Jessop Travels

Flip Flops or Bust!

Month: December 2015 (page 1 of 2)

This Town Is Our Town

The Go Go’s have a song called This Town. The lyrics go, This town is our town, this town so glamorous. Golfito is anything but glamorous, as I have mentioned before Dave calls it “a dirty little port town”. I have learned to love Golfito; it really grows on you.  Here is a cool picture of Golfito from 1976 and one from more recent years.  It has not changed much at all.IMG_1414IMG_1408

We had a fabulous last day in Golfito. We took a water taxi over to the island with 3 other gringos we met.  Here is a water taxi selfie.
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We ate langosta and pargo entero. Both were really good. Dave and I swam in the warm water. Although the tide was coming in there was a strong tide pulling us out quickly. We had to fight it, we could have been washed out to sea. In the end it was a great day.IMG_1747

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After a fun day in the sun we took naps, showered and went to dinner at Mariscos. We had some interesting shrimp dinners. I have never had shrimp with its tentacles and claws still on it.IMG_1752

We then headed to Latitude 8*. We could not finish out our trip without a final visit to see all our gringo friends. Latitude 8* is a fun place where the local gringos hang out to watch football, listen to 80’s music and tell tall tales. Sally and John are the owners and they are hilarious.  Sally lets visitors write their name, date and where they are from on the ceiling. It is fun to see where people have come from. Here is our ceiling shot.IMG_1754

Our last sunset did not disappoint. In fact, we had a gorgeous sunset for the 13 nights that we stayed in Golfito.DSC00401

Here is a view of Golfito from up on tower road that overlooks the gulf.IMG_1264

Goodbye, dirty little port town.  Until next year.IMG_0059

Bird Brained

Our time in Golfito is coming to a close. Time down here goes way too fast. The bugs have feasted on me (what else is new), but we are having a great time. 

Dave brought down a machete and bought some rubber boots at a local store. He got to swing the machete around a bit on our property and even cut down some bananas for us.  Doesn’t he look the part of a local campesino?

<b>Campesino

Campesino

We saw some parrots and scarlet macaws while hiking in the Americana Zone.  Both types of birds are really loud and hard to miss. They landed in a nearby tree, but they were hidden in the shade and the branches so I did not get a clear shot. This was the best picture I got of the Red-lored parrot.

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Red-lored Parrot

Yesterday was spent resting and sitting on the dock overlooking the gulf listening to some great music. I heard some scarlet macaws so I hurried and got my camera to capture the loud birds. Little did I know, I would get to see and capture some other great birds.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

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Red-lored Parrot

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Lineated Woodpecker

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Boat-billed Flycatcher

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Rusty-margined Flycatcher

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Of course, at the end of the day, we got a extra nice bonus. I never get sick of the sunsets.  Life is good!

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Over the River and Through the Woods…..

Over the river and through the woods (jungle), to San Vito we go.  San Vito is a small mountain town that is close to Panama and was founded by Italians.  The road to get there is very windy and very narrow.  The temperature was about 8-10* cooler than Golfito and that for sure was a welcome change.  The mountains and rolling hills were beautiful. 

San Vito

San Vito

San Vito has some coffee plantations and I was able to see coffee plants and beans up close.

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

While exploring it started pouring rain so we stopped for a casado at a local soda to wait out the storm.  It stopped raining and we headed back down the mountain. The rain followed us the whole way down. I am so glad Dave was driving. While driving home, Dave saw a bird fly across the road. He hurried and pulled over as this bird we had never seen before. He observed, while I tried to get a good shot of him with my camera. Unfortunately, I had the wrong lens on and it was too far away. Once we got back to the room, we pulled out our bird book and ID’d it. The great thing about this bird is it is only found in this part of the country near San Vito.

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Crested Oropendola – Wikipedia File Photo

 

What A Wonderful World

It is hard to be in Costa Rica and not appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. One of our favorite songs is What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.  It is hard not to sing the lyrics to that song while enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. 

I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, and the dark sacred night. And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

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Dave and I rented a water taxi and rode around the gulf.  It is always great to see everything from a different perspective. The water was really calm and the weather was nice and hot.  We were able to see several species of birds. Here are a few of the cool ones.

Green Kingfisher

Green Kingfisher

Osprey

Osprey

On Christmas Eve Day, Dave had the opportunity to go out with a famous local fishing captain. They went scouting for fish. The water is extremely warm due to El Niño and the fish are further offshore.  They covered a lot of ground by going out about 60 miles to scout the area.  At the end of a long day, Dave was able to catch a smaller 15 lb. rooster fish which provided a tough 20 minute fight on light tackle, as rooster fish will run the line out of the spool multiple times. 


While Dave was on the boat, I decided to strap on the camera and go for a hike in the Zona America.  Usually, you can get a good sweat on and see some great birds.IMG_1204

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

Toucan

Toucan

The one I was most excited about was this guy. These birds never sit still and are hard to capture. I have spent 6 years trying to capture it. I have many blurry pictures and pictures of the head or the bright butt, but not the whole bird. Finally got the shot.

Passarini Tanager

Cherrie’s Tanager

Later that night we went to Casa Roland and had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner (ribs, turkey and ham). Sorry, no picture. Ha ha ha.

Christmas Day was spent relaxing, going for a walk through town and heading over to Carol’s for Christmas lunch. She hosts all the Ex-Pats in town. There were close to 40 people.

When we got back to the marina we saw that someone had caught a 100 lb tuna.  We were able to grab some and have a nice Christmas dinner.

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Yesterday was spent reading, relaxing and swimming at Cacao.  Where we got back to the room we saw that some people had brought in a huge snapper. It is estimated to be around 60 lbs.  they shared some with us for dinner and it seriously was the best fish I can recall eating.

Check out those teeth

Check out those teeth!

The great way to end the night and this post is to show the amazing sunset we had. Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world!

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Hammocks and Sunsets Make Me Happy!

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Sunsets and hammocks make me happy.  Oh yeah, and a good chicken dinner too. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.  The food here is so fresh. The vegetables, the fruit, the meat, everything. It gives new meaning to “organic” and “farm to table”.

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Friends make me happy too. Danilo has been our Costa Rican friend for many years, he is like family to us. It is great to see him every year. 

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Golfito

We arrived in Golfito last Friday.  We are staying at Banana Bay Marina. This is our first time staying here as we normally stay in a casita on the hillside. The air conditioning works awesome (yay)!

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The sunsets are amazing here.  Here is just one that I took with my iPhone.  There will be many more. 

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We have a favorite place to go swimming and to get there you need to take a boat or go in a 4 X 4 vehicle to get there.  The road is bumpy, but you get to travel through a luscious rain forest

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Here is a view from where we swim.   It is in a gulf so there are no waves. The water is calm and peaceful and you can enjoy the beauty around you. 

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This particular day it rained on us while we were swimming.  The water was around 85*.  When swimming we can see (and hear) lots of different species of birds. We can also hear the howler monkeys in the high rain forest. Yesterday while swimming we had an “interesting visitor”.  I saw a snout and some eyes come out of the water and then it went back down under water and came back up again.  Yes, you guessed it, I saw a Caiman Alligator. Guessing from the snout, it was probably only 3-4 feet.   Dave and I were on high alert after that.  We are told that the Caiman are shy and don’t really bother people.  I did not get a picture, but found one online probably around the same size as I saw.

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One of my favorite go to lunches here in Costa Rica, especially in Golfito is ceviche.  It is made with Dorado (Mahi Mahi), cilantro, red onion, red bell pepper and limon.  Simple and delicious.

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The only thing better than the ceviche was my lunch date. 

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Monkeying Around

Walking back to our room from breakfast today we saw a large group of white capuchin monkeys. We scrambled really quickly to get our iPad and camera out. There were about 20 in the group and 2 were mommies carrying their babies. What an amazing site. 

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The Beach Fixes Everything

The beach fixes everything.  I have been sick this whole trip so far, but there is something about the sun, sand and ocean that makes everything right in the world.  I am not magically better, but the visit late yesterday sure boosted my spirits.  Dave and I went to the beach right before sunset.  Dave caught some good waves and I got to explore and take a few pictures.  We will have to go back with my camera, all I had was my beat up iPhone. 

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Our setting for breakfast this week.  It is very peaceful with outdoor seating with views of the jungle.  We saw some birds and heard some monkeys.  Yesterday, the power went out, which means the overhead fans did not work. It got quite muggy.  My view.  ????

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There are always a few iguanas walking around the pool. 

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Picture taken at El Avion.  It is an old cargo airplane turned into a bar and restaurant. 

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Today we are leaving Manuel Antonio and making the trek down to Golfito, or as Dave likes to call it, “a dirty little port town”.  We love Golfito, it has captured our heart and we consider it to be our home away from home.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it).

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Just Another Day in Paradise…. Manuel Antonio

Our favorite place to stay in Manuel Antonio is Costa Verde. It sits on a cliff where you can view the ocean, the jungle and see many varieties of birds, iguanas and of course monkeys.  

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We are on the top floor

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View from the hotel.

They brag that there are still more monkeys than people.  

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We stay in a part of the hotel that is for adults only.  No, this does not mean that women go topless, this means no moody pre-teens, no screaming toddlers running around or babies in diapers at the pool. I love kids, but not when I am trying to relax by the pool with a good book or some jamming tunes. 

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One of my must-haves for breakfast is a slushie. This is a blend of pineapple, mango, banana, strawberry and other fresh fruits. Yummy. 

Slushie

Slushie

We went swimming in the ocean yesterday. The waves were not too big, but there was a strong rip current. It was nice to get in the water and not have to “get used to it”.  The ocean temperature was really warm, which is much different than the water in CA.  After naps we went exploring and went down this road that was 4 X 4 access only.  It dead ended onto a pretty and secluded beach. We were able to drive the rental car right onto the sand.  We will be going back to this beach for sure as there were hardly any people there.  It must be a place where only the locals know about. 

 

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Selfie on the secluded beach

Selfie on the secluded beach

One of my favorite dinners in Costa Rica is pescado entero.  It does not look pretty, but it tastes so good.  I am not a huge fish fan, but this is something I could eat every night.  As the Ticos would say, “Que Rico”!

Pescado entero

Pescado entero

 

Let the Relaxation Begin

After a tiring red eye flight, we landed in San Jose early, went through customs and immigration quickly, but then ran into some issues with the rental car company. Once that was resolved (if you can call it that), we were off to our first destination, Manuel Antonio. 

We stopped at a roadside cafe called Los Congos for breakfast. We decided on having a casado over a typical breakfast. A casado consists of: beans, rice, salad, meat (pork, beef, fish or chicken), veggies, and the best part sweet plantains. 

Casado

Casado

After eating, we were on the road again and got to our hotel, Costa Verde.  We have an amazing view of the pool and the ocean from our balcony.  We are on the end so we have a 180* view of the ocean from our room. (I am typing this from my bed and enjoying the ocean views).

Costa Verde

Costa Verde

After a quick nap it was time to go down to the pool for a refreshing piña colada and some relaxation.  We had a little visitor and became quick friends (after giving him some banana). 

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We headed back to the room to catch the sunset from our balcony

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After another short nap it was time to head to dinner.  There was a rain storm and tons of lightning  to give us a great light show.  The restaurant had live music and Dave and I laughed and had some yummy food.  The food in Costa Rica is the best. Dinner last night consisted of Mahi Mahi on a bed of veggies and covered with shrimp and tropical fruit .

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