Tag Archives: manuel antonio estates

Coco Loco: Wayne and Matt

Monkey Madness with Wayne

Wayne flew into Costa Rica on the same day that my dad was scheduled to leave.  We had two days and two goals: Get us some monkey madness and go on a white water rafting trip.

We stopped by crocodile bridge over Tarcoles to show Wayne the bunches of crocs and they did not disappoint.  There were more crocs on this visit than previously with my dad.   Can you tell the difference between the crocs and logs?

Crocodile Bridge over Tarcoles River

Crocodile Bridge over Tarcoles River

Goodies:

Our ever trusty travel mule, Wayne, brought us some goodies from the states.  Matt ordered a few mastervolt parts and our friends at Manu Kea Incorporated sent us some swag.

New from Manu Kea: custom jacklines made specifically for Sugar Shack.  Super cool stainless steel clothes pins, lightweight, high strength polymer carabiners, set of all silicone spatulas.   Can’t wait to put these into action!  Lots of really good stuff for Sugar Shack.

Manu Kea Incorporated Swag

Manu Kea Incorporated Swag

It was time to introduce Wayne to some Monkey Madness.  We returned the rent car so we headed to the park on public transit.  Photo: Boys waiting at the bus stop (off the main road).  Matt had to show off our giant bamboo lining the driveway at the apartment.

Bamboo Love and Bus Ride

Bamboo Love and Bus Ride

Manuel Antonio National Park – Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys

On the way to Manuel Antonio National Park, we spied a family of Capuchin monkey’s.  They were far more focused on eating marmons and flowers than paying attention to the paparazzi. Check out the momma and baby below.  Not the monkey madness we were hoping for, but there’s still time.

Capuchin Monkeys Near MA Park

Capuchin Monkeys Near MA Park

Once inside the park, we thought we knew where the monkeys would be since this was our 3rd visit and all.  Alas, we were wrong.  They were no where near the places we had seen them before.  At first, we were afraid that the only monkeys we were going to see would be the ones outside of the park – which would suck.

We took the “short path” toward the beach as its so pretty and much more cooler.  Matt had us crawling over some boulders to get to a smaller beach and the boys goofed off a bit around the water.

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Deer, Crabs, and Sloths

We did manage to see a few deer (which are not hunted in Costa Rica), a cool red and blue crab family, and a super friendly 3-toed sloth eating breakfast.

3-Toed Sloth at the Park

3-Toed Sloth at the Park

As we were leaving the beach, we finally saw a family of Capuchin monkeys.  They were fabulously playful and wrestled with each other.  True monkey madness.

Check out this funny 11 second video – Monkey Madness and Mayhem

There was only one path that Matt and I had not explored within the park, so we conquered it with Wayne.  It led to a “seasonal” waterfall at the end of many stairs.

Waterfall and a few more monkeys

Waterfall and a few more monkeys

As we exited the park, the boys felt compelled to try a Coco Loco.  The vendor takes cold coconuts, wacks off the end, adds rum to the fresh coconut water and bam – you have Coco Loco!  They polished those off before we got to the restaurant for lunch.

Coco Loco and More Cold Beverages

Coco Loco and More Cold Beverages

After we fed our bellies, we headed to the yard to check on Sugar Shack.  Bristol Marine was supposed to be finished with all 4 jobs, but alas the rain and tico time had another date in mind.

Wayne has seen our boat in stellar condition ready for guests, in “standard” condition, and in storage condition.  Yet, he had never seen her in such disarray.

And it’s fixin to get worse as we will have Bristol Marine finishing the exterior beautification projects and AG Marine delivering some parts all at the same time.

Another capuchin family was playing by the apartment as well – so we saw three different crazy monkey families.

Having successfully fulfilled our monkey goal, we set out to conquer the Costa Rican Rafting Adventure…stay tuned for our next blog.

Oven in our apartment

Baking in Costa Rica

Ovens are not very prevalent in Costa Rica which makes baking a bit of a challenge.   Cooking is done on stove tops.  They have cook tops, small refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, and blenders.  We looked at several apartments and shied away from them because they had no ovens and I love to bake.  I had lofty goals of baking for our boat workers each week.

All of the apartments at Manuel Antonio Estates have ovens, but they are all a little different.  When I asked the two lovely ladies who keep the apartments ship shape how to work the oven, they smiled and said that they don’t bake.  They don’t have ovens in their homes.  So, why did I need help with the oven, let me explain.

Back in America – most ovens have gauges that have temperatures starting around 200 and going up to 550 in increments of 25 degrees.  So, if you need your oven at 325 you have a pretty good idea where to set the gauge.  And unlike the rest of the world, everything in the States is in Fahrenheit.

Here, like other parts of the world, everything uses the metric system and reads in Celsius.  Conversion is easy enough to figure out with google.  But, then you need to figure out how to read the actual settings.

The first apartment we stayed in had 5 settings for the oven.  Minimum, 175-200, 200-225, 225-250, and Maximum.  It is a wide range when you are trying to figure out 182 Celsius.

Our current apartment is a complete mystery.  It has 1, 2, 3, 4 and then a bunch of dots….

Image: Top is American Gauge, middle is one gauge here in CR and the bottom left is my current gauge.

Cooking in Costa Rica

Cooking in Costa Rica

Luckily, I had an oven temperature gauge from the boat and was able to get the oven within 25 degrees of my desired temperature.  What a funny experience.  Took nearly all day to bake banana muffins and my mini raspberry cheesecakes (click for the recipe).

Mini CheeseCakes

Mini Cheesecakes

I think I finally got into the baking groove after a few burnt and under cooked batches…luckily you all won’t be subject to eating these baked goods.  That was really hard to admit as those who know me know I am an excellent baker.  Maybe not a great cook, but certainly a great baker.

With our good friend Wayne coming, sugar cookies were a must.  Managed to bake several dozen without incident.  They just came out small and fat rather than larger and flat.  Tasted ok, but not my best.

Sugar Cookies For Wayne

Sugar Cookies For Wayne

Everything is just a wee bit smaller than back in the States.  The fridge will not accommodate a standard pizza box, but it does manage to keep things cold and make ice!  Dad modeling our Frigidare.

My dad posing by the fridge - which won't fit a pizza box

My dad posing by the fridge – which won’t fit a pizza box

May be small, but it works…

Oven in our apartment

Oven in our apartment

Our visitors also find it “unusual” or “weird” that when using the bathroom they have to put the toilet paper in the trash can and not the toilet.  All of Costa Rica is on the septic system.  So, restaurants, hotels, public and private bathrooms are like that.  Not a problem for us as we follow the same process on the boat, but our fellow Americans tend to have a hard time.

I will spare you the photo of the trash can 🙂  I wonder how many people will read all this way down on the blog.  If you did, send me a funny comment.

A Visit with Dad

Happy Dad: Rain, Avocados, Sodas & Casadas

My dad came for a short visit and delivered a suitcase full of boat parts.  We were thrilled to host him in Costa Rica even though we were not staying on the boat.

We decided to rent a car to pick him up at the San Jose airport (3 hours away) and to do some recognizance shopping.  At some point before we “splash” we will need to provision the boat and stock up on staples so we wanted to find good “box stores”.  In addition, we were looking for hardware stores (Ferraterias), car stores (PepBoys type places), and big box stores (Wallmart).  We set a few pin marks on our trusty Maps.me app and drove the 3 hours to San Jose.

We managed to find several stores, scoped out a few places to return to and made a few small purchases before my dad’s flight landed.

On our way to Quepos, we stopped by crocodile bridge over Rio Tarcoles.  The theory is when the tide is out (like the image) they can sunbathe on shore and as the tide comes in it is flooded with fish to feed upon.  However, many locals are worried for the safety of crocodile viewers and the crocs themselves.  The bridge is ridiculously narrow and has heavy traffic making it dangerous for tourist.  How many do you count in this photo?  (Answer at bottom of blog)

https://news.co.cr/costa-rican-mayor-taken-task-dangerous-crocodile-viewing-bridge/62990/

https://news.co.cr/costa-rican-mayor-taken-task-dangerous-crocodile-viewing-bridge/62990/

Next, we did a drive by in Herradura to show him where Sugar Shack was anchored when she was struck by lightning.

We caught a beautiful sunset at Jaco beach and stopped in for dinner at Ridiculous Burgers.  My dad had an “all american burger” and Matt and I split a Mahi burger.  Sound healthy?  Well they did serve this ridiculous 6 patty burger shown below to a group of 4 people.

Dinner in Jaco with my Dad

Dinner in Jaco with my Dad

We finally arrived back at the apartment around 2000 and started to unpack.  My dad brought a suitcase full of boat parts, a gray backpack full of important stuff (money, passports), and a Swiss Gear new black backpack for all of his clothes.

He opened the Swiss Gear backpack and realized it was not his.  He thought it was ours which we quickly denied.  Unfortunately, he had swapped backpacks with someone else.  Yikes.  See image below for photo of both backpacks.

Inside this backpack was a Dell Computer with an “Asset tag” which identified the company.  There was several resumes, a hard drive, thumb drives, glasses, medicine and miscellaneous items.  We found her boarding pass, looked her up on LinkedIn and Facebook and sent messages through both social channels.  There was no other contact information.

My dad called Alaska Airlines and the local airport and filled out a lost baggage form.  Then we waited…

Day 1

No response from the backpack owner, so we called her company and left a message on her work voicemail.  Next, I called the SJO Alaska airlines office and to our surprise, our mystery woman had already called and was returning my dad’s bag that same day.  Yeah.  When she arrived, they got her phone number and had her call us.  We made arrangements to bring her bag back and retrieve my father’s bag on Friday (when he flies back to the U.S.)

In the meantime, we need to get him some clothes.  He borrowed a few shirts and flip flops from Matt and off we go into “town.”

We scored some new outfits, met Matt for lunch, walked to the marina and then walked back to the apartment.  My dad is not a big walker and he was shocked to realize he had put in 3.2 miles of walking.  Yeah dad!

Runway Grill For Cold Drinks

Runway Grill For Cold Drinks

Day 2

Dad wanted to check out a local fishing village and fishing processing plant.  Barrio el Cocal is “the” place to go to see the local fisherman.  We swung by a plant that let us look around, watch them cut and clean their fish, and put the heads in storage – all really gross, but dad loved it.

Love the “Pura Vida” lifestyle in Costa Rica…

Pura Vida with Dad

Pura Vida with Dad

Came across a local avocado seller and dad was surprised at the size of the local avocados – these are not your average California avocados.

Dad with local avocados

Dad with local avocados

We stopped  at Bahia Azul for a cold drink and Tiquicia for lunch before heading back to the pad.

After thoroughly exhausting him, we headed back to the apartment for a little R&R before going out for dinner.

Much to our surprise, it has not rained in the first 3 days of my dad’s visit.  Super strange, as it it normally rains every day for many hours a day.  But we finally received some rain in the afternoon for a couple of hours.

Being from California, he had not seen rain in a very long time.  In fact, now he is mostly seeing smoke and ash in the sky from the horrible California wildfires – so rain is a pleasant surprise.

We hopped on the public bus and headed to Manuel Antonio for happy hour.  We were treated to an awesome lightning show (it is only awesome because we were on shore and not on our boat).  Cold drinks overlooking the Pacific at Bar Code 506.

Matt, Dad, and I at Barba Rosa

Matt, Dad, and I at Bar Code 506

Day 3

Time to show dad the boat.  We swung by the marina a few days ago, but we were not able to show him the interior of the boat because we had workers all over the place.

First, we took him to see RumpleTeazer, our friend Keith’s boat which is a 43′ Catana.  I wanted him to see what a “livable” boat looked like before we took him to see our boat which is all torn apart.

Keith was super kind and let us poke all around.  We then walked over to the yard to show him Sugar Shack and to his surprise he really could tell the difference between a 43′ and a 47′ catamaran.  Even though it is only 4′ shorter and maybe 2-3′ skinnier, the spaces feel bigger.  I didn’t get the idea he was very impressed with our boat but who could blame him as it was a total disaster.

We had another casada at Soda Sanchez, our go to spot for spectacular food.  As you might recall, a “Soda” is not a drink but a local eatery.  Sometimes they appear as businesses, sometimes they are on the front porch of someone’s house.  A “casada” is a typical local meal that comes with a salad, veggie, beans, plantain and your choice of either meat, chicken, fish, or pork.  All for the low price of 2,500 colones or $5.00.  Tasty and cheap!

And, to my dad’s surprise, he walked another 3.3 miles today!  I will get him walking and drinking water if it kills me!

It was hard to send him off after such a short visit, but hopefully we have convinced him to come back once the boat is back in the water.

We got a little Capuchin love on dad’s last night at the apartment.

Monkey Love

Monkey Love

The boys contemplating life…

Dad and Matt chatting

Dad and Matt chatting

Short and sweet.  We rented a car to return dad back to San Jose and pick up Wayne.

Costa Rica Airport

Costa Rica Airport

We went straight to Alaska Airlines to swap bags.  It doesn’t look like they are 100% similar because the lighting was different, but they both were black.  Not sure who grabbed whose bag first, but at least they are both back with the rightful owners.

Bag Swap

Bag Swap

Giant sloth at the airport posing for photos

Giant sloth at airport

Giant sloth at airport

Poor Matt had to walk to the marina to get his wallet with his driver’s license (which needed to rent the car).  On the way, he walked past a man spraying bug spray trying to kill the bad bugs.  Unfortunately, one of them ran from the bug spray right into Matt and stung him on his ankle.  All he saw was a big black something and then the pain and swelling started…

Matt's fat cankle

Matt’s fat cankle

Answer: 11 crocodiles spotted in photo