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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – July 2019

July 2019 cover

Bienvenidos…Welcome to our piece of paradise, it is sure to please. We have almost everything Costa Rica has to offer. zip lining, white water rafting, ATVs, horseback riding, world class sportfishing, parasailing, waterfalls, ocean and mangrove tours just to mention a few. We have amazing restaurants for every taste and don’t forget the ice cold drinks. So pop into one of our many fantastic advertisers and let them know we sent you…you won’t be disappointed.

The summer rains have brought the greenness so no complaining, get out early and enjoy the beautiful days. Rain normally rolls in in the late afternoon. Don’t let it stop you, it is a Rain Forest.

Have great Canada Day (July 1) for all you Canadians. Feliz Día de Guanacaste ( July 25). Marina Pez Vela will be celebrating US Independence Day on July 4th starting at 3 pm and going till the firework extravaganza at 8 pm, with plenty for the entire family. So whether you’re expat or Tico, come and celebrate with great music, games, food, and fireworks. Remember these Holidays commemorate freedom and peace that so many people fought and died for, so we can have these qualities of life we all enjoy every day. It’s not all about just fireworks and fiestas…they are just what make it fun……Cheers.

We want to welcome our new advertisers this month, Centro de Pinturas, Heart Forward Yoga and Wellness, Plaza Ventana, and Pool Clean CR. We also want to thank MA National Park guide Manuel Cabalceta Méndez for the cover photo.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia.  We appreciate and welcome your comments and photos.
Peace and Enjoy…D

Kids Saving the Rainforest

KSTR LogoReforestation is vital to solve the climate crisisBy Karma Imagine Casey

Hello fellow Quepolandia readers! This is Karma Casey, the Kids Saving The Rainforest spokeskid! If you are new to my articles, Kids Saving The Rainforest is a wildlife rescue rehabilitate, and release program. We also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, and educate the public about how to respect our rainforest home.

We also have a sanctuary that is home to about 50 amazing animals including sloths, five species of monkeys, parrots, kinkajous, toucan, and more! If you’d like to come visit us, we offer tours every day except for Tuesday at 9 am. Go to kstr.org to make your reservation!

This month I am going to tell you a little bit about a VERY special holiday that has just passed. Can you guess what it is? Earth Day!! I hope you did something great to celebrate. At Kids Saving The Rainforest, Earth Day is very special because we are all about helping the earth, as you know.

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Long Hot Summer

Long Hot Summer headerDealing with the Dry Season

It wasn’t supposed to rain, but we all know that the weather bureau doesn’t necessarily get it right. At the sound of the first drops on the roof I went outside and stood there, my shoulders thrown back and my face to the heavens. The cool water washed over me, and soaked my clothes, but I didn’t care. It had been a long time, and it felt wonderful. The last rain had been on December 16, and it was now April 4. We had endured 109 days of drought. It was so bad that many places in Costa Rica had to ration water. I know of several nearby communities where the water flowed through the pipes to people’s homes only two hours each day. During the other 22 hours the sparse stream of water from the local spring flowed into reserve tanks from which the two hours of daily water were supplied. Most people used that two hours to fill buckets, jugs, pots, pans, and other recipients, and if any was left, they bathed quickly hoping it wouldn’t stop flowing just after soaping up. Hopefully by the time you read this, it be raining regularly and the crisis will be over.

This year the flow of the Barú River diminished to the point that the wave action on the beach was able to create a sand dam across the river mouth. The small amount of water coming downstream, unable to flow out into the ocean, has backed up more than a kilometer and converted the Barú River into a lake. Fresh water from that lake flows into the mangrove estuary flooding the dry, cracked bottom. Fish, caimans, crocodiles, and loads of amphibians are happy with this new found water, but animals that live farther from the river are not so lucky. In fact we have found dead sloths whose deaths are presumably related to the drought. The leaves they feed on are so dry that the water they contain isn’t enough to sustain the sloths.

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Signaling Intentions

I’ve been driving in Costa Rica since 2002, legally. My first wife at that time owned a red Hyundai Excel. It is still a popular model of the “pirate” taxis on our streets today. If you ask an older local, that car (nicknamed the Red Rocket) has legendary status. I can’t remember most of the stories but that’s not what this month’s article is about. This month we explore the mythical subject of the turning signal (which comes standard and free in every vehicle these days). Yes indeed the infamous “blinker.” That little bar conveniently engineered under the steering wheel and slightly to the left. Ah yes…you remember! You see, nobody uses that in Costa Rica except for me. I will admit I am a bit obsessed because I literally signal every time I turn left or right. If I’m doing something funky I know where the hazard lights are too. I’ve studied driving for over 30 years now. However my new attitude is to not care anymore…everything seems to be smooth without using it. Probably another useless invention. In fact, I’m going to stop using the signal all together because I want to be like the taxi drivers. It’s all about standards. Drive like the pro’s do. My research shows that as early as 1925 an invention was patented that allowed the driver to actually signal their intention to other drivers and pedestrians. To literally say, by the proper use of the directional, if the driver is turning left, right, or is making a move. Downright amazing if you ask me, but what do I know? At the time the big car manufacturers weren’t interested, and I’m not interested now, who needs it? From there the history is irrelevant, do your own google search, my point being, why should anyone ever indicate the direction they honestly intend to go to in this life. Whether it is actually on the road, in everyday life, or personally…who knows? Shit happens. I have the right to change my mind is another logical excuse. Why signal, who can even multi-task like that anymore? Life is hard enough. Certainly texting while driving has priority.

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Rythm headerOne year, during a particularly dismal rainy season here, several of my lady friends organized aerobic and dance and step classes so they could get their exercise fix. Being the nice, inclusive types that they are, they invited me join in their sessions, which started at some ungodly early part of the day, like 8:00 am. Frankly, I prefer to indulge myself in being grumpy in the morning, but I eventually lighten up and surface into niceness behind a couple of cups of strong coffee, a cigarette or two, and some loud music. By then it’s more like brunch time, so needless to say, I never actually made it to a class. But one of my friends told me that exercising to music and a strong beat made her feel rhythmic, and it was clearly some kind of personal breakthrough. People often argue with me when I say everyone has music inside of them, but it is true. It is also true that we all have rhythm inside of us.

Carlos SantanaHello, how about that ever-present heartbeat? It marches along with very little influence from us and permeates our entire body. Respiration—we breathe in, we breathe out, we breathe in, we breathe out. Most of the time these things happen without our even noticing them and it takes doctors with high tech machines to determine deviations in our silent but ever present body rhythms. Brain waves, nerve impulses, glandular releases, and even our throbbing pain sites. Synapses’ firing, adrenaline being released, cells multiplying, hair growing—geez we’re probably just a cacophony of wacko sounds if we could just hear it all. All of these body functions respond to outside stimulus as well, whether it’s exercise, coffee, discomfort, temperature, fear, joy, or listening to Carlos Santana. And until we’re pushing up daisies they just keep on playing their own part in the rhythm section.

Violinist Available Read More…

Let’s talk about the Emerald Toucanet

Emerald ToucanetBy Paul Gerace

The Emerald Toucanet is the smallest of the 6 toucan species found here in Costa Rica. It also has the shortest bill.

It’s a very colorful bird with shades of green including emerald, grass, and olive. Other colors displayed are red, blues, chestnut, yellow, & white.

The green body easily blends into the rainforest so it is sometimes hard to see.

The Costa Rican Emerald Toucanet is different from those found in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and South America because of it’s blue throat.

They can be found in the mountainous cloud forests here in Costa Rica. I took this photo at Bosque del Tolomuco Lodge which is about 20 minutes outside of San Isidro.

Just another one of the colorful and amazing birds that can be found throughout Quepolandia. See more bird photos HERE

An Introduction to the 7 Chakras

A Healthier You header
Woman doing yoga on a platformThe entire universe is made of energy, and your body is no exception. Balancing your chakras can help you live a healthy and harmonious life. Blocked energy in our seven chakras can lead to illness, so it’s important to understand what each chakra represents and what we can do to keep energy flowing freely.

Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area. This chakra’s role is to connect all of your energy with the earth. It is your grounding chakra.
When in balance: You will feel a sense of accomplishment and peace when you think of things like money, safety, and shelter.
When out of balance: You may experience anxiety and jitteriness.
Bring into balance: Connect to the earth.

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Spanish Sucks – May-June 2019

Spanish Sucks lesson

Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo

Bo Bun

Chef's Corner logoThis is my version of a popular take-out salad found only outside of Vietnam (like the chicken chow mein that you’ll never find in China). 

A bowl of rice noodles is topped with strips of grilled beef, lettuce, peanuts, chili peppers, and served with a sweet and tangy fish sauce dressing. This recipe yields 4 to 5 large bowls, the spiciness adjusted to taste and best enjoyed with chopsticks.

For the beef

  • 1 pound or 1/2 kilo of lomito. I recommend using lomito or tenderloin since other cuts might be tough.
  • 5 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of finely sliced lemongrass, white part only (optional but so good)
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Marinate the beef for at least 4 hours or overnight. Grill the whole piece on all sides so that the center stays medium rare. Allow to cool and thinly slice.

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Adopt a Sloth!

Adopt a Sloth flyer

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Seven Ways Surfing is like Playing Poker

Surf CR logoI’ve had a good run of both surfing and poker in Costa Rica lately, and while watching the Pipe Masters online I had time to reflect on two of my favorite hobbies. Both I had learned to do at a young age and when I do either activity there is a connection to my dad. He was a Navy Diver so I grew up by the coast and we have sailed, snorkeled, or swam a large swath of the East Coast. He also had taught me poker and chess, and he still plays some online home games to keep his mind sharp (although my mom has been winning the tournaments lately). 

Surfer on a big waveBoth surfing and poker have histories going back over 500 years, but the poker I’m talking about is Texas No-Limit Holdem, not your play money, five card game where threes and one-eyed Jacks are wild. Here are seven ways they are similar to me. Maybe you can think of a few more? 

Surf breaks and players can both be categorized, but no two waves or hands dealt are exactly the same.

Some will pound you while others you know will let you off easy. Some are easy to read, you know what they are going to do every time. Both can be unpredictable. Waves and cards can start out easy and then turn murky at the river. You have to go into each with a plan of action, but be ready to change course with the cards dealt to you. And after each session you take what you’ve learned and apply it to the next one, remembering it is all part of the bigger picture. 

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – May-June 2019

What's Shaking header
SUMMER IS HERE… That feels incredible wrong to say after the hot dry months of March and April just ended, but as the North American Spring melts into Summer time, things here in Quepos, Manuel Antonio, and Marina Pez Vela also evolve into a whole new vibe of family travel, amazing events and activities. One of the beauties of this area is that what was once a definitive “on/off” switch after Semana Santa has visually disappeared. While there are certainly some slower times for tourism, both in the area and here at the marina, there is ALWAYS something going on to enjoy. The transition into our “green” season, while welcomed by virtually everyone for the lushness and cooling trends, is far from break, just a new season to take part in! Here are some of the highlights for May and June here at Marina Pez Vela.

Pelagic Pura Vida Inshore Classic Tournament, May 24 – 26

The enormous success of the Pelagic Rockstar tournament which has become an annual event here at MPV during February, has led to a new incarnation of the Pelagic Tournament Legendary Fun. This year on May 25th there will be a one day Pura Vida Inshore Classic. This tournament is solely focused on the bountiful inshore fishery here with cash and prizes for either the most Roosterfish Release Points (points managed by length of each fish released) as well as a slam division for the combined weight of 3 total fish weighed in at the Marina Pez Vela scale. Weighable fish include Snook, Snapper, Corvina, Tripletail, Amberjack, Sierra Mackerel, Grouper, and Jack Crevasse. There are a host of individual jackpots and is going to be a fun-filled shoot out of some the most enjoyable inshore angling on the planet.
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That’s Fishin’ – May/June 2019

That's Fishin'header

There was some truly world class fishing action in April here in Quepos with some great catches of Sailfish, Tuna, Marlin, Dorado, Roosterfish, Snook, and Cubera Snapper, making Angling dreams come true.

Man with large snapperOFFSHORE FISHING

The fleet enjoying some good Sailfish fishing throughout April with plenty of Sailfish caught but no one had a better day than the guys on Double Nickle who released 29 Sailfish on April 5th, what a day, congrats guys! Striped Marlin made an appearance during April with some nice Stripeys caught along with a few Blue & Black Marlin. The Blue Marlin bite on day charters should improve into May and June as water temperatures start to drop with the afternoon rains. If catching a Blue Marlin is high on your bucket list then you should seriously consider heading out to the FADS & Seamounts on an overnight trip. Caribsea, Double Nickle, Tranquilo, The Hooker, and Pescadora are all great Quepos boats to take you on the Marlin fishing trip of a lifetime. May to November is the peak time for overnight FAD fishing trips and when the bite is on you could be in with a chance of some truly insane Marlin fishing!
April provided some excellent Tuna fishing which should improve into May which is usually a great month for Tuna. There were some BIG Bull Dorado caught during April further Offshore and closer to shore some smaller Dorado started making an appearance. Expect numbers to increase into May and June.

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How to Maximize Your Great Room

It’s ‘Great’ because this is the place where everyone ends up! So, move over kitchen, the Great Room has become a favorite gathering place in the house.

Design Wise logo
2-story great roomby Shelagh Duncan

Whatever you call it, it’s a multi-functional room that provides space to lounge on a comfy sofa in front of the TV, find solace with a good book, watch the kids play, and enjoy good conversation.

The Great Room was a big fad beginning in the 1980s with all the new home builders back home, and was usually in addition to the basement rec-room or rumpus room. It grew as an extension to the kitchen, where Mom could keep an eye on the kids (and the soaps perhaps), while preparing family meals.

For us here, with our more casual lifestyle, it has almost completely replaced the more formal living room. Now it can encompass all of the above, plus casual dining and work and study areas.

Royal Palm Interiors

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – May/June 2019

May/June 2019 coverBienvenidos, Welcome and Thank you for coming. The southern Pacific has so much to offer we are sure you will not be disappointed. Whether you are exploring our many National Parks, fishing for a record Marlin, trying one of the many adventure tours, or just chillin’ at the beach, this is the place to Do It. Remember this is your vacation get out there and Enjoy It. We want to wish everyone a wonderful Mother’s and Father’s Day. Don’t forget to make reservations with one of our many fine restaurants Arbol, Mira Olas, or Victoria’s just to recommend a few and how about booking Mom a massage. How about a fishing charter for Dad….he probably would not mind a massage either.

May/June brings the beginning of green season and turtle season. So get to beautiful secluded Playa Biesanz and get with Jet-Ski Boys and check out a dramatic coast line, hidden coves and beaches, snorkeling, and hopefully spot some turtles and whales (mention Quepolandia for a 10% discount). We want to thank and am honored to have our incredible cover shot by Brian Moghari, comforttheory.com, of the Tiger Heron waiting for the rain. Brian and Filipe Deandrade have been in Costa Rica shooting their nature documentary Untamed for National Geographic. You can also check out Jaguar Beach also shot in Costa Rica. They are currently shooting a three part docu-series Costa Rica, The Rise of Nature. June 8th is World Ocean’s Day so while enjoying our beaches make a habit of bringing something in which to collect some trash and leave the beach better than when you arrived.

We want to welcome and thank our new advertisers A.P. Renovations, Coldwell Banker, and Rafa.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D