Monday, September 27, 2010

Costa Rican independence day!

Every year on the 14th and 15th of September I take the pleasure in participating in Costa Ricas independance from Spain. As a foreigner and resident of Costa Rica it is always a pleasure to participate in this rich cultural experience of celebration and remembrance of family and home. This is actually a celebration for all of Central Americas independace from spain in 1821 that was actually won by Guatemala. It took about a month later for the news to reach Costa Rica.

On the night of the 14th the annual celebration begins with a children’s parade. The kids dress up in adorable traditional dress and carry homemade candle lanterns throughout the town. This replicates the scene in 1821 of people walking with lanterns from the Central American capitol in Guatemala to spread the word to Costa Rica and beyond of the declared independence from Spain. The following morning there is a traditional parade where all of the local schools have marching bands that play and dance through the streets. There are also floats that represent local traditions and dress.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little art festival on the beach


Every year, a group of artists goes out to Playa Grande.
and works to help clean up all the things that float over from the other side of the gulf. Then they make art out of what they have collected. It's called the Chunches del Mar (things of the sea) and it happens at the end of every January here at Playa Grande in Montezuma.
There were a lot of things on the beach this year, this happened to be from a visiting artist who was camping on the way to Playa Grande

The beach cleanup

And a little shot of one or two installations on the beach

And this was a fun little something i found on the way back

Walker, you would make an awesome witch doctor.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back to the Beach

January to April is our summertime, and although we are 9.5 degrees north of the Equator, our summer is still switched from the rest of the north, because now is when the skies clear, and there for the most part won't be a drop of rain until about the first of April.

This is Playa Grande (the big beach in spanish) which is about a 40 minute hike from town along the Nicolas Wessberg absolute reserve. This beach is foot access only, but a beautiful hike. It also gets big swells periodically:

This is also the site of the Chunches del Mar art festival, where local artists spend months cleaning up debris and trash that float over from the other side of the gulf and make an art installation from the items collected, as well as coordinate beach cleanups on this beautiful beach. This is an annual event, which usually takes place at the end of January, this year it falls on the 30th.

For more information, you can check their website here.

While you are out there, you can keep on hiking along the foot access only beach until you get to El Chorro waterfall out at Cocolito, which is a beautiful little river that falls directly out into the ocean, and you can climb up underneath at low tide, although below the waterfall is inacessible at high tide, but you can always hike up the trail that takes you towards Tango Mar resort and check out the view from above on the river.

There is also a way to drive closer to this waterfall, but you'll have to ask for detailed directions from us, because it can get a little confusing, and you'll feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere.

If you aren't interested in the hike, and you don't have a car, you can always take the Tortuga Island snorkeling tour, which takes you past the El Chorro waterfall by boat out on the way to the snorkel sites around Tortuga island. The tour leaves at 9am, and you get back around 3pm. They do a nice lunch out on the island, and there are lots of things swimming around in the gulf, although water clarity can be a gamble at times, just the trip out is worth it for the time on the water and the lunch on the island, although don't mistake this for a remote getaway, as it is a popular destination for local tours and boats and fishermen. Sometimes the water clarity is pretty amazing, though.

Thanks for the snorkel pics, Heather

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ah, the holidays

So the new year is here, and the rains have stopped and the sun is shining, and it's time to go to the beach!

Although this year was a dry one, the slow season from October to November is always spent getting ready for the next summer, but we now have a tradition as a family of all of us going out to Playa hermosa, which is a beautiful beach, and celebrating with a little surf, a little sun, and lots of companionship.

This also marks the first year that we have a high speed internet connection at the house, so we are now happily able to offer free dsl speed wireless to guests, and now for the first time ever i am able to post video clips to the blog!!

Here is my one man perspective of Las Manchas:

Which is just a quick shot of me looking out on the beach at the bottom of the hill. Las Manchas is a little spot that is popular with the locals (especially the folks that run Cocolores restaurant here in Montezuma) because, well, it's beautiful, and a great spot for swimming and snorkeling if you like to try your hand at catching spiny lobster. Just ask before you go though, because there is a powerful little rip tide that develops at certain times of the day.

So here is the fam on the beach for Christmas:
That's me, mom, Summer and Ryan just off a glorious trip to the beach. Playa hermosa
is a great day trip, although it is much easier to get there by car, which now that the roads are pretty good only takes an hour, even with a stop off at the store in Cobano for a restock on ice.

Definitely worth bringing a cooler and ice. Strangely enough, although coolers are a dime a dozen in your big box retail store in the states, they cost a pretty penny for even a disposable one here in costa rica, so just let us know if you want to borrow one for a day trip.

More News for 2010

So about 6 months ago our friend Roger from Cabuya (now St. Teresa) stopped by with a little plant that he called Noni. Now it's fruiting, and we are going to try the traditional method of fermentation to see if the stories are really all true.

To be continued!!