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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?

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!

While Dan was hiking through Rincon de la Vieja National Park, he found this Coati (sometimes called Cotamundi) but known as Pizote in Costa Rica.  They’re cute but vicious and quite aggressive beggars.

 

In the second part, you can see that he’s walking among the steam vents in the thermal section of the park.  Rincon de la Vieja is an easy park to get to, just 3 hours from Casa Mango and Casa Papaya but makes a better overnight than a single day trip.

 

That’s what my sister used to say to my brother when they were both in high school – it means “lazy” in Spanish.  But now I know it also means Sloth.  With his video camera, Dan found a pair in the woods near Tenorio Volcano.

Tenorio is another great National Park where you can see lots of animals on the face of the mostly extinct volcano.