Tag Archives: Costa Rica

And then there was rain………..

 

Now that is the way to walk a horse on the beach!

Now that is the way to walk a horse on the beach!

 

From  January 1st – June 30th we got over 100 inches of rain in the area around Puerto Viejo with the majority of that coming in May and June.  Other parts of the Caribbean had even more. The President declared a state of emergency the last two weeks of June for provinces on the Caribbean side of the country due to flooding and collapsed bridges.  We were very lucky compared to the many people who had to live in shelters or those that were unable to leave their immediate area.  We mostly went on with our daily lives with the exception of a tree falling on our bodega which prompted a roof repair.

Tree on bodega But the damage was slight and was fixed quickly so no harm done.

Puppies in puddles

Puppies in puddles

And the puppies actually had a great time – they found every single puddle in the yard and wrestled for hours!!!  And I spent hours laughing as I watched 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The really big news was that we got our permanent resident status approved in May so we now have no restrictions on our residency.

Success!

Success!

We met our friends Kimberly and Barry at the Immigration Office

Immigration office

Immigration office

in Limon and within an hour we all had our documentation saying we were approved and that we would have our new cedulas within a week!!

While having temporary residency meant that we did not have to leave the country every 90 days to get our passport stamped as tourists do, we did have to prove that we had a stable income from outside Costa Rica.  We also were not able to legally work in Costa Rica if we had wanted or needed to do so. Permanent residency means that we no longer have those restrictions and the length of time between applying for residency is longer.  I had to go every year to refile for temporary residency status while now it will be every three years and after some time it will change to every five years.  So YAHOO!!!

Baby and Mom

Baby and Mom

This spring and summer we have had an unusually large number of mother and baby sloths in our yard.  There were at least five different pairs and they hung around (literally) for several weeks.  I love sitting on the back porch and just watching them.  One baby must have been nearly ready to be on it’s own as it became very brave reaching for tree limbs and swinging on them – all while still having one arm or leg attached to mom 🙂

The 4th of July party at The Point was once again a huge success. Popeye and Tiffany, the wonderful owners, provided free hamburgers, hot dogs, and salads for anyone who showed up hungry.  It was just a wonderful day. Many of us had not seen each other for several weeks while we hunkered down during the rains so it was great fun to reacquaint ourselves with each other and chat about life.  The people here are just one more reason we love living here – along with the wildlife, the ocean, the unbelievable scenery, and the amazing laid back vibe 🙂

 

4th of July party

Now that’s a bunch of people

Chatting

Chatting

Enjoying the beach

Enjoying the beach

Tassle and puppy

Dogs like to party too 🙂

 

More pictures from the last couple of months:

 

Emerald Basilik in our yard

Emerald Basilik in our yard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day at the beach

Day at the beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neat gate

Neat gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbors enjoying the day

Neighbors enjoying the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom waiting at Immigration

Tom waiting at Immigration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful building in Limon

Colorful building in Limon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ani convention

Ani convention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Louise - she is a character!!

Little Louise – she is a character!!

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And then there were five……….

 

Herding cats

Herding cats

Dogs that is 🙂  On Saturday our veterinarian brought over two puppies that she had nursed for over two months.  They had been left on her doorstep in a box and were terribly ill.  When she found them one of them had no fur at all except for a little patch about the size of a quarter on the top of her head.  I had talked to the vet off and on about perhaps adopting one of them but she really hated to separate them and was hoping that someone would take them together.  Tom and I talked it over and decided to have a weekend ‘play date’ with them to see how it went with the other three dogs.  Of course we knew the minute we decided to have them visit that the play date would be permanent.

Thelma

Thelma

Louise

Louise

We named them Thelma and Louise

At first they did not want to come out of the crate and so they had to be almost dumped out.  However, once out, they began running and playing and chasing Kaya and Sofi for hours!!!  Sofi was not too accommodating and has kept her distance while Kaya has played with them a lot.  But mostly they just play together.

Sleeping

Sleeping

They also sleep together – normally one on top of the other.

We have a large fenced lot so once they are a little bigger they will be able to just roam around all day.  Now we watch them closely so that they don’t get out the fence or under the gate.  Not that they seem interested in that – they like to hang mostly around us and the other dogs.

There are many, many people here with five dogs.  You start with a couple but there are always more needing homes.  People are becoming more knowledgeable about spaying and neutering but it is still not a widely accepted practice.  And there are way too many people who come here thinking they will stay who adopt a couple of dogs and then decide that they don’t want to live here permanently.  Those dogs are often just abandoned and become street dogs.  Sometimes they are adopted and sometimes they are not.  It is really just the luck of the draw.

So we are now adjusting to the increased number in our household as well as all those things that need to be ‘puppy proofed’.  That’s okay – it keeps us young 🙂  Pura Vida for sure!!!

On Tom's lap

On Tom’s lap

With Kaya on the deck

With Kaya on the deck

Do I really want to go down these stairs?

Do I really want to go down these stairs?

In the garden with Kaya

In the garden with Kaya

Hanging with Sofi

Hanging with Sofi

With Wiley the BIG boy!

With Wiley the BIG boy!

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Ahhhhh – The Sound of Howler Monkeys in the Morning……..

Morning on the beach

Morning on the beach

The last few days we have heard howler monkeys close by again. For several months we have only heard them way off in the distance. While I have to say that it is wonderful to know they are still near, it does mean that our days start much earlier than they used to. After the blue whale, the howler monkey is the loudest animal on earth and I believe it every morning at 4:00 a.m. 🙂

Daily life in Puerto Viejo has been going on as normal. We have met some new people and have had some fun times. A woman from Canada named Alicia came to town to scout out potential places to live when she and her husband retire in a few years. We spent a couple of wonderful evenings with her – one was my birthday where I had this amazing passion fruit cheesecake at Stashu’s for dessert.

Passion Fruit Cheeseca

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

At the end of October the annual Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival was held.  There was a bit of a glitch that occurred because the proper permit had not been obtained to hold such a large event and the primary venue was shut down.  However the workshops and other special events went on and we were lucky enough to get tickets to the ‘Chocolate Pairing’.  Our friend Kimberly was in town so she, and our neighbors Ron and Don accompanied us to Chile Rojo where we got to sample pairings of delicious types of chocolate with different types of alcohol.  Not only did we taste wine and chocolate but beer, rum, and scotch as well.  Who would have thought that those combinations could be so yummy!!!

Rum and chocolate

Rum and chocolate

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I have been spending a lot more time lately taking walks on the beach and into town.  For a while I was working too much and was spending too much time at home.  It has been so great to get back out again and really experience my wonderful chosen home 🙂

I have recently created a new blog just for birds called (surprise) Costa Rica Bird Lover (www.costaricabirdlover.com ).  While it is still a work in progress, I have added about 80 birds to the collection.  So if you want to take a look, feel free 🙂

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of months:

Good morning (2)

Sofi bringing BIG stick home

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Walking to Puerto Viejo

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Neighbor with a new puppy

Neighbor with a new puppy

Bay Wren

Bay Wren

Tri Colored Heron

Tri Colored Heron

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Snorkeling Season – NOT!!

Fish in clear water

Fish in clear water

For the second year in a row it is looking like the September snorkeling season may be a bust.  Normally in September and October the ocean is like a lake and the snorkeling is spectacular. We take every possible opportunity to go and play with the fish during these months.  However, the sea has been too rough except for a very few days and I am missing my favorite activity!  Hopefully things will calm down over the next couple of weeks and we will be able to resume our passion for watching fish underwater 🙂

However, we have been able to keep ourselves occupied with no problem.  For the fourth year in a row we met to pick our fantasy football teams at the local watering hole “The Point” and once again it lived up to our expectations of a fun filled evening.  Tom the wizard Eye of the tigerOur commissioners kept things moving along so all ten teams ended up with a full roster in just three hours – a record!!  We won our first contest last week so will see how it goes today.  Last year we came in third and ended up winning $100.  We hope to finish in the money again this year but the competition is tough so we will see.

The President of Costa Rica came to town for the annual Southern Caribbean Cultural Festival that celebrates the Jamaican heritage of so many of the people here.  He went out fishing with some of the local fisherman and it looked like he enjoyed himself.  Here he is climbing off the boat after his excursion.  President Solis getting off the fishing boatInteresting how little security there is – where are all those guys in black suits and sunglasses???

The annual chocolate festival is coming up in a few weeks and it is shaping up to be even bigger than last year.  There has been a concentrated effort over the last many years to bring back the art of chocolate making in the area and to support the small scale cacao farmer.  So this festival was started to bring attention to the many uses of the cacao bean – from medicinal to the delicious concoctions that can be made.  People can participate in tasting events, learning activities like how the chocolate is actually made, as well as non chocolate based fun like dancing and just hanging out with friends.  It should be a great time!!

Beautiful sunrise

Beautiful sunrise taken by my friend Ro last week

Other than that we are still enjoying life – walks on the beach, bicycling into town and hanging out on the back deck watching the world go by.  Life is good 🙂

 

 

 

Hello world!

Hello world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snorkeling again!!

September and early October are by far the best months to snorkel on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.  We try to go whenever we can and are getting better and better at taking pictures of the fish and the reef.  Here are a few from yesterday……………..

Camouflage fish  This fish is camouflaged by the sand but you can see it in the lower left hand corner of the picture.

Camouflage fish 2  Same fish but barley there.  It is in the center of the picture – note the two eyes.

Camouflage fish barely thereHere it is barely perceptible.  It is in the lower center of the picture but very hard to see. 

Blue fish at Uva 2Pretty blue fish – these are all over in varying sizes.

Yellow and white fishYellow striped fish

Squid  A squid – the water was a bit cloudy here but I watched about six of these just meandering about the area.  The photo doesn’t do it justice – they were a mixture of fluorescent colors.  Very cool!!

Yellow fish  A tiny yellow fish – I haven’t seen much bigger than this.

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