A rare sight in Samara – a monkey on the ground. As we stopped to open the gate, he climbed up onto our gate post. As he scrambled away on a phone line, we saw a bit of a limp. he must have fallen because it’s very rare to see Howler Monkeys on the ground.
Pablitos Bar is a stand-by for lunch in Samara, favored by truckers, Ticos and extranjeros alike for good value.
After 20 years at the same roadside location just west of Samara, Pablitos recently moved to a new beach palapa.
With lots of parking and a big screen TV, it’ll still be popular with truckers and soccer fans.
But now it’s beach view and breezes will make for a more pleasant afternoon spot than its previous warren of tiny dark rooms.
At Pablitos, every beer (or soft drink) comes with a cup of soup (boca).
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.
There is a menu with the usual tipico fare, enjoyed by families and cowboys, but most patrons opt for a beer and a boca.
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.
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.”
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.
There must have been 200 children, elementary school age, playing on our beautifully maintained central plaza.
FIFA trained local coaches yesterday so there were at least 3 for every age group.
The kids were up at dawn, pushing their parents out the door. The color-coded shirts were theirs to keep.
SamaRun last Sat. 12 Oct. was a big success.
132 participants competed in 5k and 10 K runs. Read More
Isabelle Richard, good friend and aide to so many expats here in the community, passed away this week. It feels like the end of an era, with Andre gone as well. Together, they helped so many of us find a home here. They made for us soft landings. We will miss them. Steve and I send our best wishes and comfort to Martin, Wilma, and Stefanie.
Wishing you the softest landing, Isabelle.
Bailar – “to dance” in English – should have been your first Spanish word.
We began this class with the Merengue, taught by Jose.
Latin Dance class every Tuesday evening at the Natural Center in Samara, 6-7 pm
C2,000/ person ($4.00 US)
- The Color Green – There’s a good explanation for calling it the green season. With the first showers of Invierno (winter), the Costa Rica landscape explodes from leafless parched earth of Verano (summer) to colorful buds and green leaves. As I watch daily from my terrace I see whole villages disappear before my eyes, shrouded behind thick masses of green. Leaves the size of Volkswagens. I agree to the exchange of view for privacy and shade.
Quiet Lonely Beaches – Fewer tourists seem to think of Costa Rica for their own summer vacation so you’ll have the place to yourself. You can walk Carrillo Beach in the morning without passing more than a handful of locals and their dogs. You can drive up and down the coast from Casa Mango and Casa Papaya to find a number of isolated beaches where you’ll feel like you’ve discovered heaven. Stop off at an apparently closed soda (café) and you’ll be treated to a hand-cooked delicious meal. There’ll be no lines at the bank machine. And you won’t need a reservation to rent a motorbike or quad.
- Free parking – During the high season, and especially Christmas and Easter, traffic can be maddening. But during your northern summer months, we have plenty of parking here in Sámara.
- Rain – No I mean it. We love rain and we get it in all forms. Light mists cool the afternoons. Showers in the evening. And big lightning storms at night with sometimes torrential downpours . Fascinating and frightening at the same time, as we watch them come in from the ocean. Mornings are usually clear and sunny so we get our beach in early. Then head for the Rancho or a beach bar when it starts to cloud up.
- Adventure – As you explore the back roads of the Nicoya Peninsula, you’ll have to cross at least one river, especially along the beach road. As the creeks and rivers flow out of the mountains behind the beach, there just aren’t enough bridges. When we come to crossing, my job is to walk across first so Steve can judge the depth. Anything less than 8 inches is easy enough. More than that, we wait for someone else to go first and show us the way . . . . or not.
- River floats – You can’t do this in the dry season. When local rivers are full, a kayak float makes for a relaxing afternoon. Better than a motorized boat tour, it’s another great way to see loads of animals that live near the water’s edge.
- Cooler temperatures – The dry Verano really heats up in March. With the rain comes higher humidity and cooler temperatures. Sometimes I even need a blanket at night. But just one and only between 3 and 6 in the morning.
- Happy Animals – The parrots chatter right through the rain. The monkeys are thrilled by the change in weather and seem to want everyone to know. In spite of the thick leaves, we see a lot more birds and animals around the houses and on the beach.
- Butterflies – Moths and butterflies love July. What more can I say? They’re everywhere.
- No dust – Even thought the roads are paved door to door from both airports to Casa Mango and Casa Papaya, many other roads are not. If you do much exploring of the peninsula, you’ll appreciate a wet road and lack of dust.
Casa Mango and Casa Papaya are now furnished with air conditioning.
We’ve resisted the plunge for 7 years, trying to maintain an ecologically sound and sustainable environment for your vacation. In fact, we don’t think you’ll need air conditioning much of your stay here. We don’t have it in our own home on the same property. The vacation houses are designed for cross ventilation with cooling breezes off the ocean.
But you’re our guest and we want you to feel comfortable and secure when you rent, knowing that AC is there if you need it. So now it is.