Hola from Costa Rica!
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Yes, I have been working for almost three weeks on getting the internet installed at my house. I received a lot of help from my landlord and from Diana, (who is the manager of the nearby Westfila hotel), to understand (the different types of internet connections) available in my area. Believe it or not, this timeframe is fast in Costa Rica.
You might be wandering why I’m displaying the picture of the boat. I don’t know. I just like it. As you can see in this picture, it is just off the shore of Puerto Viejo. It is on the south end of town and you can see it from the main road. Also, do you see how clear the water is? I love it! The ocean water here is like this at all the local beaches I’ve visited.
Here is the story about the boat. As the story was told to me, locals told the owner that a big storm was coming and to take care of this boat. He did not and there it sits today. The storm was one year ago this past November.
After my long 4-hour drive from San Jose, I reached my final destination.
This is my house… Yes, I will be living here for a while. It is a nice size for me. It features a hammock I installed on the deck that is very relaxing!
The house, as you can see, is green and blends in with the local vegetation.
The first one to greet me was SheDog.
Yes, we call her the SheDog and the black one the HeDog.
Here is a picture of the HeDog.
My neighbors, who moved from New York, and I do not know the dog’s real names. We sometimes just call them puppy, sweetie, boy, girl, or whatever pops into our head. It is nice to have the dogs around as they keep a look out for strangers. So, if anyone wanders by day or night, they bark. They are nice dogs, they only bark.
When I arrived here, there were a few things I needed to buy: Microwave, cutting board, nonstick pans, dishes, knives, forks, spoons and plates. I leased a house that came with a few appliances, and a few dishes. This was nice but a few of the above items made my collection complete.
It is very nice having someone from the states living right next door. They have been great; telling me where things are, like the local grocery stores, restaurants, hardware store, key shop and many other special bits of information that you would not even think about needing to know. How about a few pictures? I did not even need to get out of my yard to take pictures. I will do another post with these and more pictures all together later. (See Post #4)
Here are a few…
Three of these guys visit every morning around 6:30 am. Wakey Wakey!
They are not house hold pets, they are the real thing, in the wild. Beautiful!
Look closely! There are two birds in this tree.
If you look up in the trees, you might see some of these guys enjoying the sun. No, we are not the only ones who enjoy sun bathing.
Now that we have a few of the basic pictures out of the way, how about a little about the area.
Just 1.5 kilometers north of my home, on the main road, is the Jaguar Rescue Center (JRC). It is on the left as you travel north. There is only one paved road going north and south in this area, highway 256. It is in great shape and a pleasure to drive on… or bike on. Biking is a big thing around here. Locals and tourists ride up and down the road on their bikes every day. Costa Rica takes very good care of roads. Workers seem to be upgrading the roads all the time. Cutting the jungle back on the sides, adding sidewalks in some areas, or just making the sides of the road wider.
Now, a little about the Jaguar Rescue Center:
I learned from our guide that the name Jaguar is from the couple that created the center. No, you will not find Jaguars at this center, it is just the name the founders chose.
If you look closely at the sign, you will notice the monkey on the sign only has one eye. They help lots of different animals at the center. Tours at the center are at 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Locals say you should arrive 30 minutes before start time to buy your ticket because the tour is very popular. I did not hear this advice until it was too late. I didn’t make the first tour.
Most of the folks that work at the center are volunteers from all over the world. My group’s guide was from Italy. She volunteered for a three month stretch, but on the day of our tour she’d been there seven months. She says she has no plans to leave.
Our tour began by checking out the snakes in the area. (It is okay they are all in glass cages) Next, we viewed all kinds of animals in the region. The Jaguar Rescue Center will help almost any type of animal in need.
These guys (Mantled Howler Monkeys) are all over the place.
The coolest thing I saw on the tour were the baby sloths. Second, was the crazy white-faced monkeys.
Just like any daycare nursery, there was a young lady present who was very attentive to the baby sloths.
There are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths, referring to the front toes only. The two-toed are active in the day, the three-toed are active at night. The toes are bone not nails like you would find on the family dog. In other words, you would NOT ever try to trim them.
Here is a sloth eating. Notice he has two toes (eating in the day time). Also notice the nose, it sticks out just a little. At the center, you also see the happy face sloths, they have three toes.
Here, the sloths are climbing around in the nursery.
If something happens to mom, who are you going to call? JRC, of course. Most of the animals they take in get released back into the wild. That is, if JRC determines they can survive on their own.
Like the monkey on the sign, if they have a handicap they can stay at the center as long as needed.
Some of the monkeys here leave during the day, go out into the jungle and return at night. How cool is that?
Most of the animals are in cages for their protection.
But there are some that are in cages for our protection.
The tour cost $20 dollars. But, if you are fascinated with and want to learn more about animals of this region, it is worth every penny.
Budget for tipping on your tour too. The guides appreciate tips because they are unpaid volunteers and this is a source of their income. At the end of the guided tour they will let you know that tipping is appreciated.
You know they say the sea is rising. If that is so, I think Puerto Viejo and a few other coastal communities along the coastline here might be in trouble.
Notice the smooth part of the sand on the building side of the trees? The two wooden blocks nearby indicate how high the ocean water rises during high tide.
If you are riding your bike or just walking around, pretty much anywhere up and down the main road, you will see fruit stands. There are basically three types: trucks that drive around from place to place, stands found on the edge of the road that are often built out of bamboo, and hand push carts.
If you get hungry or would like a fresh snack, you have plenty of options.
Until the next post.