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Homemade Instruments

Homemade Instruments

Pacay shaker

Pacay Shaker

We have all been deprived of being able to listen to live music this past year—and even worse, we haven’t been able to play with other musicians. Myself, and most of my musician friends, have been sitting at home on Friday nights instead of playing LIVE MUSIC for you folks to sing along to, or to dance to. The kids at the school in San Isidro where I teach have had to rely on cell phones to receive their virtual lessons, instead of being able to play in an orchestra or to play duets with their pals. It just sucks, and there is no polite way to say that. Of course, we all hope things get back to ‘normal’, but that word may have already become meaningless. I totally admire the teachers of the world who are trying to use whatever means they can to help aspiring musicians continue to play and to get more proficient and to enjoy themselves.

Learning to use and value the natural resources around us is a practical and respectful way to approach living here. As musicians, we have to find ways for folks who would like to participate in music sessions to be able to do so. Ways to expose kids (and adults) to rhythms and sounds without having to be in a scholastic or technical or purely electronic setting. I firmly believe we have to get behind the spirit of this concept. Just look around you, listen to the natural sounds here, take guidance from the ancestors—and start making your own instruments! GET CREATIVE!

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That’s Fishin’- March 2021

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Welcome to the March instalment of That’s Fishin! I hope the big fish and smiling faces in the photos inspire you to take a trip for yourself!

Marlin in the waterOFFSHORE FISHING

March is an excellent time to fish Offshore here in Quepos. Blue skies and flat calm seas are the norm and large numbers of Big Pacific Sailfish are the main target. This is an excellent time of year to get in on a serious billfish bite. Releasing double digit Sailfish in a day’s fishing is not uncommon here during March. A recent guest aboard my boat GOOD DAY could not quite believe it when he reeled in 6 Sailfish back-to-back…he said that if he caught 1, he would have been delighted but never in his wildest dreams did he expect to catch 6 Sailfish in one day! Welcome to Costa Rica guys!

In addition to Sailfish the Tuna fishing should remain excellent during March. If you have never witnessed a megapod of Spinner Dolphins which travel together with the Tuna schools you are going to be in for a real treat. There have been some excellent marine life sightings over the past month with Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Killer Whales, even a rare Curviers Beaked Whale on one recent trip in addition to the four dolphin species we encounter regularly and daily sightings of Turtles, Manta Rays, and all manner of other species. National Geographic worthy scenes are a daily occurrence during offshore trips out of Quepos and I hope that you get to experience it for yourself. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin should all make an appearance during March, plus the odd Dorado and maybe even a Wahoo.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2021

March CoverBienvenidos/Welcome to Quepolandia, we are here to make sure that you have an unforgettable adventure. The weather is perfect, so get out of those winter clothes and forget those snow shovels and enjoy being away from those freezing temperatures. Whether you are hiking one of our incredible National Parks or just chillin on the beach don’t forget to drink lots of water (not cervezas) and keep hydrated and sunblock, sunblock, and more SUNBLOCK.

In addition to the fleet of boats waiting to take you sport fishing or sightseeing, Marina Pez Vela offers air conditioned shopping, great restaurants, fantastic tours, and some of the most delicious Italian gelato Costa Rica has to offer at Gelateria Amorosi. The fishing has been remarkable and so have the tournaments. MPV will be hosting two fun filled tournaments in March for the entire family. The 10th Annual Billfish Cup March 12-13 and the new Sailfish Slam March 27.

March Madness is upon us so all you college basketball fans can catch all the action at Jolly Roger and enjoy the big screens and delicious food and drink. The sunsets are beautiful here this time of year and the best places to view them are the Marina in Quepos, Aqua Azul on the top of the mountain in MA, or Bûru right on the beach which offers live music every Saturday night.

Welcome to our new advertiser Go Tulemar.

We would like to thank Greg Gordon for the cover shot of Malonga Chatel at Playa Cocles

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 Facebook/Quepolandia.

We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace And Enjoy…D


Spanish Sucks – February 2021

Spanish Sucks, February 2021

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The Story of Land and Sea in Costa Rica

The Story of Land and Sea in Costa Rica header

Costa Rica is best known for its lush tropical environment and conservation ethic: monkeys, sloths, toucans, peccary, iguanas and agoutis all in a rainforest setting, in addition to whales, dolphins, and underwater wonders. This is what the visitor to Costa Rica will see and tell about. This is ecotourism at its best.

Those of us who live here love seeing the flora and fauna, both terrestrial and marine, but by virtue of being here all of the time we have the opportunity to see a deeper picture of our environment. We are able to see the environmental gains and losses, problems and solutions. Let’s have a closer look.

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The Best Waves in Costa Rica for Advanced Surfers

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The Labyrinth

On the way to Ollies Point, you pass this break on the boat. It only starts working when the swell gets to be two feet overhead or bigger. It is predominately a right that has a steep takeoff, followed by a quick barrel if the swell is the right direction, or a racy section where you can maybe fit in a turn or two, and then either clamps shut on the inside or flattens out if you make the shoulder. The rocks on the inside are menacing and knowing that if something goes wrong you are miles from the nearest port can make this spot fearful.

Playa Negra

Roca LocaA popular right rock-reef break, it is fun when it’s chest to a foot overhead. It’s easy to find the takeoff spot, just look for the dozen guys sitting right on it. But when it gets to be three feet overhead and bigger, the lineup thins out. There is usually a crazy riptide from the swell direction and from the water rushing back out through the shallow inside reef. A second take off spot appears another 30 yards farther outside, so if you are trying for a smaller set you will can easily get caught and walloped by a set wave. But if your timing is right, it is a roll in drop-in with a steep section to carve and then a right round barrel to plow through with a quick exit before you end up on the rock shelf.

Roca Loca

This spot is found half way between Jaco and Playa Hermosa. It is best when it’s double to triple overhead and usually there is not anyone out, or maybe just a few charging locals. The hardest part is paddling out, as there is a steep climb down from a parking spot known for breakins. Then you have to find the keyhole through the rock ledge, which is made more difficult at higher tides or when the closeout sets wash out the entire coast. Once you are out, the takeoff spot is clear—just find the ‘crazy rock’ boil and sit on it until the sets come. This wave can break 150 yards with a steep takeoff followed by a long wall—great for big gouges and top turns. Just don’t get behind it or it will swallow you up and getting back out is not easy.

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Aloo Gobi – Potatoes & Cauliflower Curry

Chef's corner headerTake these ordinary vegetables on a “drab to fab” journey with this classic Indian curry made famous by the 2002 movie “Bend it like Beckham.” Serve it with paratha flatbread or any bread, or a little basmati rice.

Ingredients for 6 to 8 portions

  • 4 tablespoons of olive, coconut, or your favorite cooking oil
  • 3 to 4 medium to large potatoes cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 1 medium sized cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons of whole cumin seeds
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 whole medium diced tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander seeds (found in farmer’s market)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne flakes or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of powdered turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala (Garam masala is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamon, and the recipes may vary.)
  • Chopped green chili peppers for more heat (optional)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Small handful of curry leaves (It is sometimes possible in our area to find fresh leaves from the curry plant. They add a sharp and nutty component.)
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Aloo Gobi - Potatoes and Cauliflower Curry

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil to medium-hot in a wide lidded pan. Add cumin seeds. Once they start popping, add potatoes.
  2. Once the potatoes are translucent, remove them with a slotted spoon, repeat with cauliflower and also remove.
  3. Add oil to pan in necessary to fry the onions, the curry leaves if available, then add the garlic and tomatoes, all the dry spices, and simmer while stirring often until you can see the oil pooling on the surface.
  4. Once this takes about 8 to 10 minutes, add potatoes and the cauliflower, and stir gently while adjusting the flavors with salt, lime juice, and peppers.
  5. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Quick paratha flatbread

  1. Sift 1½ cups of whole wheat or all-purpose flour with ½ teaspoon of salt.
  2. Make a well and gently stir in ⅔ to ¾ cup of water until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Shape into a ball and let rest for 20 minutes in a bowl covered with a damp cloth.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  5. Lightly flour hands and surface and roll each piece into a 5 inch (13 cm) disc.
  6. Brush with a little oil or ghee or melted butter and place in a heated comal or frying pan until golden on each side.
  7. Serve immediately after brushing both sides again with oil or melted butter.

Blues Cruise – February 2021

Blues Cruise header

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

“Keeping the blues alive at sea!” That was our mantra–our mission–our goal—our obsession for a week or so in February when 9 of us music lovers from Dominical got on a big ole’ ocean liner in Miami and floated away to the sounds of the Blues. I’m not gushing about this cruise because I bought stock in the damn boat or anything, and I am kind of amazed at my own enthusiasm for the whole trip, but it was SERIOUSLY BIG FUN!! Guitarist, singer and songwriter Joe Bonamassa is the driving force behind not only the Blues Cruises, but the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the next generation of young, talented musicians.

At a time when school music programs are being cancelled, the NEA is being de-funded by Trump, and people don’t have health insurance, it’s a breath of fresh air to know that there are still people out there raising money to offset the loss of arts funding in America. Mental and physical health is always improved by exposure to music, and there are so many benefits to music education—I harp about this subject all the time. Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation was created in 2011 and since then they have funded over 350 music projects, affecting over 60,000 students, and they have donated over $400,000 to educators, festivals, scholarships and Blues related events.

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Incorporating Universal Design in Your Home

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Designing for Tomorrow

According to the US census projections, within 7 years all of the nation’s 74 million baby boomers will be 65 or older. The most senior among them will be on the cusp of 85. Many will be leaving the US to retire elsewhere.

You may already be aware about a recent ranking issued by International Living that places Costa Rica at the top of their global list of Best Places to Retire in 2021. That is some achievement for a small isthmus with a population of just about 5 million!

If you live here you will totally get this. Agreed, nowhere is perfect…but this part of Costa Rica can feel pretty close sometimes.

Many people are choosing to relocate in Costa Rica from younger age brackets too of course—working remotely has opened the world in one way, just as Covid has closed it in another.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – February 2021

KSTR LogoDani carrying pails of foodBy Dani Colloff

Hi everyone! My name is Dani, and I am the spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest.

We live in Manuel Antonio right now, and every day when we go outside, there’s a large guard dog! Well, he isn’t really a dog—he’s a Green Iguana, and he’s a big boy! We shouldn’t try to pet him, and we should respect his space just like we are social distancing these days. I except we always have to social distance with him, not just during a pandemic. We are lucky to live in a place where there’s lot of beautiful jungle. And we have to share this space, because we are in the animals’ jungle, not the other way around!

Another reason we should give wild animals space is because, if you get too close to them they might try to hurt you. You never know when you’re looking at a mommy or daddy, and there’s a baby nearby and out of sight. I know if somebody tried to steal me, my mom would hurt them! Most wild animals don’t want to hurt people, but if they are feeling scared or protective, they might try to hurt you.

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5 Ways to Manage Overwhelm

A Healthier You headerHave you been feeling the effects of overwhelm as the world continues to shift?

5 Ways to Manage Overwhelm

  1. Understand the roots of your overwhelming emotions.
  2. Explore ways to self-soothe.
  3. Focus on the desire instead of the stress.
  4. Recharge with your own source of love.
  5. Address recurring stressors that contribute to overwhelm.

Our emotions only hold as much power as we give them.

What if we stopped dreading overwhelm so much, and instead welcomed it in?

It’s not so scary when we know how to sit with it, release it, and move through it.

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That’s Fishin’- February 2021

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A warm welcome to the February edition of That’s Fishin’ and what a start to the 2020-2021 Sport Fishing season we have had here in Quepos, with some phenomenal fishing taking place this past couple of months.

Man releasing a billfishOFFSHORE FISHING

January witnessed some simply insane Sailfishing, with many boats managing to get into double digit Sailfish releases during some days on the water. January through April sees some of the best Sailfishing of the year so expect the excellent opportunities for Sailfish to continue for the next couple of months and I hope you get to experience it for yourself.

There were plenty of Blue Marlin released from November to January, and February should continue to provide a great chance of catching a Marlin during Offshore trips. Most Blue Marlin are in the 150-250lb range, however, there have been several seriously large Blues caught in the past month, you just never know when that fish of a lifetime is going to take your bait!

Family holding a tunaDecember and January produced good numbers of Striped Marlin which are always a welcome addition to any charter and definitely one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. February is a great time for Black Marlin, and a slow-trolled live bonito over our Offshore reefs is the preferred method to target a big Black Marlin, which can regularly exceed over 500lbs here.

The Tuna fishing has been nothing short of exceptional during December and January. The turn of the year is always a great time for large-grade Yellow Fin Tuna, and this year has been no exception. Many fish in the 50-100lb class have been caught with some real sea monsters in the 150-200lb plus range landed also. Livebait, or artificial Squidnation Squids, are some of the preferred methods for Tuna here.

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Planting Yourself

I 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 twenties; 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, lip stick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spotting’s 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.


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The Wonderful World of Hemp

Hello Hemp headerThe Journey

Hola, hola Quepolandians and visitors! It has been years since I last wrote for Quepolandia. My articles will still be plant-based, but this time the focus will be specifically on Cannabis sativa L./Hemp and its countless components, uses and benefits, including the ever-so-popular CBD/Cannabidiol.

First, a little of my background to shed some light as to why I feel sufficiently enlightened to be writing on this topic, which I hope will serve to inform and educate you readers on this extraordinary plant. My degree is in Horticulture, and I have been working with plants for over 40 years. Cannabis has been an interest of mine for decades, and I studied and worked with it it in my earlier years. But it was not until I discovered a book entitled Hemp Bound (at the former Jamie Peligro bookstore in Quepos) in 2017 that I realized what Hemp was and its enormous potential to humankind. This book was published in 2014—before we had even heard of CBD. Soon following that enriching read, Smoke Signals—A Social History of Cannabis by Martin Lee was next in queue. By then I was chomping at the bit for more knowledge and ready to return to the states to further my education on this plant and its blossoming, legal industry.

This is a good place to make this distinction: Cannabis includes both Marijuana and Hemp. Hemp is then categorized as either Industrial Hemp—which is grown for its stalk and seed, or Medicinal Hemp—grown mainly for CBD/Cannabidiol extraction. Medicinal Hemp is basically Marijuana with the THC—the psychoactive compound—bred out of it or to levels not to exceed 0.3%, which is the legal limit in the U.S. More on this in future articles.

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – February 2021

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Marina Pez Vela brought in 2021 with some AMAZING experiences, energy and most importantly hope for a better year to come. There is tremendous energy at the project right now, some amazing new tenants, Costa Rica’s biggest Sportfishing tournament ever and February is going to bring more success stories and life to our community. We are so honored to be a part of the reactivation of our community, to be creating a public space to share with locals and tourists alike, and to be helping to demonstrate how we can all work collaboratively to create SAFE spaces where health protocols and security can allow us to share and create memories in this beautiful part of the world.

ROCKSTAR WAS HUGE

There are times when a name is just hype, times when the promise of something is bigger than the event itself, times where it’s all talk and no walk. AND THEN THERE WAS THE 2021 ROCKSTAR TOURNAMENT. 67 teams, more than $970,000 in prize money on the line, INSANE billfish bite with 364 anglers releasing 922 Billfish, including 37 blue marlin and 1 striped marlin in this two day extravaganza.

Here are the results.

Big Boat Division
First Place: Cabana with 3800 points
Second Place: Game Plan with 3500 points
Third Place: FishTank with 3400 points
 
Small Boat Division
First Place: Rockstar with 2100 points
Second Place: Gamefisher 2 with 1400 points
Third Place: Trifecta with 1300 points
 
Team Alaska, Good Times, Marina Pez Vela, and Kenneth Knock Development all took home prices in the Tuna and Dorado gamefish divisions.
 
Rockstar was much bigger than just the world class fishing, it was about the Marina, our community and all of the amazing teams who came to share with us showing the world we are BACK, that TOGETHER we can honor both protocol and health concerns, and still enjoy this amazing facility at Marina Pez Vela and the world class waters off our coastline!  

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