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During your stay in Samara at Casa Mango or Casa Papaya, stop by the Jaime Koss Gallery to see original paintings.  Don Jaime’s gallery is on the beach just east of downtown Samara.  In the mornings you’ll usually find him shoveling sand on the beach – his personal fitness regime.  Most afternoons, you’ll probably find him painting in the shade of the of his outdoor studio.

http://kossartgallery.com/

Jaime Koss Gallery can ship your artwork to your home.

The haunting sound of drums in the dark tropical night.

Are the natives restless?

No.  It’s the high school drum corps practicing for the upcoming Independence Day parade.  Since, the elementary school has the drums during the day, the high school practices in the evening.  September is patriotic month in Costa Rica, with Independence from Spain celebrated on the 15th, the 190th anniversary.  You’ll see flags are for sale at intersections and businesses dressed up in red, white, and blue.  In school yards, kids are practicing traditional dancing in their colorful costumes. Read More

Futbol is King in Costa Rica.  Every village has a plaza (soccer  field).  An older gentleman once told me “You know you’re in the center of town when you find the plaza, the catholic church and fried chicken.”  So, as you’re driving around Costa Rica on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, watch for a patch of green, surrounded by trucks and bicycles.  Or follow a truckload of Ticos heading for an away game.  There’ll be food and drink for sale.  The men usually play first but often the women’s team is short of players and you might be offered a uniform.

Teams practice at low tide.  Players start training young.  Can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon or a prettier place for a partido (soccer match)?

Our friends are building a home “off the grid” near Samara.  Perched on a beautiful piece of acreage, the home site has views of the surrounding forest and hills.  But it has no access to public utilities.  The last power pole is a couple of klicks away.  They’ll have to be pretty self-sufficient.  Since J is a retired architect and repressed carpenter, we know this project is a labor of love as well as a dream home.  We’d been out there before they started construction but wanted to check out their progress.  So when Saturday afternoon turned gorgeous, we headed out.

The road can be pretty rough to get to their place – you have to cross a number of creeks, which isn’t easy this time of year.  But they live out there so how bad can it be?  We took a look at the first river crossing, just a kilometer off the paved road, but after a rain storm two nights before, the river was wide and deep and ugly. We didn’t even attempt the ritual test wade. Instead, we turned around and headed further up into the hills to cross at the bridge, adding about 15 k each way to our tour. Read More

Why dirve 7 kilometers for dinner?  Why leave Samara?

Leyenda responds with al fresco ambiance, great service, and delicious food.  A short drive east from Samara, along the beach at Carrillo and then into the hills, the restaurant is perched beside the newly paved road to Hojancha.  The fortress-like facade is remeninscent of an italian village, concealing the beautiful garden and pool in the back.  All of the tables overlook the lawn, where a play structure entertains the kids until their plates arrive.  Leyenda offers a full bar and a nice wine selection. Prices are moderate for steaks, fish, & pasta.  An adequare burger.   Definitely worth the 7k drive for a lovely meal.