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From Tamarindo, Costa Rica to Roatan, Honduras

March 15, 2010 - Filed under Other, Travel

After 6 months, our time in Costa Rica has come to a close. Last week we woke up early to take the 5am shuttle to Liberia from Tamarindo. Around 9am, we boarded a Ticabus headed to Managua, Nicaragua. A few hours later, we arrived at the Nicaraguan border to find a HUGE line. Spending the next 3 hours frying our brains in the sun while we waited to get our exit visas, then another hour waiting as the Costa Rican DEA randomly selected our bus for a screening, and then another hour getting our entry visas in Nicaragua. During all this, the Canadian men’s final hockey game was going on… something we had realized only a few days earlier. Oops, bad scheduling on our part and we had hoped to make it to our destination on time to catch it. But we did meet a few people on the bus and chatted the hours away.


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Posted by: Shim

Handmade Souvenir in Costa Rica

March 5, 2010 - Filed under Stuff to do

We don’t tend to buy a lot of souvenirs. They’re heavy and they take up too much space. We also don’t do a lot of sight-seeing. We don’t visit temples or museums and very rarely go on tours. Some might say we’re pretty crappy tourists. Instead we capture most of our “souvenirs” in the form of photos, and experience a place’s culture by doing things that are activity-based rather than passively seeing “the sights”.

On our last week in Tamarindo, I ended up with the first souvenir of our year and a half on the road. I took a pottery class and learned the traditional art of making Chorotega Pottery.

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Posted by: Kelly

Scuba Diving at Playas del Coco

February 11, 2010 - Filed under Eats, Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography

Since arriving in Costa Rica nearly 6 months ago, we haven’t been scuba diving much compared to the 80+ dives we did last year in Southeast Asia. We did a 2 dive trip to the Catalina Islands from Tamarindo a couple months ago where we saw a few eagle rays, a school of jacks, and 3 or 4 white tip reef sharks, but the visibility was really poor and with the Papagayo wind in full effect since then, we haven’t attempted another dive until this last weekend when we decided to take a quick trip to Playas del Coco.

We got on the local bus to Liberia at 9am which meanders in and out of each town on the way to it’s destination; picking up and dropping off school children, workers, and food and drink vendors as it goes. Liberia is approximately an hour away from Tamarindo by car, but the local bus takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours to get there. We got off the bus before Liberia at the turn off to Playas del Coco (shortly after Filadelfia) and switched buses. Our next bus came along within 45 minutes and we continued on through Sardinal. Within a half hour, we had completed our 3.5 hour journey arriving at Coco.


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Posted by: Shim

Our ATV Tour from Tamarindo

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Stuff to do

I haven’t been getting my motor-sports fix lately, so Kelly and I decided to take an ATV trek this week. We booked a tour with FourTrax Adventure ATV tours and were picked up by a shuttle and transferred to the briefing point, a few minutes outside of Villa Real.

We ran over the basic controls; pretty familiar for a motorcycle rider, and took the ATVs for a quick test lap around the property. Because of the lack of counter steering on an ATV, it wasn’t immediately as intuitive for me as a motorcycle, but I got the hang of it soon enough.

ATV tour Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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Posted by: Shim

Nicaragua Visa Run from Tamarindo

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Drinks, Travel

As a tourist in Costa Rica, you can stay for a maximum of 90 days before you have to exit the country for 72 hours before reentry. Shortly before Xmas, our first three months in Costa Rica were coming to a close. Nicaragua is considerably nearer to Tamarindo than Panama, so we opted to head to Nicaragua for a quick visa run. Being so close to Christmas, many dates for the buses to Nicaragua were already fully booked, but luckily we were able to book a couple seats on the Ticabus (around $40 each) to and from Nicaragua as opposed to the ‘chicken bus’ where you walk across the border and catch another local bus on the other side.

Local bus from Tamarindo to Liberia
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Posted by: Shim

Learning to surf at Tamarindo Beach

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do

Tamarindo is a popular spot for learning to surf. The waves are fairly small (though there are a couple larger points along the beach) and it’s well suited for those just picking up the basics. There’s plenty of board rental shops along the beach, most of which will provide lessons for around $40 for a two hour lesson. So, a few weeks ago I decided to try surfing on my next day off.

Saturday came around and Kelly and I wandered down to the beach to find that a huge swell had come in and the usual 1-3 foot waves had turned into some monster 5-7 foot waves and bigger! I wandered into a surf shop to see if a lesson was doable in those conditions and they convinced me that by 3pm things would probably have calmed down a bit. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 63: Lauren’s Last Week

November 27, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do, Weekly Report

After a couple of very touristy days, we settled back into the laid back vibe of Tamarindo. Mike and I spent the days working and Lauren made the most of her last week of sun, by alternating between the beach and pool. We had a couple of good meals out, and Lauren finally got to have “Nachos as big as your ass”…. which were actually smaller than all 3 of our asses.

Witch Rock Surf Camp

On Thursday evening we set out on a Turtle Tour in hopes of seeing a nesting Leatherback Turtle on Playa Grande. Playa Grande’s three mile stretch of beach is part of the Las Baulas National Marine park, one of the largest Leatherback Turtle nesting sites in the world, and is strictly regulated in order to help protect the turtles.

Playa Grande
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Posted by: Kelly

Week 62:
A Visitor, a Volcano, and a couple of Van rides

November 17, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do, Weekly Report

This week we had a visitor. Lauren, a friend from my old work in Vancouver is down visiting, and it’s been a great excuse to be a tourist for a while. We managed to put a few things on hold, and for the first time since we’ve been in Costa Rica, actually took an entire weekend off.

Wednesday was her first full day here, which actually coincided with a scheduled town-wide power outage. Since we couldn’t get any work done, we really had no option but to make it a beach day. The morning started off a little overcast, but by the afternoon it was gorgeous and sunny, and we all got a little burnt. Ooops! To cool off and get out of the sun, we headed to the patio at Witch Rock Surf Camp for some cold beers and a late lunch. Unfortunately the power outage made the menu selection a little thin, and Lauren wasn’t able to fill her craving for Witch Rock’s famous “Nachos as big as your ass”, but we made due with what was available and added nachos to our list of things to do next week.

View from Witch Rock's Patio
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Posted by: Kelly

Week 61: Where’s the skip button?

November 17, 2009 - Filed under Other

This week has been skipped due to the lack of interesting events in which to post about. Instead here’s a picture of Tamarindo.

Playa Tamarindo

Posted by: Kelly

Week 59 & 60: Chillin’ in Tamarindo

October 27, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

First off, sorry this is so late. To be honest I’ve kind of been putting it off, as we don’t really have much to report. It looks like the rainy season has finally started here in Costa Rica. Its been the driest October on record, but over the last week or so, the rain has really started to fall. (Of course as I sit here and type this it just happens to be gorgeous and sunny, which figures since today is a work day!)

We have managed to get to the beach a couple of times in between showers, but for the most part we’ve been holed up in our apartment where the work seems to be piling in.

Playa Tamarindo

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Posted by: Kelly

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