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Spanish Sucks – February 2022

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Thai Beef Salad

Chef's corner headerLet’s welcome our hot season with a light and crunchy salad whose dressing is pure umami, also great for repurposing leftover steaks or other proteins.

Here is a simple and interesting steak marinade if you’re not using leftovers.

Steak

  • 400 grams or 1 lb of tender beef (tenderloin or sirloin)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cleaned cilantro roots
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of oil

Salad

  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Small thinly sliced red onion
  • Handful of coriander and mint leaves
  • Chopped peanuts for garnish

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Fresh chili peppers to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely grind the garlic, cilantro roots, pepper and oil and marinate steaks for 20 minutes.
  2. Grill to medium rare and thinly slice, allow to cool.
  3. Assemble salad, top with sliced meat, pour dressing over and garnish with peanuts.
  4. Serve immediately.

Survival of the Fittest

Somewhere between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago we humans decided that we were superior to Mother Nature and were no longer subject to Her laws. As our intellect grew, so did our ability to harness energy and bend it to the exclusive use of our own species. Our numbers burgeoned while countless other living beings on Earth paid the toll. Few humans in this day and age realize that we are still, and always have been, subject to the whims of Mother Nature. In the wilds, species that become too numerous or that capture too large a share of the available resources eventually become victims of some sort of calamity that extinguishes their numbers entirely or severely reduces their population. It is obvious that humanity has been capturing a grossly disproportionate share of the earth’s resources for the exclusive use of our own species and continue to invent methods to capture an even larger portion. One day we will add that proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back, and Mother Nature will unleash her power on humanity. At the moment she is just setting us up. She is smiling while we turn ourselves into a bunch of weaklings. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples.

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KSTR – February 2022

KSTR LogoDaniHi, This is Dani – your spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest—or KSTR! 

First of all, I want to wish a very Happy 23rd Anniversary to KSTR! It was started in February 1999, by two 9 year old’s, Janine and Aislin, and Janine’s mom Jennifer.

Next, I want to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today I am going to tell you about why the rainforest is so important for our planet, and our animals—and not JUST the ones in the rainforest. In addition to all the beauty that exists, and animals that live in the rainforest, the rainforest also does a lot to help our environment stay healthy and clean.  

The rainforest has many big trees and lots of plants that take in tons of Carbon Dioxide and put out clean air. If the earth’s atmosphere contains too much Carbon Dioxide, it will raise the temperature of the earth by changing our greenhouse gasses, and will harm animals that rely on the temperature, like Polar Bears, Penguins, and other animals that live in cold environments.

I’ve talked about this before, how we can limit our carbon footprint—like eating less meat/dairy, walking, biking, or skateboarding instead of driving, and not using so much energy by turning off lights when you’re not using them. The rainforests we have now absorb about 50% of the Carbon Dioxide we make—and it’s important that we keep the rainforest trees and plants healthy so they can help save the environment and the temperature on earth stay great for all its inhabitants!

Did you know that KSTR has planted over 17,400 trees over the past 22 years? Pretty amazing, right?

Here is a picture of 2 of the Co-founders Janine and her mom, Jennifer, planting a tree. It was taken 17 years ago!
At KSTR, we work hard to keep all the trees and to build our sanctuary around them—for example, we use natural fallen wood for the enclosures we build and the enrichments we put inside them! We’d love to see you at the sanctuary for a tour and we can tell you all about what we’re doing to save the rainforest.

Check us out at kstr.org.


What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – February 2022

What's Shaking headerMarina Pez Vela brought in 2022 with some AMAZING experiences, energy and most importantly hope for a great year to come. There is tremendous energy at the Marina right now, some amazing new tenants, Costa Rica’s biggest Sport fishing tournament ever and February is going to bring more success stories and life to our community. We are so honored to be part of the reactivation of our community, to be creating a public space to share with locals and tourists alike. 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 lasting memories in this beautiful part of the world. Movie Night Under the Stars are back every Wednesday night at 6:30. This is a great weekly tradition that brings together our local community and visitors to share in some magical sunsets and a weekly feature on Costa Rica’s largest projected outdoor screen. Check the Marina’s website for the weekly feature films. Superbowl LV is also on the big screen at MPV so you won’t miss any of the action.

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How to Plan a Successful Costa Rica Surf Trip

Surf CR logoWhether it is your first surf trip or your 50th, it is important to plan where and when you want to go. You do not want to get skunked or find waves too big for your comfort level. You need to have the right boards to ride. You want to maximize your time surfing, and not driving around looking for waves. And you want to make sure you are safe and comfortable when you are not in the water. In the next few articles I will discuss each factor and provide tips on how to have the best time surfing in Costa Rica

Check the Season and Tides

Most travelers know Costa Rica has two weather seasons—rainy season from May to November (rainiest in October) and dry season from December to April. But there are also wave seasons. Swells from the South hit the Pacific coast from mid-March to mid-October. Some Northwest swells hit the Pacific from December to March. And East swells hit the Caribbean coast from December to March. 

If you want a better chance of catching bigger waves, travel between late March and early June to the Pacific side, and mid-January to mid-February on the Caribbean. There are other good months on the Pacific, but the later in the season you go the more chance it will be rainy and the winds won’t be in your favor. May is my favorite month on the Pacific since the first rains make everything greener, and it is no longer high season so there are less surfers in the lineup, but before summer when families go on vacation. 

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Brisa Elegante: The Sail Cruiser in Marina Pez Vela

Fun Facts

Brisa Elegante has now been sailing in Quepos’ waters for some three months. Many of our readers have seen her cruising along the beach of Manuel Antonio, or lying at anchor in the bay off Playa Tulemar. Her silhouette with her solid hull, her two masts, and sleek bowsprit, together with the sails, are making her distinctive. She is a Gulet and built in Turkey in a traditional shipyard in Fethiye. Ships have been built there for more than 2000 years, so it is safe to say that the ship carpenters over there know their trade.

Did you know that Brisa Elegante is larger than Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria? With 100ft in length, Brisa Elegante exceeds Santa Maria by 40ft, and with a beam of 22ft, she is 4 ft wider than Santa Maria. Just imagine crossing an ocean to an unknown destination on a vessel of this size! One has to appreciate the courage and bravery of the sailors these days. By the way: if you find a new continent on your cruise with Brisa Elegante, please let us know. We will feature this in one of our future editions of Quepolandia.

Brisa Elegante has a good spirit who is protecting the vessel. Her name is Raquel, and you can find her under the bowsprit. She is the figurehead of our cruiser, and always observing our course and protecting us from harm and misfortune. Raquel is carved out of one solid piece of wood and a piece of art. Make sure you don’t miss her when sailing on Brisa Elegante.

The cruise on Brisa Elegante takes you along rocky island off Manuel Antonio and the National Park. Observe the birds sitting on the islands and escorting us on our cruise. Especially the Brown Boobies are very curious and fly around the bowsprit. Quite often, dolphins can be seen playing under the bowsprit. It seems that they are observing us on the vessel. When surfacing, they have fun spraying water at us through their blowhole. We are sure that we have seen them smiling at us!

A really cool thing is the water toys on board! Next to the snorkeling gear, there are stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, surfboards, and a floating mattress. Snorkel to the reefs nearby our anchor spot, and observe the thousands of colorful reef fishes, octopuses, and lobster. Test your skills on the paddleboard, it is more challenging than it appears. Float on the water mattress and enjoy a Mojito or two. These are the moments where you feel that you really are on vacation!

Contact us at info@sailcr.com
More information at SailCR.com


Crazy From the Heat

I have been writing since I can remember. I was first published in second grade for a poem I wrote about a cat named Scat, that I didn’t even own nor did it exist. My Buffalo, N.Y. family never had pets, nor am I big fan of them today as I like to travel regularly and to be free of responsibilities. Truth be told I have owned an outdoor cat since I moved here in 2000. The original one died and then one short term renter of my house took the liberty of adopting a kitten which she left behind. So be it. Like animals, writers seem to come and go. I admire a man by the name of Matt Cassidy who used to write an article titled Crazy From The Heat for this very periodical. He used to bake the finest of cookies and bread in a time not so long ago when we did not have proper grocery stores here in MA. In 2022 his article would get censored, it used to go “too far”, and was wonderfully cringe worthy and dynamic, like the author himself. Cancel culture was still in the womb being cultivated. He can still be found in the marina at 2Costa Rica Real Estate if anyone is looking. His article would pick out classic tourist behavior and in my mind define sociology at its finest. A mentor to me. I believe it is still ok to say anything you want and I promise to not be offended. Then you must listen to my opinion and not be offended. Fair enough, yes? Stop reading now, you have been warned.

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Portuguese Carrot Cake

Chef's corner headerThis is the easiest carrot cake recipe ever! The only equipment needed is a food processor, a Bundt pan, and of course, a hot oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and then cut into chunks
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Soft butter and 1\3 cup flour for greasing pan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare Bundt pan with soft butter and 1/3 cup of flour
  3. Sift the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside
  4. Place the carrot chunks, eggs, oil, and sugar into the food processor. Process for 2 minutes until the carrots are well grated and the texture is creamy.
  5. Mix the sifted flour together with the carrot mixture and pour into pan.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a knife comes out clean and the edges are golden

This cake is very moist and can be served plain or glazed. Here are some ideas:

Butter-rum: 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 3 tablespoons of rum, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange: 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 3 to 4 tablespoons of orange juice, orange zest
Caramel sauce: 1 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract 


Spanish Sucks – January 2022

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The Bare-Throated Tiger Heron & the Snake

I had lived and worked on Hacienda Barú for 23 years before sighting my first bare-throated tiger heron, so called because of the featherless, yellow skin on its throat. Today, 30 years later, with much more natural habitat and less hunting, we see them on a daily basis.

First day out of the nest

Earlier this year, Diane and I noticed that a pair of tiger herons were carrying sticks, twigs, and other nesting material to a tree near our house, but the branches were so thick that we couldn’t find the nest. About two months later, a ball of white fluff could be seen moving around in the part of the tree where we suspected the nest was located. It grew rapidly to near adult size, molted, and one day fledged, now with the speckled plumage of a juvenile. I took lots of photos that first day as the young heron explored its new world. I had seen adult tiger herons in many different positions, hunched over, stretched up, neck twisted or arched, or feathers ruffled, but this youngster took the tiger heron’s shape-changing ability to extremes. The photos tell the story.

Adult with a big snake

Trail cameras are lots of fun because when you insert the memory card from the camera into your computer, you never know what is going to pop up on the screen. About a year ago a camera near the house captured an image a large adult tiger heron, wings spread, with a snake’s head in its mouth, and the body dangling down in an S-shaped curve all the way to the to the ground. I stared in amazement at the photo. Herons can’t chew, and I doubted it could swallow a snake that size 60 to 70 cm (25 inches) and as big around as a broomstick. “Maybe it’s just killing the snake”, I thought, “and is going to leave it for the scavengers”. Then it occurred to me that maybe I had it backwards. Maybe the snake was biting the heron. The photo wasn’t clear enough to be sure. I posted it on Facebook, and a couple of the viewers thought the snake had bitten the bird just above the beak and gotten its fangs stuck. “We’ll never know for sure,” I decided.

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That’s Fishin’ – February 2022


Welcome to the February instalment of That’s Fishing, we are so pleased to have you in the area and hope that you can spend some time on the water whilst you are here.

January provided some simply incredible Fishing here in Quepos with a wide-open Marlin bite and some of the best Marlin fishing experienced in recent years. Many of the Quepos charter boats managed to have some excellent days releasing multiple Marlin, a shout out to boat Frenzy who released an amazing 10 Marlin during a single day’s fishing in January. Simply incredible! The Dorado fishing was also excellent during January with plenty of 25-30lb dorado showing in addition to some great Tuna fishing and a few surprise Wahoo.

OFFSHORE FISHING

The excellent Fishing looks set to continue during February and Anglers can expect greater Sailfish numbers in what is now the peak time of year to target Sailfish here as they arrive in great numbers for the next couple of months. Our Sailfish average 70lbs and regularly exceed 100lbs and with the sheer numbers of fish we get here, Costa Rica is most certainly one of the best places on the planet to target Sailfish. It’s what brings Anglers flocking from near and far and you have most certainly come to the right place! Sailfish are targeted during Offshore trips in addition to Yellow Fin Tuna, Marlin and Dorado/Mahi Mahi.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome to our little piece of paradise. Shed those winter coats and scarves and forget about those snow shovels and let your adventures begin. High season is here. Along with flowing rivers for rafting, sunset cruises of our coastline, beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, and perfect weather all await you on your journey through paradise here in Manual Antonio.

February is the month of Love and Costa Rica will provide the peace and happiness. Movie Night Under the Stars is back every Wednesday night at 6:30 at Marina Pez Vela. The place for the whole family to enjoy movies on the big screen and some delicious ice cream at Gelateria Amoroso. For all you lovers, Valentine’s Day is upon us so don’t forget to make your dinner reservations for that special someone. Take a romantic sunset cruise on the elegant Brisa Elegante. How about a family portrait with Sarah Yunker Photography. Or a couples massage to bring your body peace and relaxation. A visit to Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park is always magical. We want to thank Haroldo Rivas, MBA for the amazing cover shot of Nauyaca Falls. Please send us your best shots to info@Quepolandia.com and hopefully they make the cover as well.

Marina Pez Vela keeps the happiness going with fishing tournaments throughout the month with the Roosterfish Rodeo on Feb 5. February is also the time of year for the women’s only tournament the Pescadora Billfish Championship, Feb 17-19. It’s not to late to register your team to compete with some of the best woman anglers in the world. So come join us at Marina Pez Vela and enjoy all the tournaments action and show the women your support.

If you’re an NFL fan don’t miss Superbowl LV. The Superbowl is being shown at the Marina on the BIG screen in Quepos and at Jolly Roger in Manuel Antonio.

We added a new section to our pages this month. Our QR Code Directory has been added to help you connect directly to our advertisers to help you better enjoy your stay. Whether to checkout tours, check out what’s on the menu for dinner, searching for your perfect dream house or view our magazine on line. This will easily connect you to what the area has to offer.

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 and on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.
Peace, Love and Happiness…D


Lifeguard Update

Surf CR logoDid you know that Costa Rica has no national lifeguard program? The country averages about 60 drownings each year, many taking place on unguarded beaches. Luckily the beaches of Manuel Antonio are protected by at least one guard from the Cruz Roja (Costa Rica Red Cross), but they do not protect Quepos or any of the beaches at 30 kilometers to the north or south. Once you get to Dominical however, the Guardavidas de Costa Ballena are protecting those beachgoers.
 
That lifeguard program was created solely from private donations all the way back in 2001. In the past it had trouble with finances many times, and when the lifeguards could not be paid, people drowned in the heavy rip currents that at times are found there. Then in 2018 the community created a non-profit association to manage the program and received financial aid from the Municipality of Osa. This was the first time in the country where the local government helped fund a lifeguard program.
 
The non-profit association uses the funds received not only to pay the lifeguards, but to cover their insurance, legal fees, purchasing new equipment, repairing the towers, and help for the administration and accounting of the funding. The board of directors are all volunteers (including myself) and we ensure that there are lifeguards in the towers seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Dominical and Playa Hermosa de Uvita.
 
This year has been difficult to raise funds since public gatherings were not allowed and so a plea was made in September for help. Many private residents, local citizens, and businesses stepped up to donate what they could, and we were able to pay the lifeguards their holiday bonuses and give them a small raise. Over 30 businesses signed up for the $1/day club, contributing $365 a year to support the program. You can see who these generous donors are on our website, lifeguardscostaballena.com, and stay informed of our latest news and events.
 
A special thanks goes out to Benn Gilmour of Jackpot Sportsfishing who auctioned off a full day fishing trip on one of his boats. That one action raised $2000, and we hope other community members step up to help us continue to save lives. If you wish to donate to the program, you can by any of these methods:
 
Banco Nacional deposit
Asoc. Guardavidas de la Zona Sur de Costa Rica
Cedula Juridica 3-002-738759

Cuenta en colones: 200-01-195-003885-0
Iban: CR39015119520010038851

Cuenta en dólares: 200-02-195-002023-9
Iban: CR45015119520020020237

Banco Nacional swift code: BNCRCRSJGCI
 
Paypal (single or monthly donation),  Click Here! It’s easy!
 
U.S. tax deductible donation to the extent allowed by law through our U.S. non-profit partner Amigos of Costa Rica. This can also be a monthly donation, CLICK HERE! It’s easy!


The Past Is Present

It is August of 2000 and after traveling up and down the coasts of Costa Rica for two months my destiny brought me to Quepos. I had been in Jaco and paid a taxi driver/friend $20 to drop me off on the beach here in Manuel Antonio. I remember giving someone $5 for an obscure location to set my tent up and had usage of a revolting shower and a toilet. I didn’t care. I was 28 and had been on the road for over 2 months and somehow, I had arranged a “job interview” with the owner of Hotel California, Robbie Felix (who still lives here today). My funds were dwindling as I started my journey with $3,000 and I had no ticket home. My mindset had always been to go big, to absorb the stress and pressures and only to succeed. Having lived in South Korea as well as Japan for a year each, and months of vacation travels in Africa and Bali, I was street smart and an experienced back packer. My main focus was to become a surfer, I had never focused on saving money in my life other than for travel, isn’t it how it should be in your 20s? Interesting now that I have much more security, I can see how making the most out of each and every day was all I had…and all I needed. It fueled my passion for who I wanted to become. I needed to figure out a way to earn money, unravel my dream, and to prove to the community that I was here to stay. Carpe Diem goes a long way when one is young…. however, food, rent, and how to live the permanent vacation that I had envisioned was a long, long way from attainment.

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