El Proyecto ARA

It is really special to have such a wonderful place to go and view these amazing birds (Great Green Macaw) as they begin to repopulate the area.  It’s been five years since it began and now with 39 birds flying freely in the jungles it only can bring hope that some day you will be able to see these fly overhead like they once used to.

bird1 bird2

Should anyone be traveling here, this is a must visit.  They have daily tours at 4pm (with a donation of $20/each) and can be contacted at for tours and the web site is  The setting is spectacular up on a mountain top with trees full of birds and monkeys.

Pura Vida……………………………………..

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Posted by on June 18, 2016 in Uncategorized


Been Busy the last few months

Been a while since I have written anything.  I started building a small casita in June and finished it in January 2016.  Needless to say building anything in Costa Rica takes time and effort, not to mention 5,000 trips to the hardware store.   It started out as a small casita, but as time went on the plans changed.  I must say by the end of it all it turned out quite nice and my carpenter friend did a great job.  Did I mention it was the second wettest year since keeping records here in 2002. That really made things slow down a lot.  Trying to dry wood in the rain is no easy feet!!!


This is how it all started.  We used black laurel, cacha and nispero for the entire house.


Our Kiln to dry the wood, just add fire.


Digging the supports for the foundation.



The supports are up and joists in place.


Milling the tablia for the roof.


Tabila stacked and drying (350 pieces) before tonguing and grooving.


Sides up and going for the roof next.


One side done with the skylights


The other side done.


With the roof on now we can put in the floor.


Once the floor is done the outer walls and interior walls go up


Windows framed.

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Outside walls almost done/



Bathroom wall is almost finished.


Getting the porch close to finished.


Railing is up, doors are on and looking good.


Putting on the window shutters.


Getting the kitchen started.


Kitchen done.


Outside it ready.


Kitchen ready.


Bed is ready.


Bathroom is ready.


Done, time to sit on the porch under the fan and cool off.  Pura Vida………..


Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Uncategorized



Change Immigration Category/Status Processing Fee – $200.00

Cedula Fee – $123.00

Libre de Condiciones – Priceless

Back in August 2014 we applied to change our residency status from temporary to permanent.  On May 27, we finalized everything and will have our new cedulas in a week.  It took all of 30 minutes to do everything and I want to thank Eric Gonzales (who works at the migracion office in Limon) for his splendid service.  So now we won’t have to meet any conditions like before each time we renewed our cedulas, which will make life so much easier.

May sure has been one wet month, the third wettest since keeping records here since 2002. 


Needless to say things are really green here and we will have to wait to see what happens in June and July some of our wettest months of the year.  With the ground being so saturated I just hope the trees keep standing and don’t fall over.They seem to smash houses and take out power lines with ease.

Things always quiet down here during the summer, tourists are few, most of the places close and go on vacation so it’s really tranquillo.  There’s always food in the stores and the lines at the bank are short, when it comes to lines of people, Cuba doesn’t have anything on Costa Rica, I think the line was invented here!!!!

Chillin in the Caribe Sur, pura vida…………………………………..





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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


Springtime in el Caribe Sur

Well basically it’s like the rest of the time here, but for the last few days we have had perfect blue skies and lots of sun.  It’s this kind of weather that makes it so special here, but the rain is nice too.

Since it is Easter time, our lilies decided to bloom this year, first time in four years.  When the plant was smaller the flowers were smaller too and did not look as impressive as these do.

IMG_20150321_065529383_HDR IMG_20150321_065601991  IMG_20150321_142129145

This year we had the March birthdays at Stash’s and about 40 people showed up.  A great time was had by all.  I think there was 5 people with birthdays in attendance, but who’s counting!

IMG_20150321_202022257 IMG_20150321_202030122 IMG_20150321_202105872 IMG_20150321_211536826

Life in el Caribe Sur goes on,,,,,,, Pura Vida……………………….

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Good News Week

Last August we went to Limon to apply for permanent residence.  I looked at the Immigration web site today and saw that our solitudes were signed and approved!! At least both of us were approved at the same time which will make it easier on us when we renew in three years, our temporary cedulas where two months apart causing separate trips to get renewed.  Now all we have to do is wait a while longer, probably make a dreaded trip to San Jose to pick up our paperwork and get our new documents.  This will eliminate a lot of restrictions that we know have as temporary residents. YEA!!!

February wasn’t too bad of a month weather wise, we had a lot of really sunny days which is not normal for this time of year and there was enough rain to keep most things green, but not so much that we got washed away.



Our trees have been filled with sloths lately, seen as many as 7 within the neighborhood and two in the same tree in our back yard.  Must be new growth of leaves and small fruits that’s brining them in.  The iguanas have been constant in the trees next to us, plus the birds have started the migration back north so lots of animals moving about.

The sea has been really wild lately and dangerous to swim in due to the rip currents.  Just recently we lost a tourist to the sea, so until it calms down a bit not a good idea to go swimming.  The local fisherman have not been able to go out either due to the high waves so needless to say, no fresh snapper lately.

Something kind of cool is that on March 20, the sun will rise at 90 degrees due east at 535am and set at 270 degrees due west at 542pm.  Almost 12 hours.

Semana Santa will be crashing down upon us once again in a week or two.  The yearly pilgrimage to the beach to party like it’s 1999!  Can’t wait………………Pura Vida

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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


Trip to a Small World


One sure thing that has been lacking in the ol Caribe has been a place to go and shop for everything you didn’t know you needed.  Just within the past couple of months, a new Pequeño Mundo has opened up in Guápiles.  Now this may not sound really interesting to most, but for those of us on this side of the forgotten world it is a welcomed change and saves a trip in to San Jose.  Granted it is still a 2.5 hour drive from Puerto Viejo, but it does beat a 4.5 to 5 hour drive to San Jose.  I left at 8am and was back home by 230pm.  The nice thing is this place is the size of a Home Depot with plenty of room to walk up and down the isles without waiting 20 minutes for someone to decide on what color they want.  So instead of gong from store to store looking for things that most places don’t have, this is truly a one stop shopping event!!!  Now if PriceSmart would open up a store in Limon there would never be a need to go to San Jose!!!

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Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve Costa Rica

A while ago a friend showed me how to get to Hitoy Cerere and took a hike to the waterfall that falls into the Hitoy River.  This is the primary river basins of the Hitoy and Cerere rivers that flow out of the Talamanca Mountains to the west.  Hitoy is a Bribri word meaning “moss covered” as in river rocks.  Cerere means “clear waters” and a lot of that flows down these canyons when it rains!  This national park is one of the least visited by tourists primarily  due to its remoteness.  You really have to make an effort to get to the ranger station and from there you are on your own in the deep jungle wilderness. 

hitoy mapThis map shows the whole road to the Ranger Station leaving from Penhurst.

hitoy map2  This map shows that you go straight pass the bridge.

The road wanders through a large banana plantation.  The turns are not marked so you have to kind of guess which one to take.  The road turns at a group of houses used by the bananerios and starts to climb out of the valley.  As you head up the mountain you come to an intersection and bear left.  This part of the road takes you to the ranger station.  Once you get to the station and pay your entrance fee, you set off on your own, there is no cell coverage here especially as you head up the river canyon.  The road getting there is very rocky, if you have a rental car you could probably do it, I would not take a car there if I owned it.  I have a 4×4 so it was no problem.

road 2road 3road to hitoyhitoy ranger The ranger station where you pay your entrance fee.  Little else is available here so bring things you need, water, raingear and solid shoes to hike the river.  These rocks are slippery and sandals or flip flops will not do!!!!!

starting down the path

This path leads toward the river from the ranger station, once you leave here everything looks the same so please take note as you are walking of the turns you take.

cutting across to the river

We hiked this during the month of August, it was a dry July (only 12 inches of rain) so the water level was low and made it easier to walk.

hitoy forest

This is the very dense canopy you see as you are walking up the river.

starting the river

We wound our way through some of the side waters and now are walking up the Hitoy River.  You can imagine how difficult this would be if the water was running strong.  I would not recommend it for sure.


The is the bedrock that the river runs through, it’s a conglomerate that was deposited as a debris flow, most of the rocks are suspended in sand.  This outcrop is continuous all the to the falls.


The trees tower high from the river bank.


leaning treehitoy river       slippery rocks   rocky river

The water runs clear and cold, but on a hot day who cares if its a little cool.  Blue Morphos dance up and down the river stream as and added attraction.


After about a 45 minute to an hour hike you reach the water fall.  This cascade falls about 150 feet down the green moss slopes into a pool below.  Very peaceful place to relax a while before returning back to the ranger station.  For those who like adventure it is highly recommended, but best to have a local guide to help navigate the way.  Pura vida………………….

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Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


The New Year

 Wow, 2014 kinda flew by, not sure though.  We can always look forward and hope for better times although we did have a pretty good time here in the Calibre Sur over the last year, way back in 2014.  It was an explosive night last night as the brave revelers welcomed in the new year, lots of fireworks and lots of frightened animals.  We live in an animal kingdom here and to intrude with this kind of noise does not bode well for the animal welfare.

As you can see we had a good year for rain, 152 inches in all which is a bit above average.  But in between all of this rain we had a lot of sunny warm days, enough to keep the laundry basket not over flowing. 




It seems like every year with a new crop of tourists we have the same ol kind of petty crime going on.  People walking in the dark carrying everything except the kitchen sink and losing it all to machete wielding kids trying to make a buck or two.  Even though you try to educate people not to carry certain items, iPhones fall prey to the robbers, god forbid if you can’t see the latest facebook post!!!!  Especially while you are relaxing on vacation.  I see so many people walking(?) down the street staring at their phone, you know it is kinda of pretty around here with lots of wildlife, the blue sea and such, if there is only some way we could put that on their screens to see, they wouldn’t miss so much.

Pura Vida, nothing more……………………………………………………

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Great Green MaCaws

Here in the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica there once lived the great green macaw, but through poaching and deforestation the bird has all but disappeared.  The Ara is providing reintroduction efforts for the Great Green Macaw that began in the South Caribbean region of Costa Rica in 2011, and continues to date with several dozen birds now living successfully in the wild.  In all 42 birds now call these mountains home.  To visit this project high in the hills just south of Puerto Viejo is a must see event.  These magnificent birds are a splendor to behold.




flying greatgreen




Great to have them back in the neighborhood!!!!  Pura Vida………….

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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


Colorful Costa Rica







Not much else to say, Pura Vida………………………….

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized