when I ate my sandwich) and drank six-and-a-half bottles so I judged that pretty good. Although I cheated and when I was 20 minutes from the hotel I stopped at the Ylang Ylang on the beach and got a mucho frio (very cold) Coca-Cola in a glass bottle (the rest of my drinks were pretty was pretty hot by then) so I still had a 1/2 water and a gatorade; Ylang-Ylang is the last stop on the beach so don’t expect much after that. So my bag kept getting lighter but it felt like it was getting heavier.

This is a 20-30 foot waterfall there is a waterfall/stream you get to early (after 45 minutes?) that some people think is “the” waterfall but it is not the waterfalls you see here. Here’s the longitude and latitude that my GPS gave me when I got to the final destination this was about 6 km from the center of town as the bird flies (I’m sure I walked farther since it wasn’t close to a direct route, plus it was on the sand and rocks). It’s N 9°41.157′ and W 085°01.530′ or at least that’s what it was about 100 meters away in the shade when I made the marker on my GPS (please note that this is the corrected coordinates as referred to in the comments).

Here’s some video that I shot when I got there.

And in case the above embedded video doesn’t work, here’s the direct link to this El Chorro Waterfalls video; be sure to notice that under the right-hand side of the video you can “watch in high quality”.Tips for this hike: Lots of liquids; comfy shoes for water, rocks and sand; some uphill climbing in the woods; take a swim when you get hot; it’s totally deserted so tell someone where you are going. I liked going in the afternoon because as the sun went down it cooled off. Be sure to check when high tide is, you don’t want to get trapped out there. Bring a flashlight, if the sun goes down it gets dark quick. If the beach area looks hard to pass, look for footprints (or horseshoe prints) in the sand since they probably lead to a path in the woods.

Written By: Gary on November 20, 2008 No Comment

It’s beautiful here and it’s an awesome day. I’ve been reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” down by the ocean. What a great book!

But sitting still for that long made me lonely for home, my family and friends.

And probably a little burnt too :)I’m waiting for some pizza slices to get done and then down to the smaller beach for a slice of that and a glass bottle of Coca-Cola!

Written By: Gary on November 15, 2008 2 Comments

This is a problem!!!

Someone else dropped something into the river and I made a grab for it an my camera fell out of my pocket. I meant to only leave it in that pocket for a minute when I thought the water might reach my pants pocket and I forgot to move it back. I’m am so bummed…

The lens was closed, it was under water for just a few seconds, I wiped it off with a dry towel immediately and pulled out the battery. Needless to say I didn’t take any more pictures, I had a few from today of the ocean and monkeys but I bet those are fine. I hope the monkey shots are, I got a monkey (with a baby on it’s back) that managed to snatch a shaker of parmesan from a restaurant and were eating it up in a tree!

Now the camera, the chip and the battery are in a zip lock bag with some dry rice (to soak up the extra moisture). I’ll leave it for a day or so and see how it is. Kitty litter is supposed to work well too, but I didn’t need a 25 pound bag of it in my tiny room.

It’s a great camera, I’d definitely recommend the Canon SD1100 with image stabilization. It’s been in my sights for ages and I recently found a great on-line deal for it from Dell (that’s where I bought my SLR Canon camera too).

I’ll definitely be adding the WP-DC22 Waterproof Case to my wishlist (assuming the camera still works). It’s good for 40 meters underwater (130 feet) and is supposed to also be great for “beach, rain and on the ski slopes”.

Later: Oops, the waterproof case is more expen$ive than the camera was!!!

Written By: Gary on September 18, 2008 No Comment

So I like this town, it’s a tourist town so it’s missing some of the remoteness of some of the other towns, but it’s got every thing you might need. Lots of restaurants and hotels, a beach with surfing so it’s a got something for everyone. The beach could be bigger, especially since the tide comes up pretty high but I’ve never been very far up or down the coast from to see what else there is, maybe the next trip.

Since it’s a tourist town, it’s got lots of parking so it’s generally not a problem parking right where you want to be. This is a big bonus if there’s a huge downpour (or you’re really sick).

A lot of the people in Costa Rica scoff at Tamirindo because it is a big tourist town (especially the smaller towns on the coast some of them are just rude about it) but it’s completely different from the smaller towns so (to me) it shouldn’t be compared, you might as well as compare it to New York City; but if you’re looking for surfing NYC isn’t the place and if you’re looking for theatre Tamarindo isn’t the place, so the question is “what is it that you are looking for?” and this might be it…

Here’s the Tamarindo Photo Album I put together. I’m trying this with the MobileMe service, so if it doesn’t view very well for you let me know and I’ll put it in the old format. Photo.Me.FormatNotice the buttons at the bottom of the photos for Grid, Mosaic, Carousel or Slideshow; be sure to check out how they work.

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2008 6 Comments

So except for the last trip I’ve never had any “stomach issues” and on that trip it was very minor and passed in few days (no pun intended). This trip the same thing happened for a few days and by Friday I was feeling fine. But then Saturday came…

I think it was the water in something I ate or drank, I don’t drink the water or take ice, but there are vegetables and juices and all sorts of stuff with water. It could have been the bottle of water I purchased from a street vendor on Thursday, the cellophane on the bottle seemed a little loose but the cap seemed sealed but it had crossed my mind enough to check and it seemed fine (but it’s still in my head).

Feel free to skip the rest of this blog post, I avoid getting graphic but it does have a bit on my experience with the health care here in Costa Rica.
Let’s just say Saturday morning I made a few too many trips to the restroom that I went to the farmacia before I left San Jose. I purchased some pills and some electrolyte mixture to add to water. Then I headed out to Samara still feeling lousy. When I stopped for lunch I couldn’t find the medicine anywhere but then I got to my hotel I tore everything apart and still couldn’t find the medicine. And, of course, all the pharmacies were closed by then.

My symptoms got worse as the day went on. That night I got up at least forty times during the night and it got worse as the night went on. The next day, Sunday, all the pharmacies and doctor’s offices were closed so I head on out to the hospital in Nicoya. If I was leaving town, then I was going to see a Doctor…

The hospital in Nicoya was about what I expected not much of a building, no Air Conditioning (fortunately it had been raining and was slightly cool) and they said the Doctor’s did not speak English. I checked in and sat down in the crowd. I starting translating words to Spanish so it’d go faster when I saw the Doctor. I expected to be waiting for hours but I’d say it was only about twenty minutes. The Doctor said he didn’t know English but between what I wrote down and what he knew, we only had to look up a few words. He sent me for an IV and some tests; the IV was really a huge syringe and it as at least an inch-and-a-quarter around and five inches long. It wasn’t too bad but it made me a little dizzy, which they didn’t want to understand as they’re trying to move me to the next room (when I plopped on the a chair and stopped, I think they got the hint).

All of these things had a very short wait except for waiting for the test results. The test results were at least two hours. Then waiting for the Doctor took a while which would have been fine if I could have sat down and not queued up where they had us. He prescribed what I assume to be a similar electrolyte mixture and some pills (more for the stomach pain I believe). Total time four maybe four-and-a-half hours.

The room for the IV was the nicest and I didn’t even need to try and say “utilice por favor una aguja nueva”; it was a specific sentence in the Costa Rican Spanish book for the phrase “please use a new needle”, I assumed it was in there for a reason. Some of the rooms were more warehouse-ish than anything with roofed cubicles in and around the building. FYI – the office for the Doctor and the syringe room were both air conditioned but that was it. I’m sure the building would freak many of you out :)

I got a receipt for the 40,000 colones (about $73) but it’s lacking info so we’ll see what Blue Cross does with it when I try to submit it…

So, I left there and headed towards the main highway, I would have sworn there was an “American Hotel” that I was planning to splurge for but I couldn’t find it. So I drove all the way to Tamarindo (second largest city?) and grabbed the second hotel I tried (the first one was full). I was still sick for about a day and a half, but I was slowly getting better. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t eating either, I normally graze and eat 4-5 times a day but I was averaging less than I meal a day. Monday night, I forced myself out for a second meal hoping only for some soup and a sandwich, and while I’d normally avoid an American chain while I vacation, the Subway fit that requirement for me. I took it back to my room and the soup was so good and I nibbled on the sandwich over the next few hours. From then on I’ve only been feeling better.

It’s Tuesday and I’m not perfect but I’m way better. I’m eating (most of three meals I’ve had) and I got more of a similar electrolyte solution from the farmacia today. I’ve felt well enough to wander around town and the beach a few times and I’m in a hotel I really like so that makes it even better…

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2008 One Comment

DomuskahunaI love the Domus Kahuna unfortunately they were full when I came to Tamarindo a few days ago. It’s this small cute place a block from the main strip (it’s behind the Voodoo Lounge?) and we only found it by accident last trip (we pulled into the “driveway” to turn around and thought we’d check). Last time we had this tiny two bedroom with living room/kitchenette, I’ve just got a plain room this time but it’s perfect and it’s more than 1/2 off what I’ve paid the last few days. No view of the ocean but it’s only 150 meters to town and the beach and that’s better. I think it comes with a minimal breakfast (at least it did last time) and the free WiFi leaks into the room.

If you’ve been to / heading to Tamirindo, it’s the last turn before you get to the circle at the end of “the strip”; go up one block and hang a left and it’s shortly on your right (careful, the road is awful as soon as you turn off the strip).I couldn’t find this place in my GPS so here’s the info N 10°17.917 W 085°50.401. I would hope that would get you to a few meters of the spot.

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2008 No Comment

Sorry, I’ve been off-line lately, I haven’t had ‘net access or felt well enough to do it (I’ve been really really sick the last few days), but I’m feeling much much better today. I’ll give you the scoop on my experiences with the CR medical system later.

I’m in Tamarindo the next few days, I couldn’t get the little hotel that I liked from last trip, Domus Kahuna, but I grabbed a room at the Best Western Vista Villas since I didn’t feel well enough to go looking for a room (wanted a safe bet); I’d normally avoid the US chains when in Costa Rica. Turns out my room has a view of the ocean and so does the pool/returant area (which also has WiFi), it’s a little bit of a hike down to the water but it’s a great view :)

This is looking like one of the top weather days this trip so far! I think I just need to take it easy for a little bit still. So I’ll drive into town and pick up a few things and then head down and check out the beach.

Written By: Gary on August 27, 2008 One Comment

So I heard that the ferry from Paquera to Puntarenas was at 12:30 PM and but I also heard 1 PM so I decided I should get there by 12:30 just in case. The ride was taking me a little bit longer than I thought but I knew (unless it was full) I was going to make it. I went a few kilometers past Paquera and I was the only one on the road (everyone had been rushing past me) which made me decide that I went too far so I turned around. A few minutes later I realized I hadn’t gone too far in the first place and that it was too late for the 12:30 boat (the next was at 3 or 4 PM).

So I decided to go there and make sure I knew exactly where it was and get my ticket; then I’d go get lunch and see if there was and Internet access back in town. But when I got to the dock the ferry was still there!!! They must have just recently changed the time to 1 PM since I was one of the last cars on (I had gotten the 1 PM tine from a person, the 12:30 was from a June-December 2008 free travel booklet).

Had I realized that the Paquera Ferry was a location option in my awesome new GPS I’d have gotten there with no problem!! Duh!

FerrypaqueraSo this is how they work the queue, you get in line and they give you a “pass” that says there is room for you and you can get out of the car, buy the ticket and get back in the car (I think it was $13 for me and the car a little more than I thought it would be). When they went up to the car in front of me they must have told him to go around the vehicle in front of him so he starts to back up towards me (my car is parked and off at this point) and I’m beeping the horn like crazy (he had so much room) and he hits the brakes but he still hits me at least it was really slow and there was no damage. It turns out he wasn’t that great of a driver (at least not a stick) he had a heck of a time getting situated on the ferry.

It was the smaller ferry (the other one is way nicer and bigger) but it’s not very busy so there is lots of room in the people area (the car area is packed). It was drizzling on and off but there is (sort of) a cover up top so I’m up there, but I’m really happy it’s not a stormy ride. Looks like there might be sunshine for the end of the ferry ride!

I should get to the San Jose area in daylight so that’s a big plus, maybe even to the hotel. BTW, my hotel is in the GPS so I should not have any problem! I haven’t used the GPS for city driving yet so I can’t wait to try that.

I took some photos, I’ll try to get them posted tomorrow, the batteries are dying on the laptop…

Written By: Gary on August 26, 2008 No Comment

It was a much nicer day today! It was mostly sunny but drizzly on and off but looked stormy so I didn’t want to walk up the the waterfall (a real hike) and get caught in a storm; later I hear the water that you walk next to (through at some parts) were pretty wild so some people turned around and came back, which must have been all the rain from yesterday/last night.

I got to spend some time at walking the beach and relaxing. It was nice to not be running around too much. I just walked for a while and read and talked to some people that I’ve run into more than a few times this trip. I started to go farther up the beach but it started to rain again and since there was a (fancy) hotel on the beach so I popped in there for a deliciou$ lunch (and stayed out of the rain).

I did try to catch the sunset but it just got cloudier and cloudier as I got closer so that was a bust. But on the way I did pick up a couple of guys from Argentina on the road and gave them a lift for a few kilometers they were interesting and spoke great english. Just to be clear, they were from Argentina, not on the road from Argentina

It’s pouring out now but that’s okay since I’m inside and have nothing else to do but grab some dinner and sleep. If it’s nice I’d like to get up early so I can play in Montezuma more before I head to San Jose tomorrow.

Written By: Gary on August 25, 2008 No Comment

It was raining so hard this morning it woke me up but I think part of that was due to the noisy roof of where I’m at. It’s beautiful outside now and the early rain will help keep all the dust down. I want to go for a ride and it’s so much nicer with the windows down but the dust really ruins the ride.

I just had breakfast in an open air restaurant down by the water. It’s a nice place but they’re really slow on the service at this place but that let me monopolize their table a little more :)

I’m going to head over to Cabano (a central town in the lower part of the peninsula) and run some errands and then over to a restaurant on the beach in Manzanillo for dinner and catch the sunset.m

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Written By: Gary on August 24, 2008 One Comment

Montezuma-Beach-Pict2568The weather was amazing all day. Sunny and warm but very humid. We didn’t get any afternoon rain at all.

But, regardless of the wonderful weather, the first thing I did this morning was find a new hotel, the other one wasn’t that great but I was too tired to look around any more last night (I did check two others that were full). I found one that is nicer and cheaper, $30 a night which includes A/C and hot water. Don’t laugh at the “A/C and hot water comment”, some hotels have 4 prices based on which combination that you would like. As long as I sleep okay here, I think I’ll stay here until I have to go to San Jose on Wednesday.

Picture 14So after I moved I went up to the waterfalls which was a little more exciting than usual, with all the rain the current was really flowing. When I got up there to swim it was pretty quiet (in terms of people) the the falls were raging with all the extra water. I tried swimming but the current was too much for me, I’m not that great of a swimmer and certainly out of practice. Hung out there for a while, for as dead as it was when I got there, I think it got the busiest I’ve even seen it. Not the best picture of me, but it’s the only one I have of me so far.

So since I didn’t wear myself out swimming I decided to hike it up to the upper falls. Another difference because of the rain a few recent downed trees and lots of mud. But I got up there just fine. Unfortunately, right when I got up top I dropped my bottle of gatorade! So that meant I really had to ration my other bottle of water on the way back; I usually take 3 bottles total (of water or gatorade) I was so thirsty on the way down but I made it. It fell pretty far and I’ve climb that part before (to get to the lower fall of the upper falls) but where I usually climb had loads of water running down it.

Here’s the cRaZy spot where you have to climb down to the upper falls. This is while I was halfway down rope looking down and looking up (fuzzy), it’s really not as bad as it looks :)

Park-Ocean-Viewfile0088Stats according to my GPS: I climbed from 97 feet altitude to 572 feet, but I actually ascended over 600 feet and it was a total of 4 miles for the round trip. (But now I need to go double-check since none of that was meters or miles and I thought I had all that switched to metric; I’m certain it was “feet”, maybe it was 4 kilometers?)

All photos should be clickable for a larger version (but not very large, the ‘net is really slow here).

Written By: Gary on April 27, 2008 3 Comments

So Santa Teresa is supposed to be this beautiful place in Costa Rica (I’m referring to the town in the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula) and while the beaches are beautiful (it is just sand on the ocean) so are a million other areas along the coast. The beaches are great for surfing too, that’s really the appeal for some people. I think there is a few surf camps and lots of lessons when we were on the beach.

Santatesesa2008Img 7758But the town is mostly just a bunch of spread out stores spaced out along a very very very dusty road. You can see from this Santa Teresa Map how everything is spread out (that main road is a “city block” or two from the beach).

We stayed at the Beach Break Surf Hotel, nothing fancy on the inside (2 beds, A/C , TV and a bathroom) but perfectly clean and functional with a nice porch (I think we got it at a good rate), I’d definitely go back. This was the hotel with the great staff that came around with flashlights when the power went out in twon. Actually, the only reason we stayed in that town was it was the day we had to backtrack because we hit the river that we didn’t know how to cross ()read that as we didn’t know where to drive to get across the river).

I’m sure there are a few more hotels on the beach if you drive down a driveway, but I need a town (even if it’s a tiny one) to wander over to to eat and do some people watching. Some people love Santa Teresa but so far, it’s just not for me…

But I will give it another try next trip, it is just “around the corner” from Montezuma….

Written By: Gary on April 13, 2008 One Comment

Playa-Samara-Img 8115Playa-Samara-Img 8151So it’s a beautiful morning, went for a swim on the beach and it was dead, now the beach is getting busier. Nice little restaurant on the beach for breakfast, they only serve a limited breakfast/lunch menu and are only open from 7am-11am. That’s the life, assuming it’s their only business. The name of the place is “Restaurante Sheriff Rustic”, that’s because it’s next to the Policia Station on the beach.

We’ll hang out here for a few more hours and drive up the cast and hope to find another nice town. The two attached pictures are from this morning on the beach.

I like this place, it’s bigger than Montezuma, but way smaller than Jaco, still pretty touristy though. (I think Montezuma is still my favorite and a few other people that we’ve run into on this trip seem to agree.)

In the time that we’ve been sitting here for breakfast, it’s really gotten busier on the beach.

FYI, for anyone traveling down to Samara, they’ve got great internet access at Samara Computers, big “internet sign” by the soccer (Fut Bol) field (no wireless but they have spots to put your laptop if you have a wired connection).

Written By: Gary on April 12, 2008 No Comment

So after a very long ride today we made it to Samara. It just starting raining (it’ll stop soon, it generally does) so we popped into this internet cafe. And here’s some info on Samara Beach (boring site). I really like the town so far, it’s like a big Montezuma, although the beach is facing south so no sunsets here either (I’m really cheating myself on this trip).

We indulged on a fancy Villa, two rooms, two bathrooms, ceing fans (inside/out), pool, kitchen and all sorts of other $tuff we won’t use. The hotel is called Villas Kalimba (nice site). That’s all for now…

Written By: Gary on April 11, 2008 No Comment

Speedo-Img 7777So i understand how the locals do it, they’ve got feet like a hobbits on the bottom. But it’s the tourists that I don’t understand how they walk around without shoes on. Even in the rocky areas they don’t wear shoes but sometimes I see them hobbling along.

I need my beach shoes to get around, rocks and cement and stuff don’t work for me. I had to get some fancier ones this trip since some of the other ones I get don’t work when jumping off at waterfalls; it’s no fun to be up in the mountains and loose a shoe. These are a little comfier than some of the other ones I’ve had in the past (and they haven’t fallen off yet).

Written By: Gary on April 11, 2008 No Comment

So I’m throwing up a few more posts while I’ve got access, we’re heading north (after we check out the Sand Castle Beachfest) on the Nicoya Peninsula and I’m not sure how access will be after today…

The place I’m at now is in Cabano, and they’ve got pretty good speed but it’s really busy so it’s still not super.

Written By: Gary on April 9, 2008 No Comment

Pict2354Well, we made it to Costa Rica! Found an Internet cafe so I wanted to hop on-line quick. A few e-mails and posts queued up but not much exciting to post yet (sorry).

We’ve done some traveling by 4×4 and some mini-adventures trying to get some cash (the ATMs are giving us trouble). He’s a photo of the beach (from Mal Pais?) click to enlarge. I’ll post more later….

Written By: Gary on April 2, 2008 One Comment

NicoyatipwhereSo far I’ve only explored the southmost point of the Nicoya Peninsula and stayed in Montezuma. I want to explore more of the Pacific coast next trip (later this month).

I’m looking for tips on where to travel and places to stay. As requirements for places to stay go: walking to beach distance, hot showers and air conditioning (not fancy, cheap is better). There was a pullout section of the TicoTimes a few weeks ago but it only seemed like it covered the ultra fancy hotels and resorts.

I just want to wander around the towns and the ocean and find some waterfalls and stuff like that.

Nocoyapeninwhere

Any thoughts or suggestions on what not to miss? restaurants to eat at? or hotels to stay at?

Written By: Gary on December 18, 2007 One Comment

FerrypaqueraI really liked a bunch of photos from the ferry ride (set 7) when I was on my way home. This was the ferry from the Nicoya Peninsula (from Paquera, I think) to Puntarenas. It was a really nice ride and had some great scenery.

This was a great ride, I think it was about $3 for a person (no vehicle). Here’s some info about the transportation from the airport to the Lower Nicoya Peninsula.

Written By: Gary on December 5, 2007 2 Comments

I have started running some Text Link Ads on the left side of the page. I apologize that I ‘sold out’ for that, but I’d much rather have someone else pay for my hosting than pay for it myself :)

Most of the other ads on the site I pick what goes where, but I make so little on those, most will be gone soon. Most of little bits of money I make from ads are from Google or Amazon (and the Amazon ones are really hit or miss). Many times when mention a book or movie or something and you follow the link to Amazon or Buy.com, Wal-Mart or iTunes and you shop there, I make a few pennies (or more) from your purchase and you shouldn’t have to pay a penny more. Not all of the links are affiliate links, just when it’s something at one of the places I’ve signed up with, otherwise it’s just regular link.

I’d just love to figure out how to make enough on-line from ads while sitting on the beach in Costa Rica. So consider these part of the “Gary Should Move to Costa Rica Fund”!

Actually, if you’re shopping this holiday season and are going to shop at any of the above stores anyways, just follow any of my links to get to the only store of your choice and you can support my Costa Rica fund instead of letting Amazon (or one of those other guys) keep that commission?!?

Written By: Gary on December 4, 2007 One Comment

In addition to the few books I brought I left some other things in Costa Rica. I always bring a few things to leave behind. When I’ve got some stuff that I know it’s near time to get rid of it, I’ll take it on vacation and leave it there. This includes books, an old pair of shoes, the jeans I wore to get there, a few old shirts (etc.), a few wash cloths (the hotels don’t always supply them here), a pair of beach shoes, and a pair of sandals if they don’t hold up. The clothes are stuff where when you pull it out of the dryer you can see it’s only god for a few more washes and are starting to fray and you think it won’t last many more washes. I even brought an old pillow that I almost got rid of last time I was cleaning (I’m kinda fussy about my pillows, if I travel by car I always bring one of my own). It lightens the load as the trip goes on :)

As I get close to emptying things out at home I’ll save them for a trip. Toothpaste, shaving creme (not as empty as I’d like so if I have room, I’ll bring it back), shampoo, etc. Why carry down all that stuff full and bring it back 1/4 empty? I just take it 3/4 empty, which is a heck of a lot lighter and leave it when it’s more empty.

I travel heavy, I blame my mother for this, I was an only child and we usually traveled by car so I could bring anything I wanted as long as it kept me entertained (quiet). I think that’s when I probably started bringing my own pillow too (that might be something I got from Grandma).

Written By: Gary on December 3, 2007 No Comment

So on my first night in Montezuma I was out on the beach in Montezuma watching the stars and it was perfectly clear. After a while I realized I hadn’t seen any shooting stars. I thought, “If I saw a shooting star, I’d wish that I could move down here”. At that instant (I’m not kidding) a huge one goes across the sky, coincidence? I think not! Technically, I can’t tell you what my wish was since it won’t come true, right? (or is that candles?)
starimage

And after that I easily saw another dozen over the next hour, but none as long and bright as that one….

Written By: Gary on December 2, 2007 3 Comments

Sunday, I rented a 4-wheeled ATV and drove it all around the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula. It was a great day. I was pretty dusty and dirty by the end of the day.

I went to all the towns on the map (not Cabo Blanco, which is a nature preserve).

The beaches were beatiful by Santa Teresa but otherwise I’m not sure what everyone is raving about. Maybe I missed something? But it didn’t even seem like there was much on (or by) the beach. And it seemed a little far from the ‘town”. I was a little rushed but still, I had high hopes…I’m at an Internet Cafe, which I didn’t realize would be so fast or I’d have brought pictures to post. These guys have satellite, I don’t undertand how the competition stays in business, or why these guys don’t charge a little more…

Written By: Gary on December 2, 2007 No Comment

Here was my mission: I was looking for something so I could go hiking or walking along the beach. But I want to have my camera with me, but when I go swimming (or something where I need to put my back down) I don’t want to leave my stuff unattended. So what I had in mind was a smaller version of an military duffle bag (that really think/tough material) that you could somehow clasp at the top and lock it to a tree. Yeah, someone could cut through it, but they couldn’t just grab it and run (and they’d have to work at it).

What I found was the “PacSafe DaySafe 100 Security Backpack“, it’s two things in one. The first is a backpack made for security, the zippers can be latched so someone can’t easily open it while you’re just walking down the street (the latches are hidden and hard to get to) and like a lot of luggage and you can (optionally) lock the zippers. Part of the main bag is slash-proof, it’s got a metal screen in the material, so someone can’t cut it to get stuff out while you’re wearing it. Plus, one of the straps is detachable and latchable so while you’re sitting there someone can’t just grab your bag if you’ve attached it to the table you’re eating at (this doesn’t work if you leave it unattended). It’s also got a few other areas that they have to make it harder for someone to casually grab things from it. It pretty much looks like a regular backpack.

ExomeshinsertThe second is a DaySafe (they sell this as a separate product) the DaySafe is pretty much a small tote bag (17 liters) made completely out of the material with the steel built into it (eXomesh®). The drawstring is a metal cable that latches and locks (included) and is pretty secure. If you take the cable and wrap it around a tree (or a stationary object in your hotel room or rental car) before you lock it, it becomes pretty hard for someone to just grab your stuff and run.

The safe fits inside the backpack perfectly and there is a special spot (hole) for the cable to secure the backpack too (the stuff in outer pockets would be at risk). I do have a smaller backpack that this fits into that is perfect for just running around like that, the included backpack is pretty big for a casual hike/walk.

I wouldn’t leave my stuff locked to a tree all day but for the bit that I want to go in the water and stay mostly in sight of it it’s perfect.. Or if I hike up into the hills to the waterfall, I can both take pictures and then go for a swim and not be too paranoid about my stuff. So I’m kind excited about this one, since I don’t have to limit what I take when I wander far…

Written By: Gary on December 1, 2007 One Comment

So I hear it’s cold back in Michigan! I’m glad I’m getting my money’s worth from this vacation. I had to explain to a local it was freezing and he didn’t get I literally meant freezing until I clarified with “zero degrees Celsius”.

It’s definitely getting cooler on some of the evenings. I was actually chilly down on the beach last night.

I can’t believe it’s Saturday already.

I wandered down to the Ylang Ylang resort to use their internet, they have the best in the area. I”m in a hammock in the dark posting the old stuff and typing this short post. It’s not as comfy as it sounds.

It’s really humid this evening.

I think I’m staying in Montezuma (or at least this peninsula) for the rest of the trip.

Written By: Gary on November 30, 2007 No Comment

I made it to Moctezuma. The taxi boat was much nicer than the last time.

I met two american surfers from opposite directions heading to the same destination (Snata Teresa). They were fun to chat with and made a beautiful ride even more fun.

I’m staying at the El Sano Banano, I got all settled into my room and ate already. I made a mad dash to their sister resort, Ylang Ylang, but I was too late to catch the Monkeys do their daily swing down the beach :(

Although I am taking advantage of their free Internet to give you this update…

Written By: Gary on November 30, 2007 No Comment

Cr Montezuma Jaco Water-TaxiSo I’m off to Montezuma this morning. You can see the ride by car would take forever. The water taxi, pretty much some guy on a boat that’ll hold about 8-10 people/luggage, will take about an hour. If experience holds, it’ll take longer since it’ll be way late. I sure hope it doesn’t rain…

I’ll be at the El Sano Banano, it’s a little hotel (in a little town), but I have access to their resort way down the beach. I’d consider staying down there but there is no A/C in their cabanas.

That’s all for now I’ve gotta shower and finish packing and get a taxi to get me to the water taxi (it’s actually at the next town north).

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