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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Exercising and Exploring Atenas

This morning we decided to walk to Atenas. It's about a 2 mile trek and, since it was overcast, good walking weather. An added plus is that it is all downhill - coming back would make me cranky if we were walking and Lance wouldn't be happy either - it would have warmed up too much for comfortable walking, especially carrying groceries. So we took a taxi home - so very reasonably priced.

I need to buy new running shoes. The ones I wore daily to the gym in Cloverdale were worn out so I didn't bother bringing them. If we are going to continue walking around here, we need the right footwear.

So we started off early and walking is the best way to see the neighbourhood. We said hola and buenos to all the Tico neighbors we passed, farm trucks were going up and down the highway, there were beautiful vistas to see, fat hens were pecking away in the yards and grass .... the two miles went fast.

If we had not been walking, we never would have found Soda y Cevichera Tita in Atenas. We were hungry and it looked interesting, so in we went. It is quite a large soda, part of which is filled with tropical plants and orchids. Local art on the walls, nice big kitchen, take out area.

Of course the menus are in Spanish. We could recognize some of the items. We know what casados are, so we each ordered the small size of pescado casados - we just didn't know what "pescado" means. Turns out it means fried fish and it was so good. I imagine the fish was tilapia since it is very common here. Came with two corn tortillas. I also ordered one of the cold, fresh fruit drinks (refrescos) which I've come to love.

It was a great breakfast, totally different. We wrote down the names of some of the other menu selections and translated them on line, so we can order something different next time. "Cevichera" in the restaurant's name refers to seafood marinated in lime juice and I definitely want to try that.

When we were in San Jose earlier this week, we ordered huevos maduro natilla which I thought was going to be like huevos rancheros but it was completely different. Lance didn't like the sauce much but at least we tried something different again.

We also discovered a barber shop today in Atenas. Since Lance will need a haircut soon, he is going to look up "number 3" on line and see if Costa Rican barbers will recognize that. I need a cut too and Magda gave me the name of a stylist in town so I will try her.

Earlier this week, by walking around the side streets, we discovered a dollar store so bought clothes pegs, a small garbage can to put Genny's used litter in, some juice glasses, etc. Also went into a vet's office - they have this crazy resident kitty living there. He was nuts, wrapped himself around my neck and purred and purred. They also sold garden supplies so I bought a hummingbird feeder and some tomato seeds.

We have found that you cannot "judge a book by it's cover" in Costa Rica. Some of the most unassuming store fronts harbour treasures inside....and if you don't explore, don't walk in the doors, you will never know what you are missing.

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