Quepolandia logo

Not as I do

shambling through paradiseSome people have noticed that when it comes to talking about daily life in Costa Rica, I am not nearly the sardonic, sarcastic, overbearing, know-it-all, gringo wiseass I once was. Part of it is age—once I hit the second half century club, with over half my life now in the books, I began gravitating more toward thoughts and activities that make me feel good, and avoiding topics that make the choler rise inside.

But there is another reason. For the past few years, I have been in the business of selling Costa Rica. I bring people to Costa Rica, and like thousands of others here, I make a living doing so. Tourism is the golden egg, and Costa Rica has adapted to this reality nicely. When I first came here almost 30 years ago, tourism was not what it is now. Coffee and bananas were bigger money makers for the country. Sometime in the mid-1990s, this dynamic changed, and the natural beauty of the country itself became the meal ticket. The bandwagon is big, and I jumped on some years ago and never looked back.
Read More…


Kids Saving the Rainforest – April 2017

This stunned and injured monkey was spotted in front of our house. KSTR to the rescue!

This stunned and injured monkey was spotted in front of our house. KSTR to the rescue!

Hello once again, my dear faithful readers! I’m here to report to you about what’s new with me and KSTR, as I am every month! This month has been particularly interesting, I must say. A lot of things have happened, and a lot of new things are coming for me and KSTR! For the last few months I’ve been studying the KSTR tour cheat sheet, to ready myself to give a tour. I am happy to say that soon, I will be ready!

My family and I also happened to find an injured monkey, hiding in our neighbor’s bushes. She had a head wound, and possibly a broken limb. We went down, and watched her while we waited for KSTR to arrive. Then KSTR arrived and retrieved her, to take her back to the sanctuary and check out her injuries. She looked like such a sweet girl, and I genuinely felt terrible for her. I hope that she gets better soon, and is able to be released back into the wild. Good luck, little monkey.

Read More…


The “Man-Chair” and the top 10 features for chairs with Man Appeal

Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

If you used to watch Frasier back in the day you will remember his impeccable sense of style.

“So what do you think of what I’ve done with the place?” Frasier asked his father, Martin, in the pilot episode. “You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.” 

Eames chairWell, as soon as his father moved in—with his grossly overstuffed and battered “Man Chair” I could feel his pain. For the 11 years that the show ran that hideous chair created an eyesore in the middle of his very elegant and tastefully decorated condo. He suffered greatly at the extreme ugliness of this monstrosity*.
However, the really painful part came in the series finale when Frasier’s father moves out and Frasier finally gets to put his beloved Eames recliner back in the living room. His father comes to visit, sits back in the Eames recliner and says “Hmmm … this is pretty comfortable. I would have been okay with this!”

Read More…


Marimba

Marimba headerBy Nancy Buchan

Last month the president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, attended a celebration at a school in the Nicoya—an area, along with Guanacaste, that is somewhat known for the making and playing of marimbas. He was treated to some local students playing their marimbas, and then he designated November 30th the Day of the Marimba! Now maybe you don’t think that this is particularly big news, but I think this humble yet mighty instrument deserves a day of its own to be honored. It’s already the national instrument of Guatemala and of Nicaragua, so why shouldn’t CR get on the band wagon! The marimba has inspired political diatribes, survived governmental bans and modern updating, and it is still a unique and beautiful sounding traditional instrument that is very popular throughout Central America.

Read More…


What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – April 2017

The summer is here, the marlin and tuna bite is on, and tourists are shopping, dining and soaking up the views. April is an incredibly busy month for everyone here in the area and the schedule at MPV is no exception. During the month of April the Marina will be hosting two international billfishing tournaments, weekly live radio shows from the Runaway Grill, free outdoor movie nights and Semana Santa specials for all of our guests and patrons. We are incredibly grateful to our local community, staff and visitors for all the support in helping to make this project so special and the team and family at Marina Pez Vela continue to renew their commitment to creating the most dynamic and unique facilities anywhere in Costa Rica.

FIRST ANNUAL MARINA PEZ VELA OPEN: April 19-21

In the days leading up to the Offshore World championships, (which will also be hosted at Marina Pez Vela) we are very proud to announce a unique opportunity for anglers from around Costa Rica to challenge themselves in a prize money tournament against the best teams from around the world. The MPV OPEN is open to everyone. There is still time to sign up and get your team the chance to have some fun, win some money and measure your skills against the best teams from around the globe. For more information: marinapezvelatournaments.com.

2017 OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: April 23-28

Marina Pez Vela and Costa Rica will once again play host to the most prestigious fishing tournament in the world, the Offshore World Championship. This is an invitation/qualification only event with teams from around the world converging on the Marina Pez Vela and the Manuel Antonio area to compete for what is equivalent to the gold medal in the Olympics of billfishing. There are daily activities and weigh-ins so whether you are an angler or not, make sure to mark the dates and come and share in the atmosphere at MPV during this iconic event.

RADIO DOS WITH EVAN LUCK

If you haven’t come to join in the fun at the Runaway Grill, you should start now! Every Thursday from 5-7 pm, Evan Luck, the iconic voice of the classic rock station 99.5 comes to broadcast his show live from Marina Pez Vela. The Runaway grill has a vibrant happy hour with great specials every day, and with the live broadcast there is always a great crowd. This month, with Semana Santa and all our tournaments, every Thursday is going to be loads of fun and is a great way to start winding down the work week, share some laughs and a magical sunset with friends or guests. You can listen live here in Costa Rica on 99.5 or tune in anywhere in the world at radiodos.com.

MOVIE NIGHTS UNDER THE STARS

April has one of our best outdoor movie lineups ever! This is a great way for tourists or locals to enjoy the public areas at the marina, take advantage of the weekly specials at any of our restaurants and just share in a stunning setting and a free night of entertainment. See this month’s schedule in Quepolandia or on our website at marinapezvela.com.

Marina Pez Vela logo


Lance, Letty & Niven: the Rest of the Story: UPDATED

Lance, Niven, & Letty at Dos Locos

Lance, Niven, & Letty at Dos Locos

Click the PLAY button to listen to Letty, Lance, Niven & Ed.

My name is Ed Hooven. For decades my late wife Maya (who died on Feb. 3rd, 2017) and I were good friends with Lance, Letty and Niven. Our friendship was in part based on our mutual interests in playing and listening to live music.

I write this with tears in my eyes as I am the last survivor of this group (born one month after Letty) and have recently been lost in my memories while listening to the hours of recordings we made in our Toronto music room and on gigs (many with Lance, Letty and Niven) since my wife’s recent death from a second bout with cancer.

But let me go back to the beginning: It all started in 1968 (as I learned from Maya) that a new Canadian named Lance Bennett arrived in Toronto’s Yorkville (the then hip area of the city). They immediately struck up a friendship with Maya hiring Lance to work at her club the “Penny Farthing” coffee house. While the club closed shortly after that Maya took Lance with her to the several other Yorkville venues she worked at in those years. They stayed in touch over the next 15 or so years while Lance traveled intermittently to places like South America and England.

Read More…


¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April 2017

April 2017 coverBienvenidos/ Welcome to the land of Pura Vida. We are here to help make this an unforgettable vacation. April is a very busy month here with Semana Santa being one of the biggest weeks of the year. So have patience, relax, and enjoy the celebration. April should also bring a little rain to help cool things down a little and provide some incredible sunsets. So get to one of our many restaurants such as El Sol or d’Tapas at the beach. Aqua Azul or El Lagarto on the mountain or Mira Olas at the Best Western in Quepos for spectacular sunset views and delicious cocktails. In Dominical check out the river view from Mono Congo. Bring your camera as we are always looking for great cover shots.

Marina Pez Vela will be in full swing this month hosting the Offshore World Championships with top team teams from around the world competing for the Championship. Thank you Keiber Cruz for the cover. Great shot of last year’s OWC start. Don’t forget Movie Night Under the Stars every Friday night, a great night for the entire family.

Be careful this time of year the rip tides can be strong, remember to swim sideways parallel with the shore & not into the currant, and don’t forget the SUNBLOCK.

We would like to welcome our new additions this month, Aurea Designs, Casa Moderna, Carlos Herreros at Coldwell Banker, and Manu Villas….. So please let our advertisers know we sent you.

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

Peace & Enjoy…D


Creating Your Sanctuary Bedroom

Design Wise

Ideally, the master bedroom should be the sanctuary where you can retreat at the end of the day. A place to relax, enjoy, and encourage a good night’s sleep.

By Shelagh Duncan

It should be able to make you just feel good—it is not important whether it is a large master suite or a small bedroom—you should be able to feel the comfort and serenity in this space. It should be the place to make you feel special, and for you and your partner to nurture and enrich your relationship.

Clean and uncluttered bedroomHere are some simple ways to create this space, and I promise the end result will be well worth the effort.

First Impressions

When it comes to design, first impressions count so decorate, clean and arrange your master bedroom accordingly. Keep the floors and night tables clutter free. Ask yourself what do you see when you first walk into the bedroom? What is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning? For me, I see the big sky and the trees on the mountains in the distance. I love that feeling.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Planting Yourself

memoirs of a massuer headerI spend a lot of time outside. Particularly in my garden around plants and trees. Although I have no formal training I had landscaping jobs as a teen and into my twenty’s; in college my work study job was in the university greenhouse, growing plants for science experiments and observations. I’ve always enjoyed herbs and find the cycle of life very rewarding…even the year when I lost 4 mature coconut trees to a nasty beetle. I was emotional about that for months. Toucans and parrots of all sorts frequent the tallest of trees on my property and wake me most mornings. Once my land was a barren dirt hill that used to be cow pasture, now I am surrounded by five fruit trees, lipstick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spottings occur almost daily and I never knew I would become a bird watcher, professional sunrise/sunset observer, and can identify our slight change of seasons with the best of them.

Read More…


Volunteers Wilberth Chacón, Daniel Marin Carmona, & Juan Pablo Aguero

TCA logoMarch is the hottest month of the year here in Manuel Antonio, so for this issue we want to introduce you to several very cool people who have worked for the Titi Conservation Alliance almost since its inception 16 years ago. Their dedication and enthusiasm for our conservation projects is truly inspiring!

Wilberth Chacon (l) & Daniel Marin Carmona (r)

Wilberth Chacon (l)
& Daniel Marin Carmona (r)

First is Sr. Wilberth Chacón. He has worked for our habitat reforestation program since 2003, performing tree planting, maintenance and other field tasks for the Naranjo River Biological Corridor. He’s as local as local can get. Born in Quepos county and having spent all his life in the area, Wilberth knows his way around nature as few people do here. Being a curious and hardworking man, Wilberth has taken courses related to Cacao Plantation Management and Exportation of Flowers. Over the years, he has been a key guide and assistant for the various monitoring studies performed by Titi Conservation Alliance and allies, helping with nursery set-up, GPS studies, follow-up of reforestation areas, etc. He´s also an active community leader and member of several different local development associations.

Read More…


The Sloth Institute – March 2017

2-toed sloth in a treeBy Sam Trull, Sloth Director and Co-Founder of The Sloth Institute

After living in Costa Rica and working for The Sloth Institute for over a year and a half now there is nowhere else I would like to be. Even after living in a tent, braving the weather, the long hours and lack of sleep for this long I do not want to go back home just yet!

I graduated with my zoology degree in 2015 and was thankfully accepted to become a volunteer research technician with The Sloth Institute (TSI). I went into the job without any prior knowledge about sloths, but now I have completely fallen in love with them!! Throughout my time with TSI there have been many highs and lows, that unfortunately just comes hand in hand when working with animals. One of my most recent highs was when we successfully reunited a baby three fingered sloth back with its mother. After a local guide contacted us about the sloth we rushed over to help and after we made sure the baby was in no immediate danger we waited. We moved as far back from the baby as we could and were completely silent. The baby started to cry for its mother and after some time the mother appeared high up and started to move towards her baby. She climbed down the tree until finally she reached her baby and they were reunited. Moments like these are the main reasons why I am still out here in Costa Rica!!
The Sloth Institute logo

Read More…


Pad Thai

Chef's Corner logo

This dish has become soooo popular worldwide, and here’s why; because of that deliciously decadent balancing act between comfort and blandness from the rice noodles, with the zest and pop of lime juice, hot peppers, sweet brown sugar, crunchy peanuts… Optimal when served immediately! 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 package, 14 oz (396 gm) of Pad Thai noodles, soaked in water for 30 minutes & drained
  • 1 bundle of green onions or scallions, chopped
  • Pad Thai

  • 1/3 cup of chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup of blanched bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fish sauce or Nam Pla (available locally)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped hot peppers or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of freshly torn and chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 kilo of shrimp*
    *Shrimp can be replaced with chicken, pork, mushrooms, other veggies of your preference, or any combination thereof.

Read More…


Spanish Sucks – March 2017

Spanish Sucks by Os¡Happy New 70 Verbs!
¡Happy New Flashcards!
Parte III

¡Hola amigos! How did you feel filling the first seven verbs?

AMAR,   AYUDAR,   APRENDER,   ABRIR,   BEBER,   CAMINAR,   CERRAR.

And how did you do with the last seven?

COCINAR,   COMENZAR,   COMER,   CONDUCIR,   CONOCER,   COMPRAR,   DAR.

Good luck with the following seven!

GANAR,   GUSTAR,   HACER,   DECIR,   LEER,   HABLAR,   JUGAR.

Remember that I chose those 70 verbs based on the frequency of use, the importance of complexity and the pattern of conjugation… Every month I will give you seven flashcards to fill! Go to my website and compare your fillings with mine! oscostarica.com/printable-spanish-flashcards/.
Read More…


A Really Nasty Character

Greater grison

By Jack Ewing

Nature & Natural History logoThe book Mammals of Costa Rica by Mark Wainwright describes 21 different species of carnivores found in the country, two from the dog family (canids), six from the raccoon family (procyonids), six from the cat family (felids), and seven from the weasel family (mustelids). This last family boasts some of the toughest and most ferocious animals on the planet, pound for pound. In Costa Rica they are represented by the long-tailed weasel, neotropical river otter, spotted skunk, stripped hog-nosed skunk, hooded skunk, tayra, and the greater grison. This last, the greater grison (Galactis vittata), is distinguished by its ferocity and ability to kill prey considerably larger than itself. I certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with one.

Greater grisons are found in the central and southern pacific regions of Costa Rica but are relatively unknown even by people who live in areas where they are found. I did an informal poll of employees at Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge and found that most of the guides and park rangers had heard of the grison, but only four had ever seen one. None of the receptionists or restaurant personnel had ever heard of them. Over the last 45 years I have been privileged to see five greater grisons.

Hacienda Baru

Read More…


Kids Saving the Rainforest – March 2017

KSTR logoHello again, it’s me Lexi, KSTR’s spokeskid.

Owl trapped in barbed wire fenceNow as much as I’d like to turn that sentence into an Adele pun, I was wondering if after all these years I could learn to be a bit more mature. I am about to become a teenager, after all. Anyways, I’m here! I bet you all missed me. I have some great news to share! I got to eat hashbrowns for breakfast. Oh, also, my family saved an owl. What’s that? You’re more interested in the owl? Well, I mean, they were very good hashbrowns, but anything for my fans I guess.

A few weeks ago, my mom spotted an owl. She saw it was flapping its wings, but it didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. She quickly figured out that it was trapped in the barbed wire that encircled an area below our house, our private property. She headed down with my father, and my sister not too far behind, carrying a huge box. (Good job, Peaches!) Unfortunately, I was asleep for all of this, but eventually my father cut the owl out of the barbed wire, being very careful not to touch him. (Remember! Our hands transmit diseases.) They got him into the box, and took him to the KSTR sanctuary! We are happy to say, he’ll be ready for release soon.
Read More…