Farewell Costa Rica

  
October 19th.

Above photo creds and design: Mike

A breakfast of leftovers waited for us.
Cereal, a little milk, a little yogurt, cheese bread, coffee, one plantain.. A clean up of the fridge into our stomachs.
Sounds grosser then I mean that :p

To the pool for the last swims!
To the chairs for the last rays!

Packing up our things and downloading a movie for the plane.
Taking some final photos via a quickly downloaded timer app. 

 
Tino came up for goodbyes and that was that..

Farewell little Villa Katino.. It was an honour 🙂 

 
Leaving Malpais we got another Wake Up Call smoothie and frappuccino For the road.
In Cobano we stopped for another jalapeño cheese bun thing but they didn’t have any 😦
So Mike got me a coconut cake instead, it was good and appreciated, but when you want spicy cheese stuff.. cake just isn’t the same.

Mike stopped at a beach along the way to the ferry, it was a darker colored one and muddy more than sandy. 

 
Once aboard the ferry the sweltering heat was so much more apparent than poolside.
Moved to the railing to catch some breeze and we got to watch some Pelicans diving for fish.
Another hour-long boat ride to the mainland.

We got grilled pork kabobs with tortillas from a street vender once we were across. 

 
They were pretty tasty!

Then the drive to San Jose area began..
We took the mountain road which is a little longer but some better /more interesting views. 

 
Not that I’d know since I once again slept :p
The driving in Costa Rica is interesting enough to maneuver during daylight.. (No sign of road rules / overturned semi on a sharp turn bordering a cliff side)  

 

Nighttime and it’s a whole other story of its own.
No street lights, just the lights of the traffic jammed people around and rain reflecting off it all.
We got a little lost.
But then Taco Bell got us wi-fi and a GPS was back in play.
We took the car back to Budget and waited for our hotel shuttle.

We got to Terra Golf Boutique Hotel
And Cecilia welcomed us with warm hugs.
She’s the owner.. Obviously.
Checked out our room and she had a sign on the door reading, “every love story is beautiful but ours is my favourite.” 
 

Once in the room she had sparkling cider waiting for us and said she was sorry because usually she makes honeymooners a heart cake but we didn’t give her enough notice.
She was super nice 🙂

We walked to an Italian restaurant nearby and sat down for our first real restaurant meal.Mike got the filet mignon and I ordered a gnocchi in tomato cheese sauce.

Both were very good.

Back to the hotel to rest up before leaving for Arizona the next day!

Villa Katino.. You were loved and you will be missed and thought of fondly😘

Soaking Up The Sun

October 18th

The most sunless weather we have had yet was our greeting this morning.
It didn’t rain last night but the morning was cloudy and windy.
I made some scrambled eggs while Mike barbecued the bacon and some cheese bread.
I also prepared a small yogurt bowl with cereal for two and fried up another cinnamon and brown sugar-coated plantain. 
 

We needed to eat as much of our food as possible since we leave tomorrow.
That wasn’t a problem 😉

It was a day of leisure, spent poolside and eating.
Our last day to soak up all the villa has to offer and enjoy it to the utmost.

The clouds may have blocked the sun but not the effects of the sun.
The day had a UV index of 11 and the 32 degrees felt like 37..according to our sources. 
 

Mike burnt his back fairly bad.. That’s what he gets for sunbathing while I made us lunch ;p

Chicken dipped in egg, Italian dressing and mayo.. and dipped again in Ritz cracker crumbs before being fried was the main lunch course.
Seasoned potatoes, fried for the second time always taste better.. and cheese bread seems to accompany all the meals here. 
 

Iced coffees for the beverage and lunch was prepared.

Had to sort out the shells we had found and decrease the “bring home” pile a bit. 

 
More pool and sun.. also some jacuzzi.
Can’t seem to get enough.
If only it could be bottled up for later :p

The sunset wasn’t totally blocked by clouds so it was nice to enjoy it while it faded.  

As it did, the rains came.
You could see it coming towards the villa over the ocean and then suddenly upon us and pouring down. 
 

Thankfully it’s passed almost as quickly as it came and it was just a slight rain throughout the night.

 

Packed as much as I could in the dimly lit room and planned to finish in the morning. Winds picked up and we gathered some snacks and drinks and retreated to the room to watch a movie.Almost didn’t want to go to sleep knowing we would wake up and have to leave… but not much of a view to enjoy in the dark either 😛

Jem moment: Simply being able to be together and enjoy what we were blesse to be able to experience.

Local Life Saturday 

October 17th.

The rain finally stopped in the early morning hours.
I managed to get a little extra sleep thankfully.
I awoke to sounds of Mike in the kitchen and a soccer game playing on the laptop 😛
French toast was once again ready and waiting for me when I crawled outta bed 🙂

Felt pretty rough.. achy head and sinuses.
Troubles in paradise I suppose.
Laid on the couch catching up on social media and choosing photos for yesterday’s post etc.
Any movement made my head hurt so I didn’t feel like doing much else.

Once again Mike gave me coffee and iced tea…and commanded me to have them drank by 12 o’clock.
12:15, 12:30.. never, same thing 😛

The morning was cloud covered but when the sun did make an appearance it was definitely warm.
Got the late morning swim out of the way and because of my sleeping in, it was afternoon just like that.

Mike really wanted to go driving north and check a beach we hadn’t make it to yet as well as just driving checking out more jungle and towns. 
 

Our villa is located right under Malpais on the bottom tip. The ferry, middle right is the one we took to get here and along the left coast and inland you can spot some of the areas I have wrote about. 

I had to decide if my head was feeling up to the constant bouncing the roads never fail to supply.
We headed out by 2:30 and figured we would just see what happened.
Made it to the furthest beach, more shells to sort through and decide how many I can or cannot fit in the suitcase. 
 

It’s a tougher decision then some may realise 😉

We then took the turn to hopefully lead us to one more beach to check off the list.
We drove a fair bit, until we couldn’t anymore. 
 

The road literally ended in a river.
It was a pretty jungle area so we stopped, yes to take a selfie.
Then tonight Mike was reading some stuff about where we went or could go and supposedly in the dry season that raids the shortcut but now with the rain its unappeasable.
Oh and also in 2015 they advise travellers to NOT take this road as when you stop at the river, armed robberies have been happening a fair bit..
Yep the exact spot we were completely oblivious and all. “ Look at the pretty jungle! Leave the car open its fiiiiiiine. Photo over here Hun!” 😛
Thankfully we did not encounter anyone or anything there.

Along the way back we stopped at another prime photo location.
But when we got out of the vehicle there, howler monkeys started, howling, directly above us.
They don’t sound friendly.
So back into the vehicle, but of course with the windows down so Mike could try to learn yet another language, Monkey.

We turned around and headed east to Cobano, the town north of Santa Teresa.
We wanted to stop back at a bakery we had been to on our first day in Costa Rica.
Our purchase, cheese buns and some kind of freshly baked enchilada crescent.
It was really good!
A spicy jalapeño, cheese and potato filled warm crescent like I have never tasted before was our pre supper snack.
We actually skipped lunch today…and lived!
Though Mike had made an iced coffee/chocolate milk drink to keep us hydrated during the drive.

As we headed out of Cobano Mike seen some kids playing soccer.
Mike, “Id love to join them for a couple of minutes.”
Jess, “Go ahead.”
Mike keeps driving. “Id just really like to.”
Jess, “ I SAID go ahead?”
Mike stops car and starts turning around.
Jess, “Just hopefully they aren’t weirded out by some tourist guy that wants to join the game.” :p
Mike sighs and starts driving the car back towards the villa.

By the end of the conversation, Mike did end up playing soccer.
For almost an hour some local kids graciously accepted the overly tall, sunburnt tourist who wanted to join their game and spoke no Spanish. 
 

He had fun, as did the kids ( we think 😛 )

Once in Santa Teresa we found a “Soda” to have supper at.
Tino had told us to eat at one of those if we wanted a classic local dish of rice, salad and a choice of meat. 
 

It was good and always fun to try the real foods of the area 🙂

It was pretty much straight to bed for me by the time we reached the villa.
My head had had enough for one day.
Mike cut up some fresh mamachinos to snack on and then I fell asleep.

It’s now 12:30 and I can’t remember what woke us up, but whatever did must have done it well because sleep doesn’t look like it’s in my future.

Just heard loud crunching outside our room :/

I really want some popcorn..

“About an hour later.”
The raccoon came back and I heard him in my shells so that was just cause to alert Mike 😛
After we got up and covered the shells, turned on a few lights and talked to make him leave, I decided I should indeed make that popcorn id been thinking about. Mike stayed up with me and we snacked and watched some “White Collar.”
(Never start a movie series midway through with someone who’s never seen it and asks a lot of questions ;P )

Secret Beach.. no longer a secret

October 16th.

I awoke before Michiel again.
Got up and straightened up the kitchen, dusted gecko crap off the couches, got the coffee started.. just the usual routine 😛
Poured myself a bowl of cereal and started typing out the past days events.
Mike came out of the room about an hour later and got himself some yogurt and cereal and sat down to help me remember the yesterdays happenings that needed to be included for you all.

My head was starting to feel little achy and sneezing began.. I figured it was normal allergies because of all the different plants here etc.

To the pool to cool off our sunburns.. its a love hate relationship having a pool really.
You get hot, go in, get cold, go out.
Just dry off and get then get hot again and so goes the cycle.
Im perfectly fine with dealing with the harsh reality of pool life though, no worries, I know how to be happy with what one has 😉

Mike brought me a drink and told me I had to drink it all before we went anywhere or he’d call mom and dad.. (I have issues drinking enough liquids for being in a hot place)
I told him they’d only say “she’s your problem now ” 😛

About the time we decided to actually go anywhere, the rain started coming in, so instead Mike decided to start lunch.
A classic problem solver for any situation 😉

As the burgers were on the grill it was just more of the same, pool time.
Actually ate in the pool as well, but who could blame us when its 30 some degrees out and no breeze.

Mike decided our flower bouquet needed refreshing (Tino had one in the kitchen upon our arrival ) so he grabbed a knife and off into the jungle we went!
Ok so really it wasn’t into the jungle at all.. just the area right along our villa and driveway ;P  

 

But one doesn’t need to go far here to find the awesome flowers the jungle boasts of!

Finally we got ourselves together and headed off to the harbour to see if they had any fish.
They didn’t.
The beach by the harbour had some interesting rocks formed by the waves. 
 

A wave would come and go and leave behind tons of crabs crawling along the rocks sides and the dry areas were covered in small snails.. 

 

I’m sure I stepped on and killed many.. sorry snails 😦
We then went to find “Secret Beach”… Tino tells the Villas residents to check it out.
We weren’t totally sure where it was at first.. and it felt kind of dumb to ask where the secret beach was.. like “duh I can’t tell you its secret ya nimrod.”
No we didn’t get that response but I feel like its what Id say to someone if they asked me that ;P
We did find it.. its actually part of a national park and its tucked away and very jungly and pretty. 
 

It says no shells or rocks can be taken.. Oops.. how’d that chunk of coral stick to my sandal without me even noticing?!
I played in the water and shell searched while Mike played with the little crabs on the beach.

Found a vine sturdy enough to climb!  

 

Tarzan, you definitely make it look easy 😛

My head was feeling worse so we headed to town to get some meds in town.
We asked for allergy stuff and the Spanish guy said something to his friend and laughed and then handed us a box of meds so we didn’t totally trust him 😛
Instead we went and got ice cream.

At the villa we lounged around and then started supper while it was light still.
Mike started the barbecue to try some marinaded pork we had got and I fried up some bacon to go along with it.
The last of our cheese bread got toasted and the potatoes were then fried in the remaining bacon grease.
Ice water with lime ( can’t find lemons anywhere here) and some mamachinos cut up were the finishing touches of the meal. 
 

The pork was pretty good, we had a jalapeño and garlic sauce left over from our Tacos and that went well with the meat 🙂

Tino actually went and got me some meds since Mike had asked him if he happened to have any.
Thirteen dollars for three pills!

Supper dishes all cleaned up, as we learnt our lesson about leaving out dirty ones the first time 😉

Pool felt good but to cold for once with how my head hurting.

Mike decided it was time to email United about our troubles getting here, I laid on the couch sleeping on and off while he did that.

The rain started around 7p.m. and only got worse throughout the night.
Letting up around 5 or 6 in the morning.

The pattern of sleep/ wake up is different here.
It starts to descend into evening by 5 p.m and is fully dark by 6 p.m.
Light starts filling the room, as well as bird song and other critters talking by 5:30.
Which means early to bed and early to rise.
But with the light ( Or lack thereof ) it feels normal.

I moved into the room and tried to get comfy, you know your sick when your cold in bed and its a muggy Costa Rican night.
It got super windy so Mike went to check our clothes that had been drying on the stair rails, moving them so they didn’t get lost in the jungle 😛

Jem moment: Finding a climbable vine ;P

P.S. Mel Gibson has a vacation home here that can be seen from our look out.
The house lights came on the other night and Tino said the chopper came while we were out in town.
So maybe Mel is around.. or just his cleaners who probably have to come like a month ahead to prep the place for him, but we can pretend 😉

All We Really Do Is Eat.. or think about eating.

October 15th.

The sound of scattered rain greeted us and we assumed we were finally going to get one of the “rainy season” days we had come expecting.
But by the time the kitchen was put back in order and everything was cleaned thoroughly with lots of soap a hot water (thanks Mr. Raccoon) the rain had ended and the day turned into another sunny scorcher.

I got coffee started and went to work on a post for jemstory.
Michiel woke up and started to make french toast for us.

After five pieces of french toast with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, I decided it was time to take a break from the hard life I have and go sit in the sun.

30 out with a UV index of 9 , so that means super opportunities for tanning, and burning but burns turn into tans later.
At least that’s what I tell myself ;p

Oh and by the way, I was out of bed first, and I did get my back rub too 😉

Mike was already thinking about a snack/early lunch.
No surprise there.
He made us some toasted cheese bread subs with chicken, cheese and a lemon mayo they have here.
Once again I received a poolside meal and iced tea 🙂

More swimming and tanning before we decided we once again would require more groceries if we wanted to survive 😛
So we made a quick list, got ready and headed down to the town in Mal Pais.

We were going to check out some beaches or the local fishing harbour but with the travel on the bumpy roads taking longer then one thinks and the sun setting by 5:25 it limits how much you can accomplish in a couple of hours.

We found a lady selling bracelets and Mike had to exercise his bartering skills obviously ;P
So in the end we walked away with 8 bracelets, original cost 21 thousand
colones but now for 17 thousand.

Next we seen a truck selling the fruits I have been wanting to get for an easy refreshing snack.
I had them in Hawaii and they called them “Lychees,” here they are known as “Mamachinos” and supposedly the Howler monkeys love them.

From there we went back to “The Bakery” and got a smoothie and dessert.

A Wake up call smoothie which indeed suited its name.. very hard to describe its taste but it had pineapple and mint and that’s all I know for sure.
Also a delicious little Ferrero Roche cake.

Next we went to a “Super Ronny’s” for our groceries.
Mike wanted steak but couldn’t find any.

Supper was Tacos suggested to us by Tino.
We got beef and chicken tacos and their special of the day, cheese stuffed jalapeño poppers.
The owner was from Belgium so he and Mike got to chat in Dutch for a minute.
He told him they didn’t have steak here because the climate and area don’t make for good beef, but the chicken here is really good.
That sounds fine to me 😉
We got the food to go and came back to the villa to eat it and try to see a sunset.

The clouds blocked the sunset but after that Mike did spot some monkeys in a tree not to far from the villa.

We watched those for a while and then I went into the room early as I didn’t feel like sitting with the moths and bugs again.

Discovered I got sunburnt.. bring out the Aloe Vera gel!

Mike brought in some snacks and turned on a show.. telling me if I fell asleep he’d turn on music loud and talk and make me wake up because he didn’t want to be bored in the room for over 6 hours..

I fell asleep 😛

Jem moment: Not having to cook once today thanks to my Hubby.. And Aldo at Taco Bar ;p

Zip-lining? Check✔️

October 14th.

I decided this would be the morning to make the Plantain we had bought.
Mike had put the butter in the freezer and I needed it to fry the sliced plantain with sugar and cinnamon.
I proceeded to try to cut the butter but only succeeded in cutting into my finger.
Walking calmly to the bathroom I held my finger under the tap.
I asked Mike for some ice and though the cut wasn’t so bad, I started feeling nauseous.
Getting dizzy I stumbled to the bed as Mike looked for bands in my purse.
I think he asked where they were and what size was needed.
I remember nothing, which is strange because never before has blood (my own at least) really bothered me.
First time for everything I suppose.

Back to the kitchen to finish up the Plantain.
It’s a propane stove top so things are a tad trickier to fry without burning but they actually turned out pretty tasty 🙂 
 
Ate them by the pool and then went for a swim across to the lawn chairs at the other end.

31 degrees out, by 10:00 a.m.

As I tried to bear the heat and get a tan, Michiel arranged a time with Tino for us to go try out zip-lining.
An iced tea with lime on the side was delivered to my chair, as well as “water to cool off with.”
Via hubby.

By then he had also started lunch preparations.
Thaw the burgers and barbecue the bacon how Bob had taught him 😉
Ate those and then started the drive to find our “canopy tour” in Montezuma.
We drove for almost an hour, manipulating the roads and signs, asked a local for directions and found it easy enough after that.

Once at the zipline place, you get your straps, helmets and gloves put on and a quick training demo before heading off.
Mike made me go first.
Thankfully it wasn’t scary at all.
It’s an interesting way to see things but some of the lines are so short you forget to look around and just focus on when to break at the next platform coming up.
The guides stop at some waterfalls which are the half way point where you can jump in to cool off.
I didn’t feel like jumping off tall-ish rocks into reddish colored water was an experience I needed for that day 😛
Leaving the falls you climb up numerous stairs built into the hill to reach the next line. 
 

Not an easy feat in cooking hot weather, elevation and wearing a harness that adds a couple of pounds.
Or I’m simply more out of shape then I realised 😛
Once the tour ended we started heading back to the villa.
We stopped at one beach we had seen on the drive there.
This one had white/grey sand and lava rocks for the waves to crash into. 
 
If only cameras could capture the true beauty of the colors and size.

Once again Villa life brought catching up with family and Instagram.
Pool time.
And food time 😉

We got Italian dressing and some chicken breading so Mike decided to cook some up “schnitzel” style.
I got the potatoes frying, poured the drinks and that’s about it.
Supper was good 🙂 

 
Good thing we didn’t hire the private chef when I have my own, for free ;p

We headed into the room as the rain started to come down.
I went to bed early against Mikes protesting, flashlight shining and attempts to wake me up.

Around 1:00 a.m. we woke up to pouring rain and dishes rattling in the kitchen…
The raccoon had found us.
Despite shouting, banging on the wall and shining the flashlight around.. he stuck around to enjoy the remains of our dinner too.
Mike went out to scare him and minutes later he was back so we gave up and just hoped he wouldn’t break anything.

By then we were both fully awake, so we got some iced tea and chips, set up a movie in bed and tried to hear it over the rain.
I wanted a back rub and Mike said he would tomorrow if I was the first one out of bed .. we will see what happens 😉

%d bloggers like this: