My cousin Ashley and her husband Albert came all the way from North Carolina for their holiday. They flew in on a little itty bitty plane (only slightly more air worthy than this drawing) and met us in Nosara. We stayed about 5 kms from there at the beach of Playa Guiones.

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Playa Guiones was a lot more remote than we had expected. But we woke up at 6 to catch the morning waves then would hide from the afternoon sun til the evening set. We had to drink at least 6 liters of water a day just to stay somewhat hydrated. With our afternoon free-time, Ashley made a great Ceviche which is raw fish that cooks itself in lime juice....Deeee-lish!

It was a surfers paradise with a nice sandy bottom...(which I also got after wiping out on a few waves). It's actually a regular sized board Brian has, he just shrunk from being in the water so much. (Photo: Brian and Albert compare...)

These two border collies were the mascots of Blew Dogs Surf Club where Brian and I stayed for a total of two weeks. They adopted us (not the other way around) and taught US what they liked to do... fetch and swim.They used their front paws to catch a throw. Brilliant. They are not apart of the indigenous wildlife that Costa Rica boasts, but apart of the growing population of canines that American ex-pats are bringing down because there are no quarantine requirements for pets.

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was next to us and protects the olive ridley sea turtle. It is the site where over 120,000 will lay their eggs. Even though it is early in the season we were lucky to see one little lady hard at work. It's typical to see iguanas, armadillos, and bats (of which one accidentally smacked me in the face one night...and another one committed suicide in our ceiling fan).

My favorite was the howler monkeys that lived in the trees above our little bungalow. (This is not a picture of a howler. Unfortunately all our photos of them were accidentally deleted.) They have "howl" that is said to be the loudest in the animal kingdom and can be heard from over a mile away. Every time a motorcycle or airplane passed the males would simultaneously cry out as if in competition. I was awakened one night by loud noises outside our kitchen. Something was throwing something deliberately down on our tin roof....then it sounded like it was raining on one side of the room. As I was peeking out the window to see what was the matter, a howler monkey monkey right next to the window let out his scream. I did one of those scared jump out of your skin moves that you see in the movies...As if that wasn't cool enough, another monkey just on the other side of the house let out its reply. The two went on for about 15 minutes and woke up most everyone around us. It started to rain again on one side of the house then I realized that it was actually a peeing monkey and a territory war going on between these two howlers and our house seemed to be the dividing line.

Actual re-enactment of the road around the Lake to Volcano Arenal. The "pot-hells", as we called them, were big enough to loose your car in.

Volcano Arenal (1,633 meters) is said to be Central Americas most active volcanos and can make a loud grumble which causes your skin to crawl...Luckily, human sacrifices are no longer allowed ( I wouldn't qualify anyway) so we sacrificed beers instead. We could have sat all day and just watched as it gurgled bits of red hot lava over the crater lip. Hot springs are very popular in this area and our hotel pumped in hot water to this bar/pool. (The water Brian is sitting was brown before he got in.)


Canopy Tours are a popular way to see the rainforest from a different perspective. We thought it was going to be more of a nature walk but it turned out to be more of a X-Games kind of activity. We all harnessed up and climbed an Ewok contraption and zipped down on steel cables between trees at high speeds. (Brian)

Albert sang, "Hi ho... hi ho... it's hand over hand I go."


Jane had nothing on these two little monkeys swinging in the trees. (Ashley, left; Rachel, right)

Ashley's favorite local cuisine was the original Salchipapas. The flavor was a touch of Oscar Mayer and the texture all Ball Park. We'd call it cuisine Nuevo Ore-Ida in the states..

Brian got tired of the constant threat of an eruption so he took matters into his own hands with the volcano.


Thanks Albert and Ashley for a great visit! We had a wonderful time!

P.S. Ashley...Marcell has escaped and was looking for a place to stay?

Back to the current BEARINGS page...please.