Food, Drink, and Fun in Costa Rica

Posted by on February 22, 2012

One week from today, we will be flying back to Canada. This has been an amazing time for us and we have come to know so many ‘Gringos’ and ‘Ticos’ during the past four weeks. We continue to do lots of jobs around Gary’s B&B as the renovations near completion.

We got the hot tub moved, wired, and filled and Gary and I enjoyed a nice way to relax our muscles after a busy day  of work. On Saturday, I started doing some landscaping and trimming of plants and trees and Gary decided to do the same.

Gary's new flower bed

Meanwhile, Ernesto and Danny continue to make good progress on the pizza oven.  We are hoping to have a pizza before we leave.

Danny (l) and Ernesto making a pizza oven


The hired contractors are almost finished the last two bedrooms and stone bathrooms.

Beautiful stone work in the bathrooms

Marilyn is busy making ‘roman blinds’ for the windows after Gary was able to borrow a sewing machine from a neighbour

Gary’s place is set in amongst huge rolling hills of sugar cane and cattle grazing land. An access road to the fields washed out last rainy season and is being repaired. In the meantime, everyone living or farming up behind the B&B is using Gary’s private road which runs right past his dining patio. We’ve come to know a lot of people as a result of them being rerouted.

Sometimes the cows get out of the field and pay us a visit

The sugar cane which is being harvested and trucked to a sugar producing factory and the coffee beans now being picked makes us appreciate the hard work of farmers. To harvest the sugar cane, the fields are first set ablaze which burns off all the leaves and the stock remains. This fills the air with a sweet smell but lots of floating black ashes. The cane stocks are then easier to cut. However, another main reason for burning is to drive out poisonous snakes which like to make their home in amongst the cane fields.

Sugar cane wagon

Wagon loaded with cut sugar cane stocks

After I managed to trek through the thick vegetation to the river last week, I have been asking Gary to get a machete so I could hack a proper path. On Saturday he picked one up but they are not sharpened when purchased. I have met Luise a few times as he has walked past the B&B on his way to some Casas (houses) where he does landscaping and yard maintenance. I asked him if he would be able to sharpen my new giant knife. In the meantime, he loaned me his machete and I did go to the river again.

Mi Amigo Luise

After my first trip to the river with Paul and Lauren, Ernesto said their was a black panther in the bushes along the river banks. I saw some ‘cat’ scratches on the trees when I was there the first time so it was nice to have Luise’s machete for my second trip.

We also went to Villa Blanca last week as the guest of the manager Joxin. We had a lovely meal and some fine wine. Joxin, Gary and I talked at one end of the table in English and Marilyn and Kelly talked at the other with Joxin’s wife Gabriella in Spanish. Both Kelly and Marilyn have mastered a large vocabulary of words and phrases.

Villa Blanca lobby

Dinner with Joxin and Gabriella

Last night we were invited to a Mardi Gras party at Steve and Kathy’s (Gary’s neighbours up the mountain). They have a beautiful house and put on an amazing party. The food was excellent, the drinks aplenty, and live music from a Mariachi band. Marilyn made a cape for my costume as a musketeer as well as her own costume as a Greek Goddess adorned with local vegetation.

Catwoman (aka Lidia) and d'Artagnan

Demeter and Haraldo the pirate (aka Juan)

Steve and Kathy have a lovely house built on the side of the mountain. It has many unusual features such as a ‘courtyard’ of sorts at the main entrance as well as a large balcony off the open kitchen and dining area.

Pillars and turquoise entrance to the house

Marilyn was invited to play a couple of songs on the accordion but she most enjoyed having the opportunity to play along with the mariachi band.

We are looking forward to our trip on Friday to Cano Negro Park to travel by boat up a river with the University students in search of many different birds and other wildlife. Here’s a little yellow breasted bird we see often at Gary’s.

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