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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2019

February 2019 coverBienvevidos/Welcome to our little part of paradise. Shed those jackets and forget about those snow shovels and let your adventure begin. High season is here and February is the month of Love and Costa Rica will provide the Peace And Happiness.

Kicking off the Happiness is the 2nd Annual Eco Beer Fest (same concept just better) at Fuego Brew Co. in Dominical on February 2nd. Followed by more Happiness with the Super Bowl LIII on the 3rd. Jolly Roger (MA) will be throwing a Tailgate party in the parking lot of Byblos Casino. Marina Pez Vela will be rocking the docks with the game on the BIG screen. Also on the big screen is Movie night under the stars a fantastic Friday night for the entire family and it’s free.

For all you lovers here, Valentines Day is upon us so don’t forget to make your special dinner reservations at our many exceptional restaurants Arbol, Victoria’s, Mira Olas just to mention a few. How about a family portrait? Sarah Yunker Photography. Maybe a massage, get it booked.

Bring the Peace is Jordan Todd with this months cover photo of the Garden Of Eden. No it’s just our Mangroves. Give Tucanes Tours a call and kayak the mangroves and experience the tranquility of the totally unique environment. For a little more adrenaline “The Chorro” is now rolling for all you river rafters.

Marina Pez Vela is continuing the festivities with the Pescadora Fishing Tournament, the first women’s only fishing tournament February 21-23. So come join us and enjoy this tournament and show the women our support.

Closing out the month and bringing more Peace, Love, and Happiness is the 9th Annual Envision Festival February 28 – March 3rd. Held on the beach in Uvita Envision provides four days of art, education, yoga, music, and incredible people from all over the world. Get tickets now (Envisionfestival.com) you won’t want to miss it.

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 with at here or Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D


New Year, New Look

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10 Ways To Update Your Interior Without Breaking The Bank

by Shelagh Duncan

You might be quite happy with your current interior decor, but like any solid, long-term relationship, it can get a bit stale. With the New Year upon us why not try a few simple ideas to reinvigorate your space and make it look fresh and new – so you can fall in love with your home all over again!

Monstera leaves in a vaseYou don’t need to buy a bunch of new stuff to give your home a fresh look. Just take what you’ve already got, and mix it up! That’s what interior designers do. First we look through what clients already own, because treasures may be hidden in a cupboard or closet or sitting on a shelf that no one ever notices. Have a look around your own home, open the drawers, clear some shelves and counter tops and start fresh. Swap out mirrors, table lamps, throw blankets and pillows. Rotate artwork into different positions, rearrange the books and try out new objects on the coffee and dining table. Here are some ideas to get you going.

 

1. ADD SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO YOUR ENTRYWAY

Change the wall art to a mirror – or vice-versa, change up the lamp or the table. Painting a wall in the entrance will give completely new first impression of your home. Just making a small change can make a big difference.

Royal Palm Interiors

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6 Benefits to Walking Barefoot

A Healthier You headerDid you know only 20 percent of the world’s population wears shoes? There are actually many benefits to walking barefoot that you may not realize. When our bare skin comes in direct contact with the earth, the ions in the earth help balance the ions in our bodies and can provide many benefits to our health.

1 Releases toxins

There are reflex points in our feet that directly affect our organs and bones. Walking on the bumps and rocks on the ground help to stimulate these reflex points in your feet. It may hurt at first, but this means your feet need the stimulation they are receiving. The pressure on your foot acts as acupuncture which can improve your energy.

Walking barefoot2 Strengthens and stretches muscles

Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles and tendons in your feet, ankles and calves which helps prevent injury and strain. It also works different muscles than when you’re wearing shoes and can help improve your posture and balance.

3 Boosts your mood

Spending time with Mother Nature is proven to improve your mood and mental state. These benefits are boosted when your body comes in direct contact with the earth beneath you.
Immersing yourself in nature and receiving the higher frequencies it emits increases your own energy levels.

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THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF THOMAS J. BROWER

The First Gringo in Dominical

by Jack Ewing

Thomas beside old tractor

My swamper, cat & I on the road to Dominical

When Thomas J. Brower first came to Costa Rica World War II was raging, and the US was worried about the Panama Canal. If it were to fall into enemy hands allied naval capacity would be severely crippled, and in the late 1930’s a land route, imperative for the defense of the canal, did not exist. Building one became top priority, and the Pan-American highway was the result. The US government contracted with the Charles E. Mills Construction Company to build the 300 km stretch of road from Cartago to the Panamanian border.

Tommy Brower landed in Dominicalito with the construction company in 1940. A crude dock was built and heavy machinery unloaded. Part of the crew, with the help of local labor, built a camp for the company workers, and the rest started building a road to San Isidro. Once the trocha, as the rough cut road was called, reached San Isidro the workers split into two groups with one working toward Palmar Norte and the other toward Cartago where they would eventually meet up with other crews working from those locations toward San Isidro. It was a major operation, the magnitude of which had never been seen in Costa Rica.

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Let’s talk about the Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed hummingbirdBy Paul Gerace

The Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird is one of the most common hummingbirds seen here in Costa Rica.

It is named after its very distinct rufous colored tail. It has a very pink bill and a bright green body that appears to glitter when the sunlight hits it just right.

The Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird is very territorial. When other hummingbirds try to feed on its area of flowers it will make an aggressive dive towards them which results in their retreat.

Their wings flap at an impressive 60 beats per second and they like to feed on nectar and small insects. They are typically found in gardens and particularly like the colorful flowers on the rabo leon bushes.

Even though they are very common I still look forward to photographing them to capture their beautiful colors in the right light.

You can see more of my images at www.photosofcostarica.com


Memoirs of a Masseur – January 2019


Fugacious is a word that isn’t commonly used. It is an adjective and by definition it means lasting a short time. More importantly it is used to describe immaterial things such as emotions, because they can come and go and often do not leave a lasting effect. Botanists, for example, use the word fugacious to describe plant parts that whither or falls off before the usual time. Things that are fugacious are fleeting and do not contain substance.

I recently returned to Costa Rica after my annual two months away. I am fortunate to have massage clients in the Niagara Frontier region of New York as well as a humble family cottage on the eastern shore of Lake Erie in Canada. I spend September and October enjoying family and lifelong friends as well as reflecting on the year that has passed. My personal New Year begins in November with my return to the jungle and also coincides with another high season in beloved Manuel Antonio. While stateside I spend many of my days mountain biking to Niagara Falls and along the mighty Niagara river. The cooler temperatures persuade the elm, oak, and maple trees leaves to turn red, orange, and yellow, all signaling me to slow down and reflect. For I know that autumn is a fugacious friend that will leave me soon.


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What to Check for When Renting a Surfboard

Surfboard rentalsBy Greg Gordon,  CR Surf Travel Company
www.CRsurf.com   @crsurf

This article is mostly for beginner surfers or those taking a surfboard out for the first time. You see a lot of options on the beach for board rentals, in both sizes and prices. So which is the best for you? Well that depends on the size and type you need, the condition of the board, leash, and fins, and the price you want to pay.

Size and Type

If you are beginner you are going to want a longer board. An official ‘longboard’ is 9 feet long, and most anyone under 200 lbs can easily float on it. Bigger surfers should look for wider or longer boards, but not too long. Really long boards can get heavy and hard to control in waves over knee to waist high. If you are a smaller or lighter person, you can choose a board as small as 7’6” but smaller boards are generally thinner and will not float you as well. They also turn quickly so are less stable. Even kids should get longer boards (7’6” to 8’) since the goal is being able to stand up easily, that is the fun part. Kids get frustrated and lose interest if they keep falling down.

The two main types of boards are solid or soft-top. Solid boards are harder and float a person a little better. The down side is you want to have a good coat of wax on the board so your feet and stomach don’t slip. Also it can hurt should it hit you in the head or body. Soft-top boards are the same weight, but they have a spongy top. For most of them you do not need wax to grip the top of the board. However, the sponge like surface can cause some painful rashes on your chest, stomach, and the insides of your thighs when sitting on it.
CRSurf.com
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Kids Saving the Rainforest – January 2019

Baby sea turtlesKSTR LogoBy Karma Casey

Happy New Year Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma from Kids Saving the Rainforest again. If you haven’t heard of us, we are a wildlife sanctuary and rescue center in Quepos, Costa Rica and we also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, and help educate people on respecting wildlife! I’m the spokes-kid here. I moved all the way to Costa Rica to help animals!

This month I will be telling you about new beginnings. Not too long ago, my school, Life Project Education, and I took a field trip to Reserva Playa Tortuga, a great project in Ojachal that works very hard to help little baby sea turtles with their own new beginnings, and make their way safely out into the ocean where they belong! We learned all about sea turtles, did a beach clean-up, and much more!

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Fiddlin’ Around – January 2019

Fiddlin'Around headerHallelujah brothers and sisters—we have survived another trip around the sun, so HAPPY NEW YEAR to us all! Despite global uncertainty, intolerance and animosity, the manipulation of information, wildfires, floods, earthquakes and personal frustrations, a bunch of us are still here! What we need to do now is to notice the optimistic new beginnings around us! Like a kid’s first piano or flute or violin recital. Little girls in their finest frilly dresses, nervously tuning up and looking for their friends in the audience. Little guys squirming in their new duds and shiny shoes. Proud families, turning out in herds to applaud and cheer for everyone. Gawky teen-agers, walking onstage with newfound poise and purpose. That first glimpse that the hours spent in focused practice actually turns into MUSIC—something that makes everyone feel closer and happier. That thrill—that pride—that awareness of being part of a human artistic brotherhood—it never goes away, and every musician remembers their first experiences and new beginnings.

Boy playing violinI see the transformation that happens with my students at the Escuela de Musica Sinfonica in San Isidro. At the beginning of the year many of them are shy or maybe intimidated by the amount and power of the new experiences they are having, but once they settle in they eagerly look forward to the new and exciting paths they can take musically. An incredible spirit dwells in our school—it’s full of inspiration and wonder and laughter and noise and wonderful chaos. I have literally ‘seen’ that proverbial light bulb go on over their heads when they master a little bit of Bach, or finally get comfortable enough with the posture of holding a cello to actually become one with it. As adults and mentors, we need to nurture and nourish these kids to follow their musical dreams, ‘cause a whole world of ‘new beginnings’ will be opened up for them. Different cultures and history—pride and discipline—art and beauty—love and compassion.

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That’s Fishin’- January 2019

That's Fishin' header

By Benn Gilmour

Man holding roosterfishA huge happy new year to you all, may all your fishing dreams come true in 2019! After some epic fishing during December, Quepos captains are hopeful for an even better January which is typically the start of our peak Sailfish season. Large numbers of big Pacific Sailfish averaging 70-80lbs gather just a short run from our coastline and Anglers flock from all around the world to experience our incredible fishing for themselves. Double digit Sailfish release days are not uncommon during full day Offshore charters out of Quepos when the bite is on. Blue, Black and Striped Marlin are all possible during January also and Anglers can expect some Dorado and Yellow Fin Tuna to be in the mix also. We enjoyed some spectacular Dorado fishing during November and December, numbers will likely reduce during January as water temperatures rise during the dry season but you should still expect to see a Dorado or two on most Offshore trips. Yellow Fin Tuna will be found with the Spinner Dolphin schools, we get lots of Tuna in the 30-40lb range with plenty over 80lbs and some real 100-200lb plus monsters also. There was a 245lb Tuna caught out of Zancudo lodge in southern Costa Rica during December, an amazing fish demonstrating the potential we have here.
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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – January 2019

What's Shaking header
HIGH SEASON and LOW SEASON pattern is now very much a year round destination, with activities, tourism, dynamic events and a sense of community which seems to always evolve to a new level. December of 2018 was close to one of the busiest and most exciting years in the history of Marina Pez Vela. The Triathlon, 5th annual Bright Lights Parade, Manuel Antonio Vivo concert and holiday events were an amazing kick off to our 2018-2019 season, and January is going to be ON FIRE with some of the most fun events of the year.

ROCKSTAR IS BACK!

That’s right, put the kids to bed early, cover your eyes and your ears as the ICONIC PELAGIC ROCKSTAR TOURNAMENT IS BACK AND BIGGER THAN EVER! This two-day tournament (three-day event), starting on January 11th is going to be the largest tournament in prize money and participation that the Marina has ever seen, with the 3rd annual edition of this amazing event. Teams from around the world converge on the Marina for some of the most competitive angling on the planet and for some of the most FUN you can imagine in any fishing event on the globe. Live music nightly in the plaza at the marina will be welcoming the teams with the live weigh-ins, parties and storytelling of each day’s epic battles. With 4 divisions to compete, Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, and Tuna there will be big prize money and big ego on the line! If you are not already signed up, DO NOT MISS IT, and if you are not an angler, you will not want to miss the energy and fun each night in the plaza. Cash and prizes valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars will be on the line and nowhere in CR will there be more fun going on than at MPV!
Marina Pez Vela logo
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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2019

January 2019 coverBienvenidos…Welcome 2019, we hope you had a wonderful holiday. High season is upon us here in Costa Rica and we are glad you are here to be part of it with us. Green season has provided us a beautiful backdrop to begin this New Year of adventure. Our magazine is filled with the best of the best this southern Pacific has to offer.

Try something new this year like sport fishing for a record Marlin with Marina Pez Vela. Either offshore or onshore the fishing season has arrived so get out there and catch your dream. Thank you to Paula RM at Caiman Photography for your spectacular cover photo this month. As you can see the fish (and mammals) are literally jumping out of the ocean. Want to party like a rock star than get to the marina for the Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Jan 11-13th. Try zip lining or exploring the canopy tree tops with Hacienda Barú or Titi Canopy. Paddling through the mangroves or down one of our incredible rivers with Tucanes Tours. Hiking through some of the most beautiful National Parks in the world. Take ATVs to explore a waterfall with Monkey Ride. Just chillin’ at the beach? Try parasailing or learn to surf with Aquas Azules. They will have you hanging ten in no time. So let the Pura Vida lifestyle set the pace for your 2019.

Life is short…GO LIVE IT!!!

Looking for great food, great drinks, and great NFL Football? Stop in at Byblos Casino or Sancho’s on the mountain or Kamuk Casino and Sports Bar in Quepos to catch all the sports action.

PAWS is holding their 8th annual Battle of the Bands on January 27 at Ronnie’s Place in Manuel Antonio. So if you’re looking for great music, great food, great people, and a really GREAT cause, this is the place to be.

We would like to welcome our new advertisers this month: Abogados Leiva y Asociados, American Export, Costa Rica Escape Bus, CR Surf, Eden’s Nest, Fab Body, Islas of Manuel Antonio, Krisa Curtains and Blinds, and Outlier Legal.

We are always looking for great cover photos so please send us your best shots to info@quepolandia.com for future consideration to have your pictures make the cover.

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. Have a Happy 2019!

Peace and Enjoy…D


The Sloth Institute in Costa Rica is leading the world in sloth research conservation

The Sloth InstituteThe Sloth Institute (TSI), based in Manuel Antonio, is leading the rest of the world in efforts to research the behavioral ecology of wild, rehabilitating and released sloths after rehabilitating two three-fingered sloths called Destiny and Pocahontas—two of the few three-fingered sloths in Costa Rica to be successfully rehabilitated from a very young age and returned into the wild.

TSI, which is a not-for-profit organization, aims to research captive, wild and recently released sloths, so that scientists and animal-lovers all over the world might better understand the internet’s favorite slowpokes, as well as ensuring the conservation of sloths and providing care for injured sloths so they can be released.
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Peruvian Aji de Gallina

Chef's Corner logoWe once had a quaint little Peruvian restaurant downtown Quepos where this became my favorite chicken dish.

It is creamy and spicy with an unusual mix of walnuts, Parmesan, and these orange “aji” peppers that can be found in produce markets from time to time. I have also found this “Ajinka” sauce that I highly recommend to anyone who, like me, enjoys collecting hot sauces.

Aji peppers and ajinka sauceFor 8 portions

  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 large whole boneless chicken breasts (4 halves)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 slices of stale baguette (about 1/2 inch slices) or a similar bread
  • 3 to 4 aji peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 black olives, chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 can or 1/2 cup of evaporated milk

Completed dishDirections

  1. Boil potatoes and eggs until cooked. Peel and set aside.
  2. Boil chicken breasts in chicken broth and strain when fully cooked while reserving the stock. Let cool before shredding all of the meat.
  3. Cook the aromatics: onions, garlic, aji peppers in the oilve oil until very fragrant, and then allow to cool. 
    Meanwhile, soak the bread slices in the evaporated milk.
  4. Place cooked aromatics, leftover stock, bread with milk, and walnuts in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
    Return to pan and bring to a slow boil. Stir in the shredded chicken; adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper (I prefer white).
  5. Aji de gallina is usually served with a couple wedges of boiled potatoes, a couple wedges of hard boiled eggs, steamed rice and black olives.

Let’s talk about the Resplendent Quetzal

QuetzalBy Paul Gerace

One of the most colorful birds found here in Costa Rica is also a personal favorite of mine. The Resplendent Quetzal has iridescent feathers that can show colors of green, cobalt blue, lime, yellow, and ultramarine. It’s body can appear green, gold, or blue-violet also depending on the light. The chest is a bright red and it’s bill is a bright yellow. To watch it in flight is an eye opening experience that one never forgets.

Only the male has tail feathers that can extend over 2 feet long during mating season.

They are found from southern Mexico down into Panama. But the best place to see them is right here in Costa Rica in our protected forests.

Resplendent Quetzals will eat small insects and an assortment of fruits but their main food is wild avocados.

My favorite place to see them is either in San Gerardo de Dota or Santa Maria de Dota. They are in the Trogon family and their large eyes have helped them adapt to the low light of the cloud forests.

Resplendent Quetzals are classified as near-threatened due to the loss of habitat but are flourishing in the above mentioned areas, as well as in the Monteverde cloud forest.

You can see more of my images at www.photosofcostarica.com