Tag Archives: costa rica

Costa Rica is in the middle of a drought, like just about everyone else on the Pacific Coast, but there is still some good news in the natural world.

turtle nesting costaa rica

The Olive Ridley turtles appear to be getting stronger.  On our morning walk on Carrillo Beach this morning, just 4 km from Casa Mango and Casa Papaya, we encountered a hatch.

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b- frog

You know you live in Costa Rica when you’re awakened in the pre-dawn by glass crashing to the floor and upon inspection you find that a fist-sized frog has been kicking delicates off the shelf.

In the spirit of truth in reporting, I must disclose that it wasn’t my house and it was a beer bottle instead of a wine glass.  But you get the idea.  And the cat was innocent.

the ticos

Anyone who has been involved with a construction project in Costa Rica knows exactly what I’m talking about.  Ticos can fall asleep anywhere.

After lunch, every member of the crew lies down in whatever shade they can find – under a tree, under a truck, behind the cement mixer, on the new concrete slab – and falls immediately to sleep.  On the Pan-American Hiway, I once saw five guys surrounded by orange cones in the left lane while traffic whizzed by in the right.  Apparently, it’s a skill that is not limited to the noon siesta.  This fellow was waiting for Movistar Cellular to open the shop at nine in the morning.

What does it take for you to fall asleep?

where to eat in costa ricaThe answer, of course, is a “Casado” because it includes 6 traditional Tico dishes on one grand plate.

  1. White rice – there is no other.
  2. Black beans, but not mixed with the rice – that’s only for breakfast (Gallo Pinto).
  3. Fried plantains, sweet and crisp.
  4. Cabbage salad.  Because lettuce doesn’t holdup in the tropics, most salads are cabbage-based with additions of tomatoes, carrots, etc.  Dressing is usually a slice of limón or mandarina garnishing the plate.
  5. Tico cheese – this is the one unfortunate inclusion.  It’s rubbery and tasteless, but it provides some salt and protein and I’ve gotten used to it.
  6. These are the basics of a Casado  Then you order it with a portion of chicken, meat, or fish.  “Carne en Salsa” is my favorite, chunks of beef stewed in tomatoes and herbs.  Steve usually orders it with fish.

The Casado – it roughly translates as “married man” – is offered at every restaurant in Costa Rica for lunch.  It’s not typical for supper but can be found.  It is usually the cheapest thing on the menu, delicious, and filling.  Douse the whole thing with Salsa Lizano.  Top it with a couple of pickled vegetables from the jar on the counter.  Good food!

As you drive the highways of Costa Rica towards Casa Mango and Casa Papaya, you will find everything for sale along side the road.  If your timing is right, you'll find fruit stands lining the roads with fresh ripe deliciousness.  Melons: watermelons, cantaloupe, casaba.  Farm-made honey.  ever-present papaya.  Avocados.  And green coconut water called "Agua de pipa" or simply "Pipa Fria".  It's cheaper than Coco-Cola and way better for you.  A glass a day will cure what ails you.  Seriously. squah for sale at roadside stand in costa rica