Tag Archives: tamarindo

A Night to Remember- Stars, Crocodiles And Flaminco Fusion

dave-and-shirleyFlaminco fusion music and the promise of good barbecued seafood and pork had taken us to a restaurant called Seven in Playa Grande during our first week in Costa Rica.  The music by a very talented guitarist who called himself a flaminco fusionist had been great so we decided to return last night taking Paul and Shirley our newly arrived guests. After a day spent in the wind and sun on the beach and a couple of lively competitive euchre games we were ready for a relaxing evening. dave-and-paul-walkingBut first we had to walk the two kilometers to the beach to catch a water taxi. 

waiting-for-the-taxiDave discovered the restaurant would pay for the water taxi to take us across the estuary that lies between Tamarindo where we are staying now and Playa Grande where the restaurant is located. We arrived early for the boat taxi and waited in the setting sun for our ride. shirley-and-horse-manWhile we waited this very fit horseback rider came along and wanted to take us for a ride along the beach. Shirley immediately engaged him in conversation and it wasn’t long before we’d heard his life story. His father was an American linguistics professor who fell in love with his mother a prostitute from Panama. Sounded like it all had an almost fairy tale like ending.shirley-costa-ricaOur new acquaintance, who Shirley and I agreed later looked like one of those long-haired, bare-chested, bronzed men you see on the covers of Harlequin Romance novels, was a devotee of Charles Darwin. His father had taught him all about the pioneering evolutionist. We might have learned more but at that moment……….crocodile

Dave spotted the crocodile. Earlier in the day when Shirley and I had gone for a walk along the beach we had seen a large crocodile near the shore by the water taxi stand. Our husbands were just a little skeptical about our crocodile sighting and later Dave went to take a look and couldn’t see the crocodile. Now here he was! While we chatted with other restaurant patrons who would be joining us in the taxi we kept our eye on the croc. We’d heard crocodiles move fast and this one was pretty close to the shore. 

paul-in-the-boatThe first part of our boat ride was uneventful but then suddenly our water taxi came to an abrupt halt. The lights of the restaurant weren’t that far away but our boat was stuck on the estuary bottom. It was low tide and no matter what Reuben our boat driver did he couldn’t move the boat. We could easily have taken off our shoes and waded to shore at that point but after the crocodile sighting there was no way any of us were putting a toe in that water. We sat there for a long time. Would we be there all night? Finally brave Reuben himself jumped into the water and pushed the boat to shore. don-juanOur waiter’s name at the restaurant was Don Juan and it seemed like it might be one of his first nights on the job. Paul tried to order a martini and gave very detailed instructions for how it should be made. I felt a little sorry for Don Juan whose English skills obviously weren’t great as he tried to repeat Paul’s martini recipe.  After about ten minutes Don Juan returned with the sad news that the bar didn’t make martinis. Paul had to be happy with a beer.singer-at-sevenBefore the flaminco guitarist took to the stage a singer from Boston entertained us. She had been a fellow passenger in the boat taxi and she told the crowd about our exciting ride, the stalled boat, the crocodile and the brave boat driver. Then she dedicated the song The House of the Rising Sun to us, which Paul had mentioned as a favorite of his on the boat ride. She came right over to our table and invited us to sing along with her. meal-at-sevenOur meals arrived and were good. Shirley had ordered red wine and although there were wine glasses on the table Don Juan insisted on serving it in a ‘cup’ which he did. guitarist

Tony the guitarist put on a terrific show although his partner percussionist Roy who performed on our last visit wasn’t there. dave-shirleyAfter dinner we walked back down to the water.  We had a great chat with some fellow water taxi riders about movies we’d liked this past year and then Reuben arrived and we boarded the boat. The water had risen in the last two hours so the ride was smooth. The stars were utterly amazing. Without any electric lights to interfere (including none on the boat which was a little scary but Reuben obviously had gone this route so many times he could literally find his way in the dark) the pitch black sky was absolutely covered in brilliant stars. We arrived back on shore and then started our two kilometer hike home, part of it along the beach in the dark which was another adventure and then through the town of Tamarindo. marylou-shirleyIt was a memorable night. 

Other posts about Paul and Shirley………

Heidelberg Project

Mexican Night

Breakfast in Florida


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Daily Life in Tamarindo Costa Rica

We have developed a flexible rhythm for our time here in Tamarindo. On any given day we might………..

Birthday brunch on the beach with my brother Ken who is heading off to travel to other parts of Costa Rica

Birthday brunch on the beach with my brother Ken who is heading off to travel to other parts of Costa Rica

Have coffee and toast on our patio or go for breakfast on the beach

dave-on-i-padRead the newspaper, catch up with online scrabble games and check out the blog that tells us what our friends Rudy and Sue are doing in Capetown South Africa on their winter hiatus there


wave-watchingWatch the waves and the surfers

brown-pelican-tamarindoWatch the birds

dave-readsRead a book

fruit-for-smoothiesBuy fruit for our mid-day smoothies

beach-tamarindoHang out at the beach

screen-shot-2016-02-03-at-8-36-31-amWork on a writing project like my newspaper column, blog, free-lance articles, or middle grade novel

pedicureGo for a pedicure

Skype, text or e-mail with family and friends

rummyPlay cards

Go grocery shopping for the next day

massage-on-the-beachHave a massage

mary-lou-bikeGo for a bike ride

gin-and-tonicEnjoy four o-clock gin and tonics

sushi-restaurant-tamarindoMake supper at home or go out for supper

Sit on our patio looking at the night sky studded with stars and listening to the howler monkeys

Other February posts……..

February 2012- Visiting Uncle Herb

February 2013- Driedger Reunion in Arizona

February 2014-A Serendipitous Sail

February 2015- The Grand Canyon for Free

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A Miriam Toews Sighting in Costa Rica

Dave needed a book! When we travel I download books on my e-reader but Dave takes hard copies of books along.bookd store tamarindoHe had already finished the two books he brought to Costa Rica Road Trip to Rwanda by Will Ferguson and Roger Groening’s  Knuckleball. He needed something else to read. An internet search located a small used book store in Tamarindo tucked behind a coffee shop. We set out on our bikes to find it. used books tamarindoThe Jaime Peligro book store was packed literally to the rafters with used books. looking for books tamarindoWhile Dave was searching for a book I went wandering around and found……..a complicated kindness tamarindoa copy of Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness. Miriam is from my home town and her father was my teacher and colleague. When Miriam’s award winning A Complicated Kindness was published I was living in Asia and traveling all over the place. I had a little personal contest going on to see in how many different cities I could find Miriam’s book. I had reached over a dozen, finding the book in places as diverse as Hong Kong, London, Frankfurt and Singapore.  And now here it was in Costa Rica! Yet another country to add to the list. used books for saleDave finally found the book he was looking for in the $2.00 bins outside the bookstore. Horatio Hornblower by C.S. Forester. horatio hornblowerHe’d watched the Horatio Hornblower television series on PBS and loved it. He hoped he’d love the book too. book store for saleBy the way Jaime’s bookstore is for sale according to this sign on the door. If you are looking for a foreign investment opportunity, this might be your chance to move to Costa Rica and run a business.

Other posts…….

An Interesting Interview

Fact or Fiction?

The Book Lady

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A Haunted Island

pointing-to-the-island-1On one of our morning walks here in Costa Rica my brother and I spotted a little island at the North Point of Tamarindo Bay. It seemed to grow smaller and larger with the rise and fall of the tide.  I wanted to know more about it. isla-del-capitan-tamarindoI found out it is called Isla del Capitan because of a local legend that a shipwrecked captain swam to the island from his sinking ship and died there. They say the Captain’s ghost stalks the island, so no one dares to spend the night there.  isla-del-capitanI thought this outcropping near the tip of the island might be the remains of building of some sort where the captain had taken refuge. But a close-up shot shows it is only a rock.moored-boats-isla-del-capitanMany fisherman moor their boats near the island. brown-pelicans It is a popular nesting and roosting spot for the local pelicans.  people-on-isla-de-captian

Apparently a destination wedding has been held on the island so you can access it by boat. One morning we did see some people on the island with no boat in sight so they must have swum out to Isla del Capitan. It might be a good thing to try one day when we are looking for an adventure. 

Other posts…..

A Great House Haunts Me

Winnipeg’s Millenium Centre- Haunted By Ghosts

The Driedgers Bike Boblo Island

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Costa Rica Firsts

under-a-banyan-treeFirst breakfast at a loft restaurant  up in the trees. water-taxi

First water taxi ride with Jose’ to Tamarindo. looking-for-the-grocery-store

First trip to find a grocery store to stock up our fridge and cupboards. smoothies

First mango smoothies- thick with fruit, frosty and delicious!beach-walk-costa-rica

First walk along the beach. Quite a workout through wet sand, a robust wind and carrying heavy pack backs stuffed with cans of soup, beans and tuna, fruit, meat, vegetables, cheese, bread, bottles of wine and other good things. in-the-hammock

First gin and tonic in the hammock. 


swimminginthe-oceanFirst swim in the ocean

Since it was our first dinner in Costa Rica we decided to splurge and went to the lovely Bula Bula resort for a great dinner in a gorgeous tropical setting. 

casa-chamelonFirst day at Casa Chamaleon is over. 
Other posts……
Detour to Costa Rica
Beaching It In the Caribbean 

Sniffing Tobacco For the First Time


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