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Friday, October 12, 2018

Eyes on Costa Rica - Update / October 12, 2018

Visits to this blog have now been recorded from 3740 towns, cities and other places located in 124 countries throughout the world. The most recent countries are Oman in Western Asia, Equatorial Guinea in Africa, and Zambia, also in Africa. Each is highlighted on the map below. While the vast majority of visits come from Canada, the U.S. and Costa Rica itself, it is clear that people from many other countries and many other places have their eyes on Costa Rica.

On the map, red dots (many of which are buried under other red dots) indicate places from where visits have occurred since September 29, 2016. Visits recorded before that date are not shown on the map.

In any given month, the number of countries from which visits to this blog are received is highly variable. The following chart identifies countries for the month of September 2018.

My video of "Landing at Juan Santamaría Airport, Costa Rica" has continued to attract interest not only through this blog where the video was first posted on August 26, 2017 but also directly through YouTube independently of the posting. In the first five to six months after the posting, the video was viewed about 1100 times. That number has now climbed to over 2590 views.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

September Weather, 2018

A weather summary for the month of September in Hacienda El Paseo/Grecia during the period from the beginning of April to the end of September appears below.

In Costa Rica, September falls in the middle of the rainy or "green" season and is generally marked by more days with rain and lower daily high temperatures. On rainy days, at least in the area where we live, a day often (but not always) begins with a sunny morning. Around 11 am to 1 pm clouds begin to drift in holding the high temperature down. Then the rain starts and will typically continue for two or three hours.

The number of rainy days in September this year was the most we have encountered in any single month since moving to Hacienda El Paseo. Even though we were not here during earlier months (January, February, March), it is safe to say that there was no month which would have had more rainy days than September. The earlier months were all in the Costa Rican “dry” season.

The current rainy or green season should continue until late November or early December. Then begins the next dry season.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kyo Gallery, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.

My cattle and equine art work is now represented by Kyo Gallery, Arlington,Virginia. They have an actual gallery and also promote artists virtually, which is where I am situated.

You can see my work here and also explore around looking at other artists’ work. 

I also have an art web site.

In the meantime, here’s a sample of my work:

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Independence Day, Grecia, Costa Rica

Today, September 15, 2018, marks 197 years of independence from Spain for Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Savador and Honduras. It is an official national holiday, with festivities beginning on September 14th all over Costa Rica. You can read everything about this holiday on Costa Rica Guides.

When we lived in Atenas, we usually went to the celebrations. Now that we live in Grecia, we decided to see what this town has to offer in the way of celebrations. It was a perfect day for being in town and the park. First we had breakfast at Cafe Delicias. For a little under 10,000 colones total, we both had large breakfasts, including fruit drinks. Lance’s selection ended with a warm piece of french style toast, with whipping cream on top and a side of strawberries. He generously shared it with me. Highly recommend Cafe Delicias.

Then we walked over to the park and the festivities had already started. We listened to a couple of speeches, then watched the start of the parade arriving. First came the police cars and ambulances, with sirens blaring. Next up were the Grecia bomberos (fire department), some sports teams, a school - it was getting hot in the sun so we decided to head back to our car. We walked along the crowded parade route and saw the many school bands lined up waiting to go. I took some photos and here they are.

The setup for the VIP’s, where speeches were given:

Chairs decorated in Costa Rican colours:

The bomberos:

Crowds in front of the church:

I think this was a bank’s mascot:

Many, many school bands and dance groups:

How cute is this kid - I don’t know if they were supposed to be elves or ... ? Anyway, they danced and marched.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Weather for the month of August, 2018

A weather summary for the month of August in Hacienda El Paseo/Grecia during the period from the beginning of April to the end of August appears below.

There is not much to observe. Where we live, daytime high temperatures over about 80°F (26.7°C) are usually accompanied by relatively low humidities. Often, the result is a comfortable "feels like" temperature which is less than the actual air temperature. This was the case on the one day in August when the temperature reached 90°F (32.2°C).

In contrast, overnight lows which tend to occur around the time of sunrise are typically accompanied by relatively high humidities. The result as in the case of 62°F (16.7°C) on one August day can be very chilly and feel colder than it actually is - but at worst dictates nothing more than a warm sweater or jacket.

There were fewer days with measurable rainfall in August than in July, but the total amount in August was greater. The final week was characterized by clouds, overcast and drizzling rain on several days - reminiscent of typical winter days in Vancouver, Canada from where we came.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Car Wash and Breakfast

Last weekend, we took our vehicle to autolavado El Rápido for cleaning and detailing. They do a very good job - takes about 45 minutes. Everything is scrubbed inside and out - even the tires were black and shiny. They gave us  this little trash bag for the car:

El Rápido is just down the road from the Tribunales de Justica (Courts of Justice):

Then it was time for breakfast. We headed for Arte Latte - one of the few restaurants here that are open early for breakfast, except for the sodas. This is a really nice place to have a meal or one of their specialty coffees.

I ordered an omelette and a fresh fruit drink:

Our vehicle was parked on one of the streets next to Grecia’s red metal church, Nuestra Senora de la Mercedes:

A really nice park surrounds the church so we ambled around it:

The park is well used. Family and friends meet there, sit on the benches, talk, people watch. It’s much larger then the Atenas park.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Naans & Curries, An Ethnic Indian Restaurant

Yesterday we drove to the Lindora area of Santa Ana, an affluent suburb of San José, to try the breakfast buffet at Naans & Curries. This restaurant features gourmet ethnic Indian cuisine and the breakfast buffet is a recent addition to their menu.

The restaurant is located in the Momentum plaza, which itself is a really interesting place. There appear to be twelve restaurants to choose from - Aji Limon (Peruvian), Arden Beer Garden, Artisano Deli, Bambai (Mongolian), Door 74 (a club I think), Kotoy (Japanese), La Fabbrica (pizza), La Ostra (seafood and grill), La Paleteria (ice cream), Los Pitaz (Mediterranean), Lucha Libra (Mexican) and Naans & Curries. I can see us coming back here to try some other cuisines. Around the plaza are some large metal horse statues.

Naans & Curries has a large covered outdoor eating area and this is where the buffet foods were set up. They start service at 7:00 am but on this day they were a bit delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, so I would suggest arriving around 8:00 am. Excellent service and wait staff. They explained all the foods to us, what they were made of and so on. The owner introduced himself to us and apologized for the delay. We didn’t mind waiting a bit and ordered coffee for Lance and a mora lassi for me. Lassi is a drink made with yogurt, water, spices and the mora is a type of berry grown here. It was icy cold and delicious.

The food - all I can say is it was wonderful. There were so many choices available, starting with a fruit, cereal, salad and cheese (including paneer) table. They also had an omelette station and a parantha station - I think these were paranthas - very thin, rolled with a filling of cauliflower (or maybe potatoes). Wonderful, flavourful soups. A table of large tureens filled with different curries. We ended up so full that we couldn’t try a lot of the items that were available. Still, we were brought a dessert that we were told we had to try, “just have a bite”. A kind of pancake with chocolate poured on top and cream. Needless to say, we didn’t eat the rest of the day.

Food from India has to be one of the world’s great cuisines - the subtle flavours are incredible. There is such a wide variety of local and traditional ways of preparing food. What we had today was mostly from south India, which we had never been able to try before. Coming from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, we were used to Punjabi recipes. This area is one of the world’s largest South Asian enclaves and most are Punjabi Sikhs (Wikipedia).

The price per person for the buffet and unlimited smoothies is 7,500 CRC, not including the mandatory taxes and service charge. Including both of these, the final total for two people was 18,500 CRC (about 32.00 USD). We added a tip.

We’ll definitely be returning. 

A part of the Momentum plaza:

My lassi drink and the table centerpiece:

Two kinds of rolls to eat with the soup, three kinds of sauces, a chickpea filled pepper:

What I think is a parantha, with two sauces:

Three horses running:

Look at the saddle - all fashioned with metal, even the reins: