We found a place to rent in Samara for December & January. It’s a very nice condo with a small dipping pool, and A/C, for a reasonable price. It’s a relief to have lodging arranged for the holidays. We looked at a few places, but this one was by far the best fit for us.
We quickly realized that eating out & drinking out will cause us to blow right through our monthly budget, so we make all our meals at home and eat out once a week. Last week we tried El Lagarto, which turned out to be the best meal we’ve had yet in Costa Rica. It is an expensive restaurant for Costa Rica, but is one of those places where anything you order off the menu will be incredible. We started with 2 for 1 drinks, my pina colada was amazing. Andy ordered the bacon-wrapped pork loin and I had the stuffed chicken breast. Each was served with a baked potato covered in a delicious garlic sauce, and fresh grilled zucchini and a broiled tomato with an herb sauce. All their ingredients are local & organic. The food was so good, we can’t wait to go back. And after ordering 4 drinks and 2 dinners, our bill still only came to $50, and that is expensive for Costa Rica. Then we went to Gusto Beach and Lo Que Hay for after dinner drinks. We sat up on a 10-foot high beach chair, drinking our beers & watching the ocean.
We met a local named Larry at Lo Que Hay. He is a surf instructor at Tico Surf School, which is right in front of Lo Que Hay. I remember the first time we saw him out there ripping up the waves, dreadlocks flowing behind him. He was definitely born to be on a surf board, he makes it look so easy. His dad is from the Carribean side and his mom is from Samara. We quickly make friends with him and invite him over for drinks. He starts teaching us some Spanish words and says several times that we need to learn Spanish. And we have officially taken the first step and arranged our first Spanish class for next Friday. Our friend Kristi referred us to a lady named Sarah who teaches Spanish, and only charges $10/hour per couple.
The realtor who has been showing us houses recommended that we check out the beaches of San Miguel and Playa del Coyote, so we took another road trip and spent the day at a couple new beaches. And a new bridge had recently been built, helping us to avoid a river crossing (to Andy’s disappointment). At Playa del Coyote we found some low-hanging coconut trees and cut down a bunch to take home with us. We keep several in our fridge so we can drink fresh, cold coconut water each day. Sophie loves it. We also found huge whole sand dollars on this beautiful deserted beach, as well as thousands of sand crabs. Sophie had an encounter with a crab, as she chased it in circles around the beach, trying to eat it, as I panicked behind her, trying to save the poor crab’s life, as Andy laughed at both of us and photographed the whole event. Quite the ordeal.
A couple days ago we rented kayaks, $30 for 3 hours, and we kayaked out to Isla Chora, the small island off the Samara coast. It was a gorgeous sunny day when we started, crystal blue sky shining over the turquoise water. We got to the island and noticed a raccoon eating watermelon, surrounded by thousands of hermit crabs. We explored the island and sun-bathed for a bit, before heading back. On our way back we noticed a huge, dark storm rolling in, as we furiously paddled back to shore trying to beat it. The lightning was fun to watch from the ocean. We barely made it back before the storm hit, and we may have gotten knocked over in a massive wave (the guy who rented us the kayaks found our fall very amusing, and I have to admit I would love to have seen what it looked like), but we survived. And we can’t wait to do it again! We told Pablo, the guy we rented kayaks from, about our trouble finding kayak paddles and life jackets for purchase in Costa Rica. He said he could make us a good deal and rent some to us long-term. Finally! Hopefully now we can try out our own kayak.
The storm that began while we were kayaking lasted all afternoon/evening. It was a cool 75 degrees, so we walked all over town without even breaking a sweat! I love Costa Rica, but I have to admit that I miss the air in Oregon. Oregon air just tastes good and feels good in your lungs when you breathe it. Oregon has some good air. It tastes so cold and fresh. The air here tastes like sweat. HOT, muggy sweat.
Speaking of cool air, I love the early mornings here. I’ve never been a morning person and always loved to sleep in. Now I get up at 5:30am or 6am every day. The mornings are cool, quiet and peaceful. I love sitting with my delicious coffee, listening to the birds before most people are awake. And most nights I’m in bed by 9pm. Early to bed and early to rise around here. And I love it. Sleeping in and missing the peaceful, quiet, cool mornings would be a tragedy.
It’s so difficult to figure out what time it is around here. We have no clock in our house. My phone went nuts and is off by about 7 hours and 22 minutes. My lap top is a few hours behind. So determining the time often requires doing math in my head, which is not one of my best qualities. I constantly ask Andy “what time is it”? He always says “Who cares? Why do you need to know”? Good point. I don’t have anywhere I need to be at anytime, so I am learning to let go of knowing what time it is. It’s always Tico Time around here anyway.
Yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary. (We were planning to go check out a huge waterfall that is about 2 hours away for our anniversary, but we decided to do that on Monday instead, hoping that a weekday morning will give us the waterfall to ourselves.) We started our anniversary morning with homemade French toast with vanilla and cinnamon and nutmeg, cooked in coconut oil, then packed a picnic lunch and headed to our favorite beach for a beach walk and ocean swim. Then we headed home to get ready for the Duck game, which we were able to watch online. At half-time we headed out to dinner at Casa Esmerelda. I had chicken in gorgonzola sauce and Andy had a tuna steak. Both were amazing of course. The restaurant had wi-fi so we were able to watch the rest of the Duck game on Andy’s phone at our anniversary dinner (I think that should win me wife-of-the-year-award). The Ducks won! The game was on the PAC-12 network, so we were able to watch this one. But for most of the other games we will have to befriend a bartender somewhere and beg them to turn on the Duck game. We will make sure that by the time we leave Samara that everyone here has heard of the Oregon Ducks.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good quote book. Throughout college, and after, I’ve always kept a quote book where we write down funny things that people say. I’ll leave you with some quotes from my Costa Rica quote book, weird things we only say in Costa Rica:
“I might even wear shoes today.”
“Look at that wall of jungle”
“Sophie, please stop barking at the monkeys”
“What day is it?”
“Where is my sweat rag?”
“Look at the balls on that monkey!”
“Get your shirt out of the freezer and let’s go!”
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.