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Friday, November 25, 2016

Eyes on Costa Rica/Update - Page Views and Top 5 Visits So Far

This blog recently crossed a threshold of over 100,000 page views from over 24,000 individual visits and 115 identified countries. It appears that the average visitor looks at about 4 pages. The latest country is Tanzania in Africa. 


Meanwhile, I have prepared a list of the top five noteworthy locations in the world from where a visit to the blog has occurred. These are my choices. Others might have different criteria. The third, fourth and fifth place choices are not in any necessary order. It depends on your sense of humor but from my point of view the first place choice beats all and the second place choice is a close competitor. Click on “Map” or “Wikipedia” for more information on any location.


5th place: somewhere in the Cameroon, Africa (May 21, 2013)


The precise location in Cameroon is unknown. The connection was probably a satellite connection. This country was the first country in Africa from where a visit was received. The only continent from where a visit has not been received is Antarctica.


4th place: Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada (April 14, 2016)


Until the visit from Cambridge Bay, visits to the blog had been received from all 10 provinces and 2 of the 3 territories in Canada. Nunavut was the third territory after the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Now, at least one visit has been received from all provinces and territories in Canada.


3rd place: Huntington, West Virginia, USA (February 7, 2014)


Until West Virginia, visits to the blog had been received from 49 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The visit from Huntington provided the missing link. Visits have also been received from the following U.S. constituents: Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, not to mention the U.S. Armed Forces Europe, Canada, Middle East and Africa, and the U.S. Armed Forces Pacific.


2nd place: Empire, Nevada, USA (June 29, 2016)


Ghosts! Lance and I have driven through and stopped in Nevada a number of times. But, neither of us had ever heard of Empire, NevadaOn the Internet, we were surprised to see it described by Wikipedia as a "ghost town". Is my blog being visited by ghosts? I will need time to think about this.

 1st place: Hell, Nord-Trondelag, Norway (June 7, 2015)


It is one thing to attract a visit from a ghost. Ghosts are harmless. It is quite another to attract a visit from Hell.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hurricane Otto

Hurricane Otto is expected to touch land in Costa Rica sometime tonight or tomorrow morning (Thursday). I don't know what sort of weather it will bring to us here in Atenas, in the Central Valley. You can read more about the hurricane in the Tico Times, and they have a real time weather map.

Just in case we end up losing power, I decided to go to the store to get some extra supplies. We have the use of our neighbor's car this week and we were just about to go to her place to get the car when - blam! - a transformer in Vista Atenas blew and that was the end of that idea. We don't know how to open her electric gate when the power is off so could not have got the car out.

So I decided to walk down to Maxi Pali for the exercise and taxi home. The temperatures here have been quite cool the last few days so it was a comfortable walk, with just a bit of spitting rain.

I bought two boxes of candles, ten in each box, and a propane lighter. For some time now, we have said we should have a small, one or two burner propane stove. Our electricity can go out unexpectedly and we never know for how long. It would be nice to be able to make coffee in the morning, or heat up some soup. We have a chorreador so all we would need is boiling water. Lots of people here have full size propane stoves and that would be ideal - much cheaper then using electric stoves.

I found a one burner propane stove at Maxi Pali and I thought the price was decent (18,830 colones, roughly $38 CAD) so I put it in my basket, along with a gas cylinder. Also decided we needed a small pot to fit on the burner, so I got one of those. Also picked up extras like cat food, tortillas, some canned goods, soups, etc. We have lots of books to read and I have my New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles.

Here is our emergency equipment:


Jorge, one of our long time taxi drivers, picked me up to take me home. We laughed so much - talked about this and that with a mishmash of English/Spanish - today is his third year wedding anniversary (we went to his wedding). 

It's 2:10pm now, and the rain has started. We'll see what develops in the coming hours. Lots of people have already been evacuated from the Caribbean side.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Miscellaneous Meanderings

Last week, we took the Atenas bus into San José to deal with a couple of matters. Waiting in line for the ruta 27 bus at the Atenas bus stop, I pointed out to Lance that water was leaking from under the front of the bus .... he said it looks like air conditioning water. We have never experienced an air conditioned Atenas bus in the time we have lived here.

Boarded our bus, and cold air was blowing through the overhead vents (similar to an airplane). Yes, it was air conditioned! Before long, we were feeling quite cold ... we are no longer used to air conditioning. It would be an advantage during a tropical rain storm, when everyone on the bus closes the windows and the humidity rises to uncomfortable levels. Our return bus was normal ... no AC. 

We were early for our return Atenas bus but the Orotino bus was ready to go, so we jumped on it. The Orotina bus stops in Atenas on ruta 3 - you just have to let the driver know where you want to get off.  Our water guy was there (I have written about him before), and we bought two bottles of water from him for the return trip home. We were already seated on the bus when I saw him, so I hollered out the window to him and he passed two water bottles up to me, and I handed two mil down to him.

Our landlady, Kathleen, recently arranged to have the back of our yard resodded. Over the years we have lived here, the area under the pergola had become overgrown and overshaded with the passion fruit vine ... it was covering the roof and blocking out any sun. Grass could no longer grow and we were experiencing mud and water flooding problems. Mario and his workers arrived and put down sod .... here is what our backyard looks likes now. So much better! I'm going to hang a second hammock here I think.


Mario delivering the sod:


On Saturday, I walked down to the Maxi-Pali store to buy a few groceries. It's about a 2 km walk so very pleasant. Lots of people to say hello to along the way. There's a lovely gentleman I see around Atenas all the time - I don't know his name - he is usually selling seasonal produce. This day he had a wheelbarrow full of fruits and vegetables. When he saw me, he opened his arms wide, said "pura vida!" and gave me a big hug. That's Costa Rica.