breakfast samara costa rica

Ted Jackson is serving breakfast at the El Pollo Palace on the plaza.


Sorry - I should have photographed before I started eating

Sorry – I should have photographed before I started eating

His morning special of two eggs, gallo pinto, maduras, and coffee for c1,500 is the best deal around. But next time I’m going to try his Biscuits and Gravy for c1,300.

breafast samara costa rica

We’re going to make breakfast with Ted part of our Wednesday morning routine – that’s the day we take the garbage to town for weekly pick-up. (It’s an old family tradition, brought from the Pacific Northwest, to treat ourselves to breakfast on Dump Day.)

motorcycle costa rica

This scene is all too familiar in Costa Rica.  The whole family on the motorcycle, heads unprotected.  Steve thinks that, at least, the children should have helmets.

lids for kids

He brings child-size bicycle helmets in his luggage from the US – he finds them at Goodwill and Salvation Army for about $2 a piece – and we hand them out when we see an unprotected child.  The parents are grateful and the kids are thrilled, especially if it’s purple.




2If you have room in your luggage and want to save a noggin, bring a couple of helmets.  If you’re coming to Casa mango and Casa Papaya, we’ll help you find heads to put them on.

They’re putting up the stands.

samara christmas festival

Getting ready for the holidays in Playa Samara Beach means building the arena and bleachers for the traditional Corrido de Toros.  This temporary arena is built fresh every year.

christams festival in samara

Ticos are a gentle people so they don’t so much fight the bulls as annoy them.  Young toughs get into the ring and run around poking at the bulls to entice the beast to chase them so they are forced to climb the fence before being gored in the hiney.  It’s somewhat entertaining to northerners who’ve seen an actual rodeo but it’s very popular with locals.  Actually, my visiting nephew said it was the most fun he’s ever had for a buck.  The carnival rides and eateries fill out the festivities which begin each day with a cannon shot and end the week with fireworks.

leatherback turtles costa rica

We spotted these turtle tracks on Carrillo Beach yesterday morning.

leatherback turtles costa rica

The wide spacing between the fins suggests a very large nesting female,

probably a rare and endangered Leatherback Turtle rather than our more common Olive Ridley.  Comments?

montserrat dibongo

Last Sat. night, Sámara was treated to an elegant fashion show

and exposition of local designers.

It was really a special event, so well put together and enjoyable.

The cover charge was a children’s toy for Christmas.


Tabanuco Restaurant, on the beach, hosted the “White Party”

to show the clothes designs of Sofi & Sea Designs and Machubela.

fashion design samara costa rica

The clothes were accented with Montserrat Dibongo Jewelry.


Her designs include glass beads which are hand-torched by her husband, Manu Dibongo.

jewelry design samara costa rica

Erika Garcia styled the hair for the models,


who were all gorgeous.

white party samara

It was an elegant affair –


The guests all wore white.


The only white thing Ela owned had the advantage of wings.


The event was emceed by a television personality – I don’t have a TV so I can’t tell you who she is.

childrens dance samara costa rica

The fashions were followed by a ballet performance to the Nutcracker Suite. Too cute!



Later, Lindsay and Jose opened the evening of dancing in the bar.

what to eat samara costa rica

Two of my favorite people – Brookie and Lisa were some of my first readers when I started this blog in 2011 – are running one of my favorite businesses in Playa Sámara. Pura Paleta makes all natural gourmet popsicles that offer just the right mix of refreshment and self-righteousness; natural sweeteners like agave nectar and raw honey are used only in the flavors that need them like Blackberry Ginger Limeade. These pops combine whole tropical fruits and fresh herbs for very interesting flavors and thirst-quenching, not too sweet frozen treats. Pineapple Cilantro Lime and Mango Ginger Mojito are two of my favorites.


Pura Paleta started producing pops and selling them on the street a little over a year ago. This high season in our little beach town, they’re opening with a new “permanent” location in front of Dragonfly Gallery at the main intersection. Now you don’t have to hunt for them as they stake a daily claim for valuable street-side real estate among the vendors of fish fillets, farm fruits and vegetables, fresh squeezed orange juice, and hot empanadas as well as occasional rattan furniture and concrete planters that make our pueblo oh, so Tico. Most of the vendors set up early each morning in front of the Palí supermarket. Just a few steps away, Pura Paleta now has a home from noon to 5 each day.

popsicles samara costa rica

Because the girls are hand-crafting cool pops fresh each morning, you can’t buy an icy cold one from their cart until after noon. But if you need one earlier, you’ll find them sold in 3 other locations around the village: Lo Que Hay beach bar, Sámara Organics market, and La Princessa bakery. Lisa and Brookie will deliver pops to your home in orders of ten or more. And offered only for delivery are “cocktails on a stick”, with additions of high end liquors like Grey Goose vodka and Patrón Silver tequila. The fresh pure fruit makes you feel downright smug when sucking on a poptail.

turtle hatch playa carrillo

At Playa Carrillo this morning, we came across small turtle tracks, the evidence of hatchlings scrambling towards the surf.

olive ridley turtles playa carrillo costa rica

It looks like at least 25 of them foiled the poachers, the dogs, and the vultures to reach the sea.


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