ActivitiesPosted by ViTho 2007-06-16 23:23:07
When we have been down in Paquera Thomas has been staring longingly out on the ocean quite a lot. We have seen a lot of fish jumping... big schools of tuna amongst others. It has been quite a torture for Thomas to be next to the water here for so long and not having a boat and his fishing equipment.
But now with the little inflateable RIB and the fishing equipment Thomas shipped from Norway, we can finally go out there and try to get some fresh fish for dinner. As you can see from the pictures below we do get some wierd looking fish here. The first one is called Pez Chancho (pig fish), and it really did grunt like a pig. We took that one and made ceviche. Really good. But Thomas got frustrated filleting it... the skin was thick like leather, and he ruined his knife on it. The second one we threw out again; it was a Scorpion fish. It has poisonous spines!
After a week in the tree house in Piedades, we are looking forward to go down to Paquera again to do some more fishing and kayaking. On Monday we are going to walk around the property with a topographer. She will do some measurements and give us an estimate on how many 5000m2 lots we can get out of the 14 hectare property. If every m2 could be used for lots it should be close to 30 lots, but of course some of the land needs to be used for roads and such, and some of the land might be too steep. If we can get 17 or more lots we have enough to continue with the project.
Everyday lifePosted by ViTho 2007-06-13 15:19:42
My first birthday in Costa Rica turned out to be great!
First of all I was just so pleased that I after 5 days without hot water in the tree house could take a nice and warm shower again. When I came out of the shower Thomas and John were back from their shopping in town and brought me a nice big present. All af you that know me well, can imagine how satisfyed I am since the present was and ice cream/frozen yoghurt maker!! Now I can have all the ice cream I want!
Then Thomas tells me that I have an appointment at 3 o´clock.....
He put blind fold on me, and would not answer any of my questions to what the surprise could be. When I finally could take of the blind fold, I found my self in a hear saloon.... but it was not only a hear saloon. I got 3 hour full SPA treatment! Facial, full body massage and even a hear cut!
We ended the day with an excellent dinner at our favourite sushi place, were we had the "love boat".
Turning 35 years is not bad at all!
Exploring CR +++Posted by ViTho 2007-06-10 03:10:46
We have again spent some days down in Paquera. And again we have showed a potential investor the property and the area. This was a couple from Wyoming that had just bought a nice house here in Costa Rica. They really liked what they saw!
We also decided to finally visit the Wildlife Refugee close by the property; Curu. We are planning to organise trips to this park when we have our project up and running. It is perfect as it is only 15-20 minutes drive form the property, and it is also possible to enter from the sea.
When we came to Curu we were given a map and some guidance on what routes to pick (it is a big area). One of the first things we encountered were some signs warning us about crocodilles in the mangroves... we only saw iguanas, lizards and tons of crabs there though! It was a great walk in the reserve, real jungle and mangroves. We found our way to the "Mono finca" (the monkey farm) where they are having a project with reintroducing Spider monkeys that have been kept as pets to the wild. On our way back we ended up in the middle of a herd of Whitefaced monekys (like the one in Pippi Langstrømpe, or for those of you who don´t know her; like the monkey in Pirates of the Carabbean). They where all around us, jumping from tree to tree feeding on insects. Really spectacular.
We are looking forward to take our guest to Curu when we are up and running with the project. We are also looking for some good local guides that can take people around there and make the experience even better. With their trained eyes they will for sure spot a lot of animals that we probably missed during our walk.
Everyday lifePosted by ViTho 2007-05-30 19:30:00
We have been staying at Hotel Casa Alegre every time we had to be in the Central Valley for three months now. Even though we got a really good rate on the room there it has been a big excpence for us. So eventually we decided to rent a place with our friend John. We have now moved into The Tree House as we call it. It is in Piedades which is close to Santa Ana, but it feels like we are in the middle of the jungle. It is an old and funky wodden house situated up in the hill. Still we have high speed internet and a big office space, so we have a good working station.
You can imagine how excited Thomas got when he took a walk around the house and found mangos, star fruit, bananas, sour sap, lemons, water apples and oranges. It was so nice to be able to hang our clothes in the closet for the first time in three months and to cook in the nice big kitchen!
So now we own an appartment that we rent out in a big condominium project (better earn some money than just having our savings on in the bank in Norway), and we are renting a three house. Not bad!
Today another possible investor is coming from the US, and we are looking forward to showing him the property and discuss the investment possibillities.
ActivitiesPosted by ViTho 2007-05-26 00:04:30
Finally we could bring the kayaks and the little boat (RIB) down to Paquera. We bought the boat used from a friend here, but the kayaks are brand new and imported from the US. As you can see from the first picture we experienced some problems with getting the engine started on the boat when we launched it..... We tried for ever to start the engine, but it just did not want to. Fortunately we had the kayaks, so Thomas could tow the boat to the property. A good work out for sure!
And guess what happens when he finally made it to the property, and tried to start the engine again? Yes! It started on the first try! How typical isn´t that?
Fortunately the motor worked like a charm ever after. The same did the kayaks. We went on long kayak trips around the islands in the area every day.
The rainy season has started and we experience some good down pours and thunderstorms now. The good things are that the area is turning lush and green over night and the temperature is still between 30 and 20 degrees. Usually the morning and the better part of the day is still sunny, and it only starts to rain in the afternoon or evening. But some days the rain started in the evening and it kept pouring down the whole night and the next day.
And it can really pour down here! The roads just turns into rivers. The morning we were on our way back to Santa Ana, we got a bit of a surprise when the road to the ferry was blocked by a mudslide with some trees. We could immediately see that we were not going to make that ferry... so we returned to the property and got a saw, and actually cut off the trees and put them down in the mud so that we could get some grip with the car.
Now we are very happy with our big strong car with 4wd!
ImmigrationPosted by ViTho 2007-05-17 05:56:58
We have now booked our return ticket to Norway. We are arriving on the 9th of August and will stay for a couple of weeks.
For those of you planning to visit us in Costa Rica try to stay clear of this period. We hope to meet up with a lot of you when we are home, so set aside some time in your busy schedules to spend time with us!
During the weekend we decided that we needed to educate ourselves about the reptiles of Costa Rica. We went to The World of Snakes serpentarium in Grecia. It was really interesting, they had about 150 snakes and other reptiles and 50 of them where Costa Rican spieces. The snake Vigdis is holding on the picture is a False coral snake. This one is not poisonous like its look-alike the Coral snake. With these two look-alikes it is actually possible to tell the difference because their combination of the colors are different. The rule is: "Red and yellow can kill a fellow". As you can see on the False Coral snake on the picture the colour is red and black, and then yellow so it is not going to kill a fellow .
Tonight when we went to our friend Johns office to we walked away with a ton of bananas. They had a banana tree in the garden that had become to heavy with bananas and just fallen over. Nice catch of the day!
Have a nice 17th of May celebration to all of you in Norway. We hope you do get some sun this year!! We are going down to the beach tomorrow with the semi-ridgid boat (RIB) and the kayaks. Finally we are going to be able to padle around the islands in the gulf and start to set up some routes for the kayak trips and boat tours.
ActivitiesPosted by ViTho 2007-05-14 05:37:39
To buy kayaks in Costa Rica is a totally different ordeal than back home in Norway. In Norway we have plenty of outdoor shops that have all the kayaks you could wish for to choose between. So how is it in Costa Rica?
After quite a long search we found two shops that sell kayaks in San José - but only sit-on-top kayaks. We wanted Sit-inside kayaks like the one on the picture. The only way to get that here is to import them yourself, or you can do like we did: buy them through one of the outdoor shops, Mundo Aventura, and they will ship it here and clear it through customs. After all the headace we had with getting our shipment of used personal belongings from Norway through customs, we are very happy we decided to let Mundo Aventura deal with that for the kayaks.
So far so good, but our patience was still put to a test doing this purchase. We decided to buy two different kayaks and try them out to see which one we prefer, and then order the rest we need for our kayak trips with Bahía Rica. When we ordered the kayaks we were informed that the shipping and customs clearance would take up to six weeks.... An how long do you think it actually took???
We were of course so excited when we finally got the kayaks that we had to try them out right away. Since we are in Santa Ana at the moment it had to be in the pool!! We can not wait to get down to Paquera and explore the Gulfo de Nicoya with our brand new kayaks.
Exploring CR +++Posted by ViTho 2007-05-10 00:47:52
In the three months we have been in Costa Rica, we have only met three Norwegians; the two journalists (Hilde and Mari) and Ole Christian (whom Thomas has been teaching at Ramstad Ungdomsskole). So you can imagine how surprised we where when we came to San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua and met three Norwegians within a few hours (as you can see on the picture below: Stina, Joachim and Line)!
San Juan del Sur is an old fishing village that have become quite turistic. There where bars, restaurants, internet cafés, hotels and Scandinavians all over. It reminded us a little bit of Montezuma here in Costa Rica because of its crowd of back packers and hippies.
We had three great days there though. We especially enjoyed the walk we had one day up to a great view point about 300 meters high. On the way there we met some local fishermen that had been out spearfishing for rays. They had caught a big stingray. They filleted the ray on a rock on the beach and happly walked off with two big fillets. They where looking forward to making their wifes and children happy showing them what they would get for dinner. They left the carcass for the vultures who obviously were equally happy.
From the view point we had a great view of the beach, and we could even see all the way to Costa Rica! What we also saw were a lot of huge villas. The area is the most expensive area in Nicaragua we were told.
Our little taste of Nicaragua was good, but of course we where looking forward to going back to Costa Rica, and specifically Paquera.