On the Road Again-Costa Rica – Animals 

When driving down the semi-dirt roads you never know what will greet you around the curve. I assume that the study manual for a driver’s license in Costa Rica states that horses always have the right of way. 

Actually I don’t have a photo of my favorite horse meets car episode so you have to turn on your imagination. Picture this. A white sedan is driving down a kinda paved road with two guys in the front seat. The guy on the passenger side has his window open. He has a rope in his hand. Attached to the rope is a horse!  When you are too lazy to ride your horse for exercise, you can always take him for a trot while you enjoy the comfort of your air conditioned car!

Then there are the goat/cows. I argued for the large ugly goat species while greg assured me that this was the epitome of ugly, long floppy eared, bovine species. Obviously you have to specify a a 2-cow or 3-cow trailer when purchasing or building one. 

Then there is always the recliner ATV (not Costa Rican ) but too funny to omit. 

Around the next curve a massive rock formation appears st the edge of the cloud forest. Which leads me to muse over the difference between a fog and clouds.  I have decided, without scientific collaboration, that clouds are in the sky and it becomes fog as it hovers over the land. Living in the cloud forest of San Vito, as we descend to the beach we pass through the point where the sun becomes visible. As we ascend back to the garden, you can see the clouds above you and then progress to where the cloud layer is below you!  Fascinating. 


On the Road Again-Costa Rica 

I learned a new term last night: TREEFALL. Around 10:30 last night I thought I heard voracious thunder. Then I thought it was another earthquake. Then I finally realized that a tree had fallen in the heavily forested part of the botanic garden. I thought oh good no one is in the jungle at night. WRONG. 

This morning 2 women who are doing frog  🐸 studies with a graduate student from Illinois were indeed in the jungle searching for frogs last night. They said that they first thought they were going to be attacked by an enormous animal judging by the ferocious noise coming closer and closer. One woman sheltered behind a tree trunk as they sought shelter. Then…TREEFALL!  An enormous tree fell about 40 meters from them. One woman’s face was covered in flying debris. They were so freaked out that they began to laugh hysterically. 

Welcome to Costa Rica 

On the Road Again-Costa Rica 

The sequence of these photos is a little strange. The first is a gorgeous flower from my yogalini friend Alison. These photos are a whole different story. The second photo is proof that I went to San Francisco on Sunday. The third photo shows pets and their owners lined up waiting for their turn at the spay/neuter clinic. For the pets I mean. It is a community service for a nominal fee.  Another yogalini, Lydia, arranges all of this and runs it on donations. In addition to donating some funds I spent some time helping. Helping is a loose term since I don’t speak Spanish. After castration the dogs were brought to a makeshift recovery room consisting of a large mat covered in plastic and newspapers. The owners are given instructions to monitor their pet for respiration and change their position periodically. My main function was to replace the newspapers when needed. I hope to be able to help more for the next clinic in July. 

On the Road Again-Costa Rica

IMG_1062.jpgAs I said before, Costa Rica gave us a dog.  His name is Paco and he looks like the dogs in Egyptian hieroglyphics.  Since we live on the grounds of the botanic garden, I wanted to do something that would announce he was no longer a stray.  He is now a Bone-I-fied member of the Wilson Botanic Garden Staff!!

We had a lovely brunch at Alison and Michael’s house.  She is the yogalini coordinator and Michael is going to start observing Greg doing tai chi.  Funny how that works out.  Another yogalini, Lydia and her guest from California, Dixie joined in the festivities.  I miss cooking and hosting but there is a certain freedom in always being the guests.  I did bring banana cocoanut muffins and pickled cucumbers I made.  Though I don’t have a stove, I bought a toaster oven where the temperature is in celsius and the time setting is somewhat nebulous, but we are working together to get it right.IMG_1050.jpg

 

Sometimes the sky here is magical.  We are technically in the cloud forrest.  That is a term I had never heard of before and have come to understand first hand what that means.  I like the climate here in San Vito.  With the higher altitude, it is a little cooler and wetter than along the coast.  Like in old Hawaii, the peasants lived at the beach with the bugs and hot weather, whereas the royalty chose to live in the mountains with fewer insects and lower humidity.  

I was invited to play Mexican Train.  No, I had never heard of it either.  It is a dominoes game and there seems to be no skill required which is my kind of game.  Actually beginners luck was with me.  I played three games and won 2!!!  As I said-all luck.  Hope you all have some too!!!

On the road again-Costa Rica

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I swear that half of the parents in Costa Rica would be facing jail time in the US for child endangerment.  Three on a bicycle.  Dad peddling, mom on the seat and child holding onto the handlebars.  Riding in a truck.  Parents in cab, kids in open bed usually sitting on the wheel wells.  Oh and no tailgate either.  Kids riding in front of parent on motorcycle without holding on as far as I can see.  Not only that, but they actually let their children play in the yard unsupervised, and walk to school alone.

The craziest thing is that everyone is so happy here.  Always smiling and waving, friendly and helpful, laughing and playing.  What’s up with that?  I have yet to see a kid with a cell phone, or an obese child.  Maybe it all evens out.

This morning I went on a bird walk through the garden with the San Vito Bird Club, several of which are yoga ladies.  Yogalinas as we prefer to be called.  I am not known to be Miss Nature nor have I ever used binoculars.  I successfully saw ONE bird.  Actually Jeffrey, the man with the biggest camera lens wins, took some fabulous photos and I came to realize that I prefer to look at his photos than flailing  around trying to hold the binoculars still not to mention focusing.  I failed birding!  Sorry SVBC (San Vito Bird Club).

I do however, have a greater appreciation for those who endure scanning the skies and trees listing for bird calls and waving branches. shinninghoneycreeper2.jpg    This is a photo of a green honeycreeper.  I did see one tho not on this walk nor is this my photo.  Suits me perfectly.

On the brighter side, I got a pedicure and gel manicure yesterday for equivalent of $34 including tip.  Haircuts cost $10.00.  But my fabric had a 30% import fee!!! Go figure. 

I am getting used to this lifestyle and Greg absolutely LOVES working at this garden.  The gardeners are thrilled to have direction and are re-sculpting the garden by building rock walls and making new beds.  They are exceptional workers, strong, fast and eager to please and improve the grounds.  They have basically been doing maintenance for the past 9 years and now are enthusiastically changing and beautifying everything.  

Our adopted stray dog, Paco, got his stitches removed from neutering and no longer wears a “cone of shame”.  Happy camper.  Very docile for a stray-guess he likes 2 meals a day and a place out of the rain and cuddles.  We face time with Koa, and Aaron and Katie, in Chicago and we know they will be happy to meet their brother from another mother.

On the Road Again-Costa Rica

We decided to drive to the border of Panama.  Partly for adventure and mostly to get gas (diesel) which is almost half price there.  This is what we found.  A gas station and an upscale exclusive Duty Free shop.  Liquor floor to ceiling and enough perfume to cause a world-wide asthma attackIMG_0939.jpgI did however find an iron for $8.99 and a lint roller, you know you are in a foreign country when these are unexpected, highly prized items!  I also saw a Panama license plate tho somewhat outdated.  See proof below.IMG_0944.jpgAfter filling up Greg decided to drive down as many gravel roads as he could find.  The only way he would accept the fact that we were at the end of the road was:IMG_0945.jpgAn unfortunate discovery on this trip was that our dog Paco gets car sick.  Not once but a gazillion times.  Good thing we had him in the back of the SUV with a blanket covering the area.  When we finally got home he drank his weight in water and just about  collapsed on the floor.  He’s on the sofa now still in recovery mode.IMG_0950.jpgOn a happier not-we had PIZZA for dinner at the dining room last night.  This was a first and since there are many graduate students from various universities here, it was like vultures attacking the table.  They also made a shake with avocado, coconut and milk.  Kinda weird, not my fav.  Off to yoga and then to the local vet to set up a checkup, shots and neutering for Paco.  And he tought car sickness was bad…..

On The Road Again-Costa Rica

As I mentioned before, birding is the most popular sport in this part of Costa Rica. The locals and tourists alike are often to be seen with binoculars and cameras with lenses of ginormous proportions. One older man tripped, a hazard of birding since they are always looking up, and cut his forehead and had two black eyes. […]

via Costa Rica again — Site Title

Costa Rica again

As I mentioned before, birding is the most popular sport in this part of Costa Rica.  The locals and tourists alike are often to be seen with binoculars and cameras with lenses of ginormous proportions.  One older man tripped, a hazard of birding since they are always looking  up, and cut his forehead and had two black eyes.  His comment was that he was so grateful that his camera wasn’t damaged!!  Anyhow at meal times we are often shown photos of the most vibrant birds ever seen.

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See what I mean?  We are meeting interesting people from all over the world.  Some with large groups on buses with tourguides and some self guided.  It’s a whole other world!

Costa Rica 

Ok guys does anyone know what that rodent like animal is?  I’m not a fan. It does not bring out warm and fuzzy feelings from my heart. 

Secondly there is a huge bird population and a huge bird watching population as well. This was taken from my cottage window at periodic times during the day. You can always tell the birders from the plant admirers because they are always looking up. Probably have to see the chiropractor when they get home. 

Yesterday Greg and I went to Golfito on the Pacific coast. Very disappointed. It’s a larger town than San Vito but not more upscaled. I was hoping for a store where I could look for extravagances like a bedside clock. The coast line was not pretty or inviting. Not only that but the ride to sea level won the horrendous hairpin curves award. So scary that neither I nor GREG ever want to go back. There is a mini airstrip there where you can grab a ride on a toy plane to connect in San Jose. No thanks! They would have to meet the little plane with a big ambulance and a straight jacket!!  We agree to cross Golfito off the list permanently. 

It was quite hot about 90* at the coast and during the practically vertical ride to the garden we could feel it cool off dramatically. As I told Greg it’s better that we didn’t like Golfito rather than we loved it and hated to come back here. 

Hope you all had a good weekend!

BJ