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Archive for the ‘visiting Costa Rica’ Category

 

Las Ruinas, Cartago –  It was once the old  Costa Rican capital – read more  in the book Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica

This cracked old bell hangs in a ruined cathedral in the earthquake shaken city of Cartago. It appears in the telling of my story – Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica. The book  is selling on the lulu website at $26.99

As the story goes …

The last Simone saw she was thrashing a flinching Nicaraguan who’d come to pray for the health of his fellow workers.

“Good on you old lady,” Simone shouted approvingly. “I bet he friends with that red hair monkey.”

Simone found Talbot at Las Ruinas, skulking beneath its bell.

Symbolically both the ruined cathedral and the bell are representative of something other than their actual physical presence.  Cartago was the old Costa Rican capital before San Jose captured the title in a battle in a nearby mountain pass.

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Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal

 

scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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Costa Rica 3 068, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Maggie fans herself with a pamphlet in the heat. We are in the Tamarindo estuary with Meeener as our guide. From the main channel we weave in deeper through the mangrove roots. There are plenty of alligators, sting rays and birds of every variety. We eventually reached a point where the boat could go no further and we sat in silence eating pineapple and watching the wildlife. There is the high pitched shrill of the “chichira” – maybe it means cicada – and the smell of diesel from our boat. It rocks most alarmingly and is made of rotting plywood with a piece of bent rebar as an anchor.

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Bad attitude earns the big bucks.

Costa Rica 3 413, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

These are the bulls – the most ferocious in Central America. Guanacaste is famous for its bulls and these are the cream of the crop – killers every one of them. Guanacaste is especially well suited to raising cattle as its interior consists of vast dry plains – the only shade being the umbrella expanse of the Guanacaste tree.

The humped cattle or Zebu are more tolerant to heat and have far more sweat glands. Their oily skin helps shed parasites and ticks. The famous Brahman is a sub species of the Zebu along with other species such as the Gir, Afrikaner and the Indo Brazilian. To my untrained eye the above appear to be Brahman – first domesticated in India some 10 000 years ago but the cattle most commonly seen in Costa Rica are the Indo Brazillian. They have great hanging dewlaps and absurdly floppy ears.

Terrible meat and I would not reccomend them to anyone.

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A Spanish lesson.

Sheltering from the Costa Rican weather

Up until this day, it had only threatened rain – brief sprinklings from a leaden blanket above – lilac flashes in the dry and dusty hills around Tamarindo but today it was different – the sky leaked water as though its belly had been slit – an evisceration that began with a splattering of large warm drops upon the beach soon escalating to a all out downpour the like of which we had never seen. The Costa Rican weather can be stupendous.

Leaving the beach at the initial onset we headed for the tour company – hoping to find our trip to Barra Honda being arranged as promised, but the intensity of the rainfall had us seeking shelter in “The Pelican Bar”. The bar had sucked up all street traffic for some 50 metres circumference. In dripping darkness without power as frequently seemed to be the case- was packed a great many people from the street – cheek to jowl – sweating and waiting. Few were paying customers.

These two fellows in the picture are Carlos from Tamarindo and the other (whose name I cant remember – but who came from Managua – Nicaragua) I recognized Carlos from the beach, he sold cheap porclean pots with Mayan symbols. I cant imagine how they made any money as I never saw anyone buying them.

Every time the thunder struck Carlos cowered and grimaced – gun shy by all apearance – like a war veteran – but Costa Rica is peaceful so maybe a childhood fear. I bought them beer – the cost of which likely would exceed their daily earnings but they were friendly decent people and by the time the rain subsided and the air had cooled we were pretty tipsy. “KEY – AERO” Spanish for “I would like”.

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I had recently been corresponding with one of this province’s cavers – James Sled, he has told me of a cave that sounds really promising – a pit on a high ridge in prime caving country. The pit is situated in the bottom of a 15 foot wide depression and beneath a river runs along a tunnel that eventually sumps.

Using the patchwork of topo maps that I was able to download from toporama and James’s directions I think I have managed to pinpoint the exact location.

At this time my good caving friend is recovering from an operation. I typically conduct my explorations with him. I am holding off the initial reconnisiance of the pit until he is in better shape – by the sounds of it his wound is supperating and I have suggested he calls a doctor fast – lets hope he does.

One the bright side I have just had my article on “Costa Rica River Travel” accepted by the New Zealand Herald, cant wait to get it in print. I am considering another travel article on the plight of Costa Rica’s howler monkey’s. In the town where we were staying (Tamarindo) they average two a day being electrocuted on the power lines. I think I will discuss that sorry situation in my next post. Mick

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