Los Ticos – Culture

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.

ceviche in costa rica

Ceviche is a dish of lime cured fish and is sold at every truck stop and street corner in Costa Rica.  For 1500 colones ($3.00) and served with soda crackers, hot sauce and mayonnaise to taste, it makes a low calorie snack or a cheap lunch.

what to eat in costa rica

Yesterday at the “bomba” (gas station) just outside of Samara, the vendor only had shrimp.  Her misfortune was my reward.  Delicious!  Pura Costa Rica!

where to eat samara costa rica

Pablitos Bar is a stand-by for lunch in Samara, favored by truckers, Ticos and extranjeros alike for good value.

where to eat costa rica

After 20 years at the same roadside location just west of Samara, Pablitos recently moved to a new beach palapa.

beach bar samara costa rica

With lots of parking and a big screen TV, it’ll still be popular with truckers and soccer fans.

dining costa rica

But now it’s beach view and breezes will make for a more pleasant afternoon spot than its previous warren of tiny dark rooms.

food and dining samara beach costa rica

At Pablitos, every beer (or soft drink) comes with a cup of soup (boca).

what to do in costa rica

Olla de Carne is a consistent standard but there’s usually another option or two, which might be shrimp, chicken, carne en salsa, or white bean.  And for less than two bucks (c1,000), you can’t beat it.

comida tipica costa rica

There is a menu with the usual tipico fare, enjoyed by families and cowboys, but most patrons opt for a beer and a boca.

playa samara beach costa rica

Near the west end of Samara Beach, just next to the Rio Lagarto, Pablitos is reached by the road to El Manglar and Lagarto restaurants.

pablitos bar samara costa rica

The biggest problem with the move is that many “direcciones” – We don’t have street names or numbered addresses in Costa Rica.  That’s a subject for a much longer post. – will be obsolete.  My uncle’s “direccion” will forever more be “900 meters northwest of OLD Pablitos Bar.”

childrens soccer camp

Today FIFA came to town with a free children’s soccer camp – I’m sorry that I couldn’t find any alliteration for futbol, as most of the world knows the game.

soccer in samara costa rica

There must have been 200 children, elementary school age, playing on our beautifully maintained central plaza.

soccer camp

FIFA trained local coaches yesterday so there were at least 3 for every age group.

fifa in samara costa rica

The kids were up at dawn, pushing their parents out the door.  The color-coded shirts were theirs to keep.