Last Day in La Palma

All good things must end and this trip is no exception. I have had an extremely good time. I have seen glorious sites. I have eaten great food, and I have been with wonderful people. I was able to get some reading done and even some technical activity.My hosts had recently gotten connected to the Internet. That explains how I made a couple ACS posts while I was out. When I looked at their system, I noticed that their anti-virus software has expired several years ago. I also noticed that they were several years behind in Windows XP upgrades. I updated all the software to current versions. I also downloaded AVAST anti-virus and installed it.
What a great time I had on my trip to Costa Rica. Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

When I walked outside on this last day, I found this fellow waiting for me. I think he is saying, “Isn’t it time you went back to where ever you came from?”

This is a smaller example of many toads you will see in Panama. If you have dogs, keep them away from them, as they can make dogs very sick.

Let me introduce you to my host, Carlos. He is the one on the left. He spends a lot of time in his small “anything you could possibly want” store. He has clothes, office supplies, colognes. Really – almost anything you could want. He is playing dominoes with some of his buddies that come by for a friendly game.

We had gone lots of places and eaten at many of the larger restaurants in the area, so for our last noon meal, we went to a local eatery. Alba, Carlos wife, is on the right in this photo at our lunchtime restaurant.

All of the taxing work, this morning, has created a good reason for Carlos to hit the hammock. I will be right beside him in a minute.

While I was waiting on the food, I took a photo of this house. It may look empty, but it is still occupied.

My and the others meals today are fried fish. It was very tasty. In a coastal town, you just can’t go wrong ordering fish.

I took a photo of this truck that passed while we were eating. It is full of palm fruit. As you drive along the roads here, you will see bundles of this fruit waiting to be taken to the process plant. This is turned in to Palm oil for cooking.

Before I leave La Palma, let me tell you about some of my other observations. The first thing I had to get used to (never really did) was taking cold showers. Most of the people never use hot water to bathe. I have serious doubts that my body will ever enjoy a cold shower. I know it is supposed to be good for you, but in all honesty, cold water make parts of my body disappear (unfortunately it didn’t work on my stomach). These were some of the shortest showers I have ever taken.

Another was the condition of the road surface. The roads here were not paved and had a rock surface. Imagine a road that was covered with softball sized rocks, with dirt smoothing out the surface. It was impossible for me to drive faster than 10-15 kph in much of the area. Now Carlos described the road as “rustico”. Based on this experience, I have decided that “rustico”, is short for “Ruff as a cob”.

Another thing I seem to get in the country of Costa Rica is chiggers. I am just now starting to get my chigger bites under control. I wonder if “OFF” would have been a wise addition to my travel accessories.

Now back to the trip. Sharlyn, Carlos and Alba’s daughter, returned from work as we were eating. She accompanied us on our drive back to Rio Claro that afternoon. She amazes me. She works 5 ½ days a week at the La Chaza del Manglar resort.

Then on Saturday afternoon she takes a bus to the Frontera so she can attend a full day of college classes in nursing. Then she returns by bus to La Palma to be ready to work on Monday. That really shows how driven some young people are to get ahead in the world. I am proud of her.

We spent the night in Rio Claro with some more of my extended family. I was so looking forward to my first hot shower in 6 days. Wouldn’t you know it. Their electric shower head had just gone out, so I was in for two more cold showers. As painful as they are to me, it makes me wonder why I often heard my mother telling my father to go take a cold shower. Hmmmm.

As we leave Rio Claro, we are going to drive to Golfito, which is another port on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.

Our first stop is this dock that provides transportation between Golfito and Puerto Jimenez. The boat in this photo is one of the main licensed providers. The young man with his hand on the pylon and the hand on his hip is the 14 year old skipper. He is the son and brother of the two individuals that were murdered last year. You may remember that post.

Following their deaths, this young man was forced into the role of the “man of the house” and became responsible for providing for the family. He still faces competition that aren’t licensed, so if you are in Golfito and plan on taking a launch to Puerto Jimenez, make sure they are licensed to provide transportation.

Golfito used to be a major port shipping bananas and many of the buildings reflect a time of strong industry. There are buildings that were used for employees of the banana industry and you can tell that during that time, the town was very pretty and quaint.

Unfortunately, many of these areas no show neglect and some are down right slummy ( is that a word). Golfito also is a duty free port, similar to Colon in Panama, except in Golfito, the public is welcome to shop in the duty free area.

After driving around some, we stopped at this restaurant, near the water, to take some photos.

This is the inside of the restaurant.

This is the back area. The pool is for guests of the associated hotel.

Have you ever played sand basketball? Me neither. I don’t think it is going to catch on in the states.

This is a photo of one of the cost guard patrol boats. Pirates are not going to do well in this area.

OK, now we are going to go to another restaurant/hotel that was recommended. I parked and as I was walking to the restaurant, I noticed some kayakers getting ready to leave.

I am not sure why my kayak outing didn’t have tour guides like the first photo. No offense Ken.

Now back to the original focus of this exercise, getting something to eat. The restaurant is Mar y Luna.

While we are waiting on the food, lets see some of the surroundings. These photos were taken from my table, facing the water.

This is the inside of the restaurant.

One order was a mixed chicken and fish plate.

Since I had eaten a lot of seafood, I ordered mixed fajitas.

I have ordered fajitas in many parts of the world and this is the first time I have not received tortillas. They substituted chips.

I have to say that the only disappointing meal I had during my trip was in this restaurant. The fish and chicken was tasteless. The fajitas were were also and suffered from not having sour cream and tortillas. I guess one poor meal in six days isn’t too bad.

Leaving we returned to the Frontera and went through both the CR and Panama boarder control and then headed for home. As I drove down the InterAmerican highway, I was greeted with the first rainbow I can remember seeing in David. I swear from this photo, it appears to terminate at my home’s door. Is that a “Welcome Home” or what?

12 thoughts on “Last Day in La Palma

  1. that is a lovely plate of fried fish, lettuce, tomato and fries (or ‘chips’ as we confusingly – for americanos – call them in the UK).

    Those high ceiling, open air, restaurants sure look the business… I huddle closer to this little electric blow heater on a cold night in Ireland.

    That giant toad scared the daylights out of me though.

  2. I didn’t realise the toads would be that big. That one looks like he/she’s at least 9 to 12 inches long. (me hairs standing on end in fright)

  3. Impressive. A local Panamanian told me a while back of how he had to watch his dog didn’t go down to a lake he had on his finca; lest the dog came in contact with the toads there.

    I’d be scared if they came near the house; and polluted my cat’s food bowl, or our own food/drinks things (on a bench/seat for example).

  4. They are certainly bigger than the ones I played with as a child on the farm in Oklahoma. I don’t remember those toads as being dangerous for animals either.

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